You are probably thinking the same thing that I was, “What does Kenosha, Wisconsin have to do with the Civil War?” I asked myself that when we first moved here and found out that they HAD a Civil War museum. We’ve wanted to go visit it ever since then, but it seems Loving Husband always has to work or we’ve just been lazy and never made it over there. Inspired by the History Channel’s Civil War week, we decided to finally make the trip across town for LH’s birthday on the 2nd. I was amazed at how large the museum is and also at how well done it was. I’d say that it’s on par with the Florida Natural History Museum in Tallahassee. Other than two women and a small hand full of school kids, we were the only people there. I have to wonder how they A) were able to afford to build something like this in a small town like Kenosha and B) can afford to keep the doors open. However they manage it, I’m glad that they do because we really enjoyed our time there. We met a nice ex-Navy man who was at the information podium. LH talked to him about how the Navy used to be back in the 40’s when the man was fresh out of boot camp. He loves talking to vets and hearing their stories, so he was in seventh heaven!
Once inside the museum, we found out that it is not only for the Kenosha area, but it represents the involvement of all of the upper-Midwestern states during the Civil War. The interior is supposed to be styled after a mid-1800’s fort and the second floor is a replica of a bridge (I forget the name) that troops from these states would have had to march over to get to the rest of the US and the areas of engagement. We were lucky enough to visit during their temporary exhibit entitled Bodices, Bonnets and Weeds – Civil War and Mid-Victorian Fashions! A whole exhibit space filled with antique clothing, jewelry and accessories! I am so glad that my camera karma was good and that I was able to get a few good photos to share with you. If you watched the Gettysburg documentary
I posted about a couple weeks ago, you will remember what a huge part Lieutenant Colonel Rufus Dawes and his “Iron Brigade” (made up of Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry troops) played in many battles, especially at Gettysburg. Even though the upper-Midwest saw no action itself, men from all over the region did and this museum illustrates their lives and battles.
The museum has many great exhibits and events, including reenactments. If you are going to be in the area I would definitely stop by and spend an hour or so. Above is the beautiful view of the lake from the upper observation deck. It was rather chilly, but I thought I would leave you with this bright, happy image!