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Current Exhibits and Upcoming Events

Sunday, September 29th at 3 p.m.
Join us for the The Eastland Women program presented by John Heinz. The Eastland Women were “spinsters”, wives, and mothers. Most worked at Western Electric winding coils of wire. Some were the “bread winner” for their family. July 24, 1915 was to be a special day in their lives - no work, just an enjoyable day in Michigan City, Indiana with family and friends. How did the women cope with the aftermath of the Eastland capsizing in the Chicago River? Historian John Heinz will present an insightful program answering that question. Read more >

Center for History Newsletter
The Center for History is an amazing place to see, hear and explore our past. In 2012, thousands experienced history through fascinating programs and exhibits. They heard captivating stories about the Civil War, slavery, S.S. Eastland, golf, Wheaton celebrities, and our community. Learn about what we have been up to as well as what is upcoming at the Center in our latest newsletter. Read more >

My Kind of Town
War of the Rebellion: On & Off the Battlefield
Visitors will be transported back to the Civil War era beginning with a life size camp scene. The conflict between the states, brother against brother, comes to life in this 2,000 sq. ft. exhibition showcasing the museum’s Civil War and GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) collection. Each document and artifact helps tell the story of individuals who fought during this conflict between the states. Letters, war documents, accoutrements, medical instruments, period clothing, weapons, carte de vistes and tintype photographs, along with Captain Henry W. Chester’s hand painted 9’ map of his cavalry campaigns present a unique view of the hardships, bravery, and loneliness of a soldier and those left at home. Read more >

Fairways, Greens & Clubs exhibit Wheaton’s Link to Golf:
Champions, Patents & Courses
Right here in the Midwest, Wheaton, Illinois played an integral role in the development of golf. The most well know fact is Chicago Golf Club was the first 18-hole course in the nation followed by some knowledge of C. B Macdonald. But this exhibit reveals even more, an unprecedented history of golf in this suburban town which had 8 courses over the years, eight club and ball makers, five course designers, and three national champions. The Foulis and Horton brothers patented several pieces of golf equipment as did Ed Allen. All of these men worked at Chicago Golf Club as greenkeepers, professionals or caddies in the 1890s and early 1900s. Programs are offered on and off site to groups. Read more >

The Eastland Story Exhibit
Disaster, Courage & Silence Gallery
Frames of the Eastland: A Photographic Exhibit
Photos of the S. S. Eastland before and after it capsized on July 24, 1915 capture the history of the steamer and the catastrophe. Most of the photos are from Jun Fujita which have never been displayed. Fujita was born in 1888 in Hiroshima, Japan and was a photographer for the Chicago Evening Post at the time of disaster. His photos depict the horror from shortly after the ship overturned through the funerals of the 844 victims. Read more >