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The history, the people and the stories of the Upper Midwest



Family Activity Day: Chore Day!

Saturday, September 24  |  1pm – 3pm  |  Location: 2nd Floor Resource Center

Think you have it rough because you have to load the dishwasher or do the laundry?  Check out demos and try for yourself the chores that were common during the Civil War.  You’ll leave appreciating your 21st century washing machine!



Workshop – How Ephraim’s Coat Got Home: The Story of an Artifact

Sunday, October 9  |  1pm – 3pm  |  Instructor: Bjorn Skaptason  |  $10 ($25 non-members)  |  Register Here

A military frock coat belonging to Major Ephraim Cutler Dawes is on display at the Civil War Museum.  From late May to early June, 1864, this coast journey from the Georgia wilderness near Pumpkin Vine Creek to Cincinnati with Major E. C. Dawes of the 53rd Ohio Veteran Volunteers. Major Dawes suffered a grievous wound to his face at the battle of Dallas, and endured a harrowing journey home. He went through months of recovery and a painful series of experimental surgeries. Bjorn Skaptason of Abraham Lincoln Book Shop will tell Dawes’ story and the story of the coat – plus the stories of other artifacts on display – to demonstrate how the “stuff” of history can reveal details of the lives of the people left behind.



2nd Friday Lecture – Brother Joseph Dutton: Badger Soldier, Sinner, Saint

Friday, October 14  |  12pm – 1pm  |  Presenter: Pete Skully

Brother Joseph Dutton was born Ira Dutton in Storrs, Vermont, and grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin. He served for the duration of the Civil War in the 13th Wisconsin, rising from Quartermaster Sergeant to Lieutenant and District Quartermaster. He spent two decades after the war in his “lost years” then spent forty-four years ministering to the leper colony of Molokai Island, Hawaii.



The Civil War Round Table of Milwaukee 75th Anniversary Dinner

Friday, October 14  |  5:30pm – 8:30pm  |  $50 per person  |  Register Here

This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the Civil War Round Table of Milwaukee, custodians of the Iron Brigade Association. Established in 1947, it is the second oldest of the more than 300 round tables in the United States and abroad.

Join the CWRT of Milwaukee for a special dinner featuring a program by Iron Brigade Historian and Author Lance Herdegen. Includes dinner, hors d’oeuvres, wine/beer, and access to the Civil War Museum galleries.

There are currently approximately 300 members of the Civil War Round Table of Milwaukee. Membership has many perks, and automatically also includes membership in the Iron Brigade AssociationClick here for more details.



The Great Lakes Civil War Forum

Saturday, October 15  |  9:30am – 4pm  |  $55 ($70 non-members) includes lunch  |  Register Here

Where the Fight Was the Thickest: The Campaigns of the Iron Brigade of the West.  Join the museum for a day of four presentations related to the Iron Brigade.

Click here for presentation details



Victorian Spiritualism

Friday, October 28  |  6pm – 8:30pm:  Location: Civil War Museum  |  Adults only  |  $40 ($55 non-members)  |  Register Here

Connect with your past self or peer into your future at this “otherworldly” event. Inspired by the golden age of magic, explore the spiritual lives of the Victorians through a performance by a stage medium, palm and tarot card readers, ghost stories and more. Light snacks and drink tickets provided.  Advance registration required.



Family Activity Day:  Apple Cider Press

Saturday, October 29  |  1pm – 3pm 

Learn how to make apple cider.  Do you have the strength to make this still popular drink?  Try it out, then try the fruit (cider!) of your labor.



Veterans Day Ceremony

Friday, November 11  |  11:00am

Join the Navy Club Ship 40 in a ceremony honoring veterans from all branches of service. Open to the public. Light refreshments sponsored by Piasecki Funeral Home.



2nd Friday Lecture – The Civil War Nursing Service of Sister Anthony O’Connell and the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati

Friday, November 11  |  12pm – 1pm  |  Presenter: Judith Metz

Sister Anthony O’Connell (1814-1897), a Sister of Charity, ministered in Cincinnati, Ohio, for sixty years. Typical of thousands of nineteenth century Irish Catholic immigrant women, she entered a religious community when she was barely out of her teens and spent her life serving in Catholic sponsored ministries. She distinguished herself by her intelligence, leadership and uncommon virtue. Her work in the hospitals of Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky as a U.S. Army nurse during the Civil War brought her fame and the undying admiration of the soldiers she treated.



Family Activity Day:  Candle Making

Saturday, November 12  |  1pm – 3pm  |  Location: 2nd Floor Resource Center

When days got shorter and night longer during the Civil War, candles were very important for light and warmth. Stop in to hand make your ow beeswax candle to take home.



Civil War Media Club:  Custer Victorious by Greg J.W. Urwin

Tuesday, November 15  |  6:30pm  |  Location:  Ashling on the Lough (125 56th Street, Kenosha)  |  $5 ($10 non-members)  |  Register Here

While many books have focused on Custer’s Last Stand in 1876, making legend of total defeat, Custer Victorious is the first to examine at length his brilliant Civil War career. Urwin describes the Boy General’s vital contributions to Union victories from Gettysburg to Appomattox. Please read the book prior to Novmeber 15 and come prepared to discuss. Food and beverages can be ordered from Ashling on the Lough’s restaurant menu and are not included in the price of the workshop.



A Christmas Carol – A Reading by Charles Dickens

Friday, December 2  |  7pm  |  $15 Adults  &  $10 Children Ages 15 and Under  |  Register Here

This “one-man production” stars Nate Plummer as Charles Dickens and is based on the American Reading Tour that Dickens performed in the late 1800’s in which he portrayed all of the beloved characters from his holiday classic. Dickens – always a theatrical showman – traveled with his own scenery and lighting equipment throughout his tour. This production – presented over 150 years later – explores how Dickens might present the show using the theater technology of today: LED Lighting, Projections, Sound Effects, Music and more. 

** This production features strobe lights, fog, loud noises and is recommended for audiences 8 & up.



Victorian Christmas

Saturday, December 3  |  10am – 4pm

Join the museum for a family-friendly afternoon of Victorian Era themed holiday music, living history, dancing, craft activities and more including:

Holiday favorites concert by Ed Pierce and the Palmyra Eagle Brass Band
More holiday music performed by the Nash Elementary School Choir


Free admission to all galleries
Civil War soldier and 19th Century civilian living history demos
Crafts and games
An appearance by Civil War Santa
Victorian dance demos and instruction
Displays of miniatures, doll houses, toys, period collectibles and more
Christmas trees and present wish lists from the 1890s, 1930s, 1950s and 1980s



2nd Friday Lecture – First Fallen: The Life of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth, the North’s First Civil War Hero

Friday, December 9  |  12pm – 1pm  |  Presenter: Meg Groeling

Colonel Elmer Ellsworth was the first Union officer killed in the Civil War. His life story is complex and fascinating, but it is also the story of many young men who fought and died for the Union. Elmer, however, was the first and – according to those who remember him – perhaps the best.


Sensory Friendly Days

Sensory Friendly Days give visitors of all ages with complex developmental disabilities, sensory sensitivities, or on the autism spectrum a safe, comfortable environment to explore the museum exhibits during special hours before the museum opens to the general public. Where possible, our lights will be dimmed and the sound turned off. Signage will be posted for those areas in which we are unable to turn off the sound or there may be other sensory triggers. Trained staff will be available to help visitors navigate the museum and offer supportive resources (noise-cancelling headphones, fidgets, weighted blankets, quiet spaces), as well as opportunities for sensory engagement during your exploration of the museum.

Dinosaur Discovery Museum:  Saturday, September 24  |  11am – 12pm

Kenosha Public Museum:  Saturday, October 15  |  9am – 10am

Civil War Museum:  Saturday, November 12  |  9am – 10am

Dinosaur Discovery Museum:  Saturday, December 10  |  11am – 12pm




This monthly program is for individuals living with early to mid-stage memory loss and their care partners. Participants are engaged in lively conversations, storytelling and other multi-sensory activities.

Please register for the free program at [email protected] or 262-653-4432.

2pm – 3:30pm  |  Location: Civil War Museum  |  Free but registration required at [email protected] or 262-653-4141

Friday, September 16: Voices of Freedom From the Underground Railroad – Learn about some of the Freedom Seekers who traveled routes on the Underground Railroad through the Upper Midwest.



Click here to watch past lectures on YouTube