The History Museum offers programs for all ages throughout the year, including walking tours, pub crawls, and unique social events. The Museum hosts tours for elementary students, adult and youth groups. We also offer in-classroom activities, as well as teacher resources relating to the history of the Fox Valley.
Museum exhibits weave national and local events and periods together to provide both perspective and local relevance. The Museum presents education programming related to our exhibits and workshops for adults, families and students.
Founded in 1872 as a Pioneer Association, the Outagamie County Historical Society steadfastly preserves the history of the Fox Cities in east central Wisconsin. Now affectionately known as the History Museum at the Castle, due to our location in a former Masonic Temple, the organization is a thriving cultural institution with deep ties to the local community.
At the History Museum, we continually seek to inspire people to discover and appreciate the rich history of the Fox Valley through exhibition, education, and collections. In this way, our staff members foster community partnerships that build social cohesion and meet local challenges. Doing so expands expectations for what a history museum, and our community, can be.
About Our Building
The History Museum building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was originally a Masonic temple. The local Masonic Blue Lodge, charted in 1854, raised $100,000 in 1923 to build this facility.
The Museum's architectural style is Norman Revival, characterized by the use of rough hewn stone and other features reminiscent of medieval castles and churches such as vaulted ceilings, heavy beams and leaded windows. Lodge membership began to decline in the late 1960s and by 1985 the Masons chose to sell the building to the Historical Society.
The Temple had been a lively community center. It hosted Masonic lodge meetings and events and was used by local churches and other organizations for dances, school proms and banquets - just as today. The Museum today is used as a venue for community and private events.