Il Castello

History Museum at the Castle in Appleton, Wisconsin


The History Museum at the Castle is located in downtown Appleton, Wisconsin. It is a local history museum where inside history will come alive through stories, photographs, and artifacts of people of the Fox Valley Area. I think that it is a great place to experience for people of all ages that love history.

Operated and owned by the Outagamie County Historical Society, the Museum is located across from Lawrence University at 330 East College Road the museum is full of a variety of unique and interesting pieces of Wisconsin history. One person that the museum is probably most famous for featuring is Harry Houdini.

Houdini has claimed that Appleton, Wisconsin was his hometown. So the museum features parts of his original collection of paraphernalia and historic documents relating to Houdini including his locks, keys handcuffs, and picks that he used. You could examine them up close and first hand to see if you could figure out how he was completing his illusions.

This area of the museum was my absolute favorite because I have always been intrigued by Houdini since the first time that I saw him. It was also my favorite because many of the exhibits in this area are hands on to allow you to experience some of Houdini’s world famous tricks, which I had a lot of fun trying out, especially the straight jacket escape.

In the Sports and Spirit section, sport’s fans of all ages will find everything in this area from Little League teams, athlete’s jerseys, pictures, team information, history and much more from the late 1800s through today. In the locker room you are able to try on jerseys and other sporting equipment to experience what it feels like to have it on. Or if you are brave enough, you can try the “What’s that smell?” test and see how many you can get right.

The museum also contains collections and artifacts from Senator Joe McCarthy, who was from the Appleton area, postcards from the past, 35,000 photographs that date as from back as 1857, pictures and information about Edna Ferber, a famous local author who has won the Pulitzer Prize, and many other interesting exhibits.

Mainly the museum focuses on the history of the Fox River Valley area and contains artifacts that date back to 1840. But overall it was interesting to see for all history lovers out there. The price to get in for adults was like $8, but well worth it. The younger kids get in a lot cheaper depending on what age they are. You can decide if you want to get a guided tour, or to just have free roam of the museum.

They museum also offers tours for Elementary School Children. What a fun way to see history and experience things hands on.

The museum is open Monday through Saturdays from 10am-4pm and then on Sundays from 12pm-4pm, except on holidays, then they are closed. After you go through the museum, make sure you check out the gift shop with all of the souvenirs that they have to offer. There is some really neat stuff in here.

Featured Image Credit : Royalbroil

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