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Showcasing a treasure trove of information and artifacts of the Lake Geneva area dating back to the 1880s, the Geneva Lake Museum is a must-see for history buffs and for those looking to take a step back in time via the Museum’s authentic main street depicting days gone by.
Housed in the former Wisconsin Power and Light building, a classic red brick edifice constructed in the 1920s, the Museum currently occupies nearly 10,000 feet with plans to expand in the coming years.
The Museum houses two main exhibit areas with the smaller gallery showcasing a variety of displays including artifacts from the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Geneva Hotel. Photos and artifacts from the Singhalese exhibit for the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 are also highlighted as is a one-of-a-kind lipstick drawing on concrete of comic strip favorite Andy Gump by creator Sidney Smith, a long time Lake Geneva resident.
Also on display are artifacts from the Potawatomi Indians; an 1840 one-horse sleigh; an original 1927 Western Electric washing machine, the first of its kind; and 100 titles of the famed Big Little Books by Whitman Publishing Company.
Main Street Lake Geneva depicts the area in the late 1800s with a red brick street dividing distinctive architectural style residences and businesses. Constructed entirely by local volunteers, visitors to Main Street can stroll through artifact laden structures including a creamery, log cabin, blacksmith shop, general store, post office and telephone company. A 19th century firehouse featuring an authentic 1890 and 1947 fire truck completes the gallery.