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“The arboretum and grounds are the jewels of the Stuhr Museum”

Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Illinois
Level Contributor
163 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
“The arboretum and grounds are the jewels of the Stuhr Museum”
Reviewed 11 October 2013

The main building in the Stuhr Museum complex was designed by Edward Durrell Stone (the same man who designed the Kennedy Center in DC). So, not surprisingly it seems to reflect the vastness of the West and evokes the stark uncertainty of what it must have been like to travel across the plains when prairie grass stretched as far as the eye could see.

While the building itself is an architectural gem, the museum exhibit methods have not been updated since the 1970s. This is not an interactive experience, it is a walk through glass display cases and roped off vignettes.

However, I found the site charming on a Fall morning due to the beautiful arboretum, railroad town, farm, earth lodge and rural church. Adults and children will enjoy walking the streets of a wildwest town, watching a train go by near the depot, visiting the one-room school house and peeking inside the earth lodge & sod house. So, if you stop at Stuhr, do NOT judge the complex by the tired exhibits in the main building. Take the time to wander through the grounds, watch the geese swim in the moat and if you are lucky you might see one of the famed sandhill cranes who also visit the area on their semiannual pilgrimages to and from "the north".

Visited October 2013
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1 Thank HaveSuitcaseWillTrvl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Clifton Park, New York
Level Contributor
393 reviews
106 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 234 helpful votes
“Some really great history and some great stuff.”
Reviewed 2 October 2013

We stopped in early October, after the main attractions are closed. A shame, but not their fault. This place is very large and needs a lot of volunteers to keep it going. We visited the main building and the Fonner exhibit, which were fascinating. The story of the Westward migration and the Great Plains was very new to someone from upstate NY. The plight of the Mormons, and their travels West was also was new information. It was interesting to see the Pawnee Earth Lodge, which was a real handmade dwelling depicting how native Americans lived on the Plains. This place would have been a 5 star attraction if we visited in the summer. So much more to do and see. Go before Labor Day!!

Visited October 2013
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Thank John I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barnsley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“very interesting :)”
Reviewed 23 September 2013

I'm from the uk and found this on trip advisor, when looking for attractions for a spare few days, during my holiday. I visited the museum twice, the 1st visit was harvest festival event, so even though the season had finished, all the town was open, with real people in the attractions telling the history of each working building, the blacksmith, the milliner, the school house to name a few, also homes from early log cabins, to henry fonders birth home, very interesting and informative. lovely attraction.
the 2nd visit as I didn't have time on the 1st visit, I went in the Gus Fonner memorial rotunda, with his personal collection of indian and western memorabilia, the guide, silvia was very informative, and friendly, telling me a bit more history of the town, as well as the displays.

Visited September 2013
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1 Thank nicola w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durand, IL
Level Contributor
72 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Worth the stop”
Reviewed 8 September 2013

This is a large place to visit. We especially enjoyed the Stuhr Building (museum) and Gus Fonner Memorial Rotunda. The museum had many interesting things to see and read about without being overwhelming. The Memorial Rotunda has a wonderful collection of cowboy and indian memorabilia. Well worth the stop and low price of admission.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank free8864
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Paul, Nebraska
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Museum”
Reviewed 5 September 2013

Very interesting. Needed to go earlier in day to see everything. Old tractors & machinery was very interesting.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Jan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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