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“Behind the Scenes Tour”

Milwaukee County Historical Society
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Milwaukee Sightseeing Bus Tour
Ranked #75 of 172 things to do in Milwaukee
Attraction details
Oak Park, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Behind the Scenes Tour”
Reviewed 3 March 2012

This museum is in a beautiful old bank building on the riverwalk. We visited on Feb. 21 and had a "View from the Vaults Behind the Scenes" tour led by the Curator of Collections. It was quite a learning experience for us, and a great value at $5 each for what turned out to be a private one-hour tour. He showed us some fascinating and arcane items, and graciously answered our questions. The first thing we saw was an authentic 19th-century penny-farthing bicycle, which led to the curator giving us a short bio of the man who built it. His passion for bicycles led him to be an early bicycle manufacturer in Milwaukee. He built some bicycles for export to Australia. The curator led us through several aisles, pulling out drawers that had treasures such as Native American artifacts and things that immigrants brought with them from Europe. Then we saw the excellent 2nd floor exhibit tracing the Italian community in Milwaukee, "Faith Family Festa." This museum deserves more attention; there is a lot of potential here.

Visited February 2012
1 Thank offduty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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21 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level 5 Contributor
41 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Undergoing Renovation”
Reviewed 28 February 2010

The Milwaukee County Historical Society is actually undergoing renovation right now. Their website doesn't warn potential visitors either. We went there to check it out only to discover that it is a HARD HAT only site. Hopefully this renovation won't last long but I'd make sure you call before you make a trip there.

1 Thank EmmaJaneMichelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Augusta, Maine
Level 6 Contributor
121 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 332 helpful votes
“Small, but worth a short trip”
Reviewed 10 January 2007

The Milwaukee County Historical Museum is neither one of the largest of best-known museums in Milwaukee, but is well worth a short visit. It is located downtown, close to Pere Marquette Park, the Hyatt Hotel and the river. It is located in an old bank building which was donated by the First Wisconsin Bank (now part of USBank) in 1965. One of the most interesting things to see is the original bank vault with its huge door on the first floor.The museum is presently (January 2007) under heavy renovation, leading to some inconveniences (the public restrooms are closed) and some display areas also being closed.

The museum's focus is Wisconsin in general and Milwaukee County in particular. In early January, the museum featured an extensive display about Billie the Brownie, a popular MIlwaukee Christmastime character from the 1930s to 1950s. The upstairs focuses on Wisconsin folk art. The muesum sells a variety of books on local history. Admission is free with a suggested donation.

2 Thank Badgerjim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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