Be inspired, engaged, & even entertained.
Museums will connect you with our Communities

“A visit to a museum is a search for beauty, truth, and meaning in our lives.
Go to museums as often as you can.” – Maira Kalman

Visiting museums is a great way to connect with the history and culture of Northeast Wisconsin.  Museums pay tribute to the rich fishing. maritime, and agricultural industries that proudly define our area as well as play crucial roles in the day to day lives of the people who live here.

Wisconsin-Maritime-Museum

Visiting Wisconsin Maritime Museum

Location: 75 Maritime Dr., Manitowoc, WI 54220
(920) 684-0218, toll free (866) 724-2356

Admission and hours: There is an admission fee.

Please visit the museum’s website for costs and operating hours.

Directions: From the south on I-43, take Exit 149 and turn right onto Rt 151 (Calumet Ave.). Continue to Washington St. Turn left on S. 8th St. (10). Cross the Manitowoc River and turn right on Maritime Drive. Museum will be on the right.

From the north, take HWY 42 to Maritime Dr. in Manitowoc.  Round the curve at N. 5th St. Museum will be on the left.

Wisconsin Maritime Museum

The Midwest’s largest maritime museum!

Enjoy a museum where kids and adults can tour a fully restored World War II submarine, operate a real steam engine, and time-travel back to a 19th century shipbuilding town –all at the region’s only Smithsonian affiliate and the largest maritime museum on the Great Lakes.

Discover a gallery dedicated to Wisconsin-built recreational boats, or time-travel back to a 19th century shipbuilding town.

Have fun with hands-on activities in the Children’s Waterways Room and Little Lakefarer’s Room, and you can operate a working triple-expansion marine steam engine.

Then visit the Museum’s Gift Store, Pier 75, for all your nautical purchases!

Tours are available on a timed basis with limited capacity.

Visitors are strongly encouraged to purchase tickets ahead of time as tours do sell out.

Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the museum at (920) 684 0218.  All major credit cards are accepted.

Masks are encouraged in the museum and required on the submarine tour.

Allow two to three hours to fully explore the Museum and tour USS Cobia.

Rahr-West Art Museum

A Victorian Mansion built in 1891 features a changing exhibitions and a collection of American Art. Named one of USA today’s “10 Great Places to See Art in Smaller Cities,” the museum features a World Class Art Collection.

The Rahr-West Art Museum is a City of Manitowoc facility. Admission is free but donations are gratefully accepted.

Private tours are offered for school groups, bust tours, scout troops, and other organizations seven days a week by appointment.

To schedule a museum tour, please call (920) 686-3090 or email rahrwest@manitowoc.org.

Rahr-West Art Museum

Visiting Rahr-West Art Museum

Location: 610 N 8th Street Manitowoc, WI 54220
(920) 686-3090

Admission and hours: Admission is free. Donations are gratefully accepted.

Please visit the museum’s website for operating hours.

Directions: From the south off I-43: Take Exit 149 to get off  the Interstate and turn right onto 151 (Calumet St.). Veer right onto Washington St. Turn left at S. 8th  St. (Rt 10).  Cross the Manitowoc Rover to N. 8th St. Take N. 8th St. a little over 5 blocks and the museum will be on the left.

From the north on RT 42: Take Rt 42 south (Maritime Dr.) to Cleveland Ave. Take Cleveland Ave to N. 7th St.  Turn left on N. 7th St to Park St.  Go on block and right on N. 8th St. and the museum will be on the left.

Hamilton Wood Type Museum Two Rivers WI

Visiting Hamilton Wood Type Museum

June 2020: The Museum is closed temporarily.

Location: 1816 10th Street Two Rivers WI 54241
Phone Number: (920) 794-6272

Admission and hours: There is an admission fee.

Please visit the museum’s website for costs and operating hours.

Directions: From the south on I-43, take Exit 149 to get off  the Interstate and head  into downtown Manitowoc and then North on Memorial Drive where you will pick up HWY 42 at Waldo Blvd.

Waldo Boulevard is marked by a round-a-bout on the shore of Lake Michigan, connecting to HWY 42 running northeast along the shoreline on Memorial Drive out of the city and toward Two Rivers. Turn left on 1oth St. (before you get to the Lighthouse Inn that will be on the right). Turn left on Madison St. and the museum will be on the right.

From the north: Take HWY 42 into Two Rivers.  Turn right on 22nd St. then left on Washington St. (HWY 42).  Turn right on 1oth St. (right after Lighthouse Inn that will be on the left). Turn left on Madison St. and the museum will be on the right.

Hamilton Wood Type Museum

June 2020: The museum is temporarily closed.  Follow Facebook for reopening updates.

Come and see the museum that is home to over one hundred years of American printing history.

The Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum is the only museum dedicated to the preservation, study, production and printing of wood type.

With 1.5 million pieces of wood type and more than 1,000 styles and sizes of patterns, Hamilton’s collection is one of the premier wood type collections in the world.

In addition to wood type, the Museum is home to an amazing array of advertising cuts from the 1930s through the 1970s, and all of the equipment necessary to make wood type and print with it, as well as equipment used in the production of hot metal type, tools of the craft and rare type specimen catalogs.

Rogers Street Fishing Village

Celebrating over 175 years of fishing heritage Rogers Street Fishing Village and Great Lakes Coast Guard Museum exhibits an 1886 historic lighthouse, shipwreck displays, artifacts, and commercial fishing exhibits.

There are 6 historic buildings that portray exciting stories of the past.

Highlights:

  • Learn about the history of Great Lakes commercial and charter fishing.
  • Celebrate  175+ years of fishing heritage.
  • Relive famous maritime disasters in the Coast Guard exhibit “Shipwrecks”!
  • Board the 1936 wooden fishing tug BUDDY O.
  • See the antique Kahlenberg Marine Oil Engine start up.
  • Climb up to the 1886 Two Rivers’ North Pier Lighthouse for a bird’s eye view of the Fishing Village.
  • See a restored fresnel lens.
Rogers-Fishing-Villiage, Two Rivers WI

Visiting Rogers Street Fishing Village

The Village and Museum are closed for the 2020 season.

Location: 2102 Jackson Street Two Rivers, Wisconsin 54241
Phone: (920) 793-5905

Admission and hours: There is a cost to visit the village.

Visit the village’s website for costs and operating hours.

Directions: From the south on I-43, take Exit 149 to get off  I-43 and head into downtown Manitowoc and then North on Memorial Drive where you will pick up HWY 42 at Waldo Blvd.

Waldo Boulevard is marked by a round-a-bout on the shore of Lake Michigan, connecting to HWY 42 running northeast along the shoreline on Memorial Drive out of the city and toward Two Rivers. Continue on HWY 42 (Memorial Drive, Washington St.), turn right on 22nd St. Go over the bridge and take the first right onto Jackson St. The Fishing Village will be on the right.

From the north: Take HWY 42 into Two Rivers.  Turn left on 22nd St. and before the bridge turn left onto Jackson St. The Fishing Village will be on the right.

Agricultural Heritage & Resources Inc

Visiting Agricultural Heritage Farm

Hours: By appointment only and during scheduled events.

Location: N2251 State Road 42 Kewaunee, WI 54216
Phone: 920-388-0604 | E-mail: ahr@tm.net

Directions: Take HWY 42 to just south of Kewaunee.  The farm is located on the west side of the highway.

Kewaunee Heritage Farm

Located just south of Kewaunee on State HWY  42, Agricultural Heritage & Resources Inc. (AHR) aka Heritage Farm is home to the area’s best Czech & Kolache festival and hosts several events throughout the year including the Great Lakeshore Tractor Rally and Harvest Fest. You can also tour a working blacksmith shop Fridays from 10AM – 2PM (in season) and attend Music on the Farm events throughout the year.

AHR is a not-for-profit educational organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the agriculturally-based heritage of Brown, Door, Kewaunee, and Manitowoc Counties in Northeast Wisconsin.

Heritage Farm is a gift to the community from Mike Sfat, a visionary who understands the significance of preserving these testimonials to the perseverance and ingenuity of our ancestors. The Baylake Bank Heritage Center provides the finest facilities to host activities that bring family and community together.

To book a tour (in advance) contact Sue Sevcik (1-920-471-9289) or Jerry Sinkula (1-920-255-2815).

Kewaunee County Jail Museum

The Kewaunee County Jail Museum is closed for the 2020 season due to the pandemic.

Built in 1876, the building that is now the location of the Kewaunee County Historical Society’s Jail Museum was designed by the renowned architect from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, William Waters. It was home to the sheriff’s family, his office, and the six cells in the jail section.

Today, the building houses the donated collections of the Kewaunee County Historical Society. Two of the rooms in the residence section are restored to the early 1800’s and show a typical parlor and bedroom scene. The others rooms have been converted to house the collections of people from across Kewaunee County including the vast and varied collection of Edward Decker who is considered to be the founder of Kewaunee County.

The jail section has one cell in its original configuration with its straw-filled mattress and thin blanket. The steel walls and cold concrete floor make for an uninviting place to linger. The cagelike doors, with the strap-steel weave, remind one of the dungeons in old movies.

Kewaunee Historical Jail Museum

Visiting the Kewaunee County Jail Museum

The Kewaunee County Jail Museum is closed for the 2020 season due to the pandemic.

Location: 613 Dodge Street Kewaunee, WI 54216

Admission is free but donations are welcome. Visit the museum’s website for operating hours.

Directions: Take HWY 42 to Kewaunee.  Turn south on Vliet St. then right on Dodge St.

Tug Ludington, Kewaunee, Wisconsin

Visiting Tug Ludington

Location: Harbor Park, 213 Harrison St. Kewaunee WI
If no one is on site at the Tug, the check point is at the Kewaunee Marina, located at 123 N. Main Street for the tours.

For tour information and questions, call Kewaunee City Hall at 920-388-5000.

Admission and hours: There is an admission fee.

Visit the City of Kewaunee’s website for costs and operating hours.

Directions: Take HWY 42 to Kewaunee. Turn north on Harrison St. to Harbor Park.

Tug Ludington

Made for WWII, the Tug Ludington was built at Jacobson Shipyard in Oyster Bay, New York. In February, of 1943 the Keel was laid, and the tug was finally finished in October of that same year.

The U.S. Army accepted and christened the tug “Major Wilbur F. Browder” and designated the tug LT-4. The tug’s armament consisted of two 50 caliber machine guns mounted above the chartroom and pilothouse.

The tug participated in the D-Day invasion of Normandy, towing ammunition barges across the English Channel. After Normandy it traveled to Cherbourg, France to assist in harbor operations until being sent to Plymouth, England until the end of the war. After the war, it joined the U.S. Army Transportation Corps and returned to Norfolk, Virginia where it continued service along the eastern seaboard.

In 1947, the Corps of Engineers transferred the tug to Kewaunee, WI and then renamed it the “Tug Ludington”. While in Kewaunee it was used in the construction and maintenance of many harbors on the Great Lakes. The Tug has towed a wide variety of floating equipment. It is estimated that the Tug has hauled over 1 million tons of cargo.

The Tug now rests in Harbor Park in downtown Kewaunee and is open to visitors from June until Labor Day. The Tug is registered in the National and State Register of Historic Places.

Kewaunee Fire Museum

Earliest records reveal that Kewaunee’s first Fire Department was organized on March 20, 1870. The department consisted of two groups called Fire Company No. 1 and Hook and Ladder Company No. 1. Equipment used by the firemen at the time were buckets, axes, shovels and ladders. That same year, the City of Kewaunee purchased a used “Hand Tub” pumping engine from the City of Milwaukee.

The “Hand-Tub” was built as the #266 in 1845 by W.C. Hunneman & Co. of Boston. In 1884 a new hand fire engine arrived from New York. In 1898 both volunteer organizations, the Fire Company and the Hook and Ladder Company of Kewaunee, sent notice to the common council of being dissolved, leaving the city without any organization to man the fire apparatus in the event of fire. The mayor appointed thirty able bodied men to act as a temporary fire department. The city quickly authorized the purchase of a new American Steam Fire Engine from New York, followed by an ordinance establishing and regulating the Kewaunee Fire Department.

Today, the fire department has grown with manpower and equipment to offer fire protection to a 60 square mile area in Kewaunee County, with an average population of approximately 5000 people. The fire protection territory includes the City of Kewaunee, Townships of West Kewaunee, Pierce, Casco and the Kewaunee Power Station. The fire department has eight pieces of motorized fire apparatus available and 38 firefighters who carry radio pagers to be notified in the case of a fire.

The fire department museum is a newly constructed building show piece where historical antique fire apparatus is on display. Fire department history is available for public viewing as wall mounted pictures, antique fire apparatus and equipment are there to see. Taking us back into time is the actual 1845 “Hand-Tub” pumping engine purchased from the City of Milwaukee, the original 1884 hand pumper, a 1908 hand drawn wheeled Hose Cart, and a 1927 American LaFrance pumping engine, still in working condition.

Kewaunee Fire Museum

Visiting The Kewaunee Fire Museum

Hours: Viewable 24/7 from outside.  July 2020:  Tours offered Sunday evenings during the Music in the Park concerts between 5:30 and 7:00 pm.  Social distancing at all times. Those taking the tour are asked to please wear a mask.

Location: The museum is located adjacent to the world’s tallest Grandfather Clock (right on HWY 42) in the city of Kewaunee, Wisconsin 54216,

Tour costs:  No fee

Directions: Take HWY 42 into Kewaunee. The Kewaunee Fire Museum is adjacent to the world’s Tallest Grandfather clock.

Scenic HWY 42 Communities

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Two Rivers

A community defined by water where the scenic East & West Twin Rivers meet at a sandy point extending into Lake Michigan.

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Kewaunee

Experience some of the best fishing on Lake Michigan, take a stroll through the Marquette Historic District, or relax on the beach.

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Algoma

Reel in the big one on Lake Michigan, stroll the sand beach & boardwalk, or relax with a glass of wine after a day of shopping.

Worth the time. Enjoy the view.Take the drive, on 42.