The Appleton History Museum, not to be confused with the Historical Museum at the Castle, is a tiny attraction. Set inside an office building, one that played home to several businesses, it’s a barebones community celebrant, with tons of photos, a few artifacts, antique maps and a guide that is a goldmine of historical information.
This trip through Appleton’s past includes past local businesses, from corner grocery stores to factories. There’s also photos of landmark buildings, bridges and transportation instruments of bygone eras. And, as it seems to occur every time I visit such a place, I discovered items and info I had not stumbled upon before.
The museum’s most extensive exhibit showcased a local hat builder. In the hat maker’s exhibit, along with the headpieces, were photos of recognizable Appletonians, a large neon sign and a few tools.
The elderly gentleman who aided me on this tour was cordial, interesting and seemed quite intelligent. It’s always nice to have a story to go along with the artifacts you’re observing. This guy did a fine job, and the tour took about half an hour.
The hours are limited, so check the museum’s website. I believe admission is five dollars, although, after claiming that, they let me slide on by for free. Considering what this place represents, it’s not an outrageous amount of money. And, from what I understand, they’re busy uncovering other elements of Appleton, a Wisconsin City with a long and proud past.