Oshkosh is home to one of the finest local history museums in the Midwest. The Oshkosh Public Museum tells the story of the Lake Winnebago region through excellent exhibits and remarkable artifacts. You’ll discover the people and events that shaped the Oshkosh you see today.
Meet explorers and industrialists. Learn about incredible fires that leveled Oshkosh to the ground. Get a glimpse of the complex relationships that support the lakes and wetlands of the Oshkosh area. You’ll find it all at the Oshkosh Public Museum.
The museum’s extensive collections are housed in the Sawyer family mansion, built in the English Tudor Revival style in 1909. Edgar P. Sawyer was one of the wealthiest men in Oshkosh in his time and hired William Waters, a local architect, to design his palatial home. The house was donated to the City of Oshkosh in 1922 and became the Oshkosh Public Museum in 1924.
The most popular exhibit in the museum is the Apostles Clock. The eight-foot clock was completed in 1895 by local craftsman Mathias Kitz. At the top of each hour, an elaborate mechanical display begins that enchants museum visitors both young and old.
The museum’s logging and lumbering exhibit reveals Oshkosh’s history as one of the country’s most important centers for milling lumber. You’ll see a scale model of the massive Paine Lumber Company and you’ll learn about the rise and fall of the lumber industry.
Another visitor favorite is the “Wetlands & Waterways” exhibit. This comprehensive exhibit showcases not only the natural history of the area’s waterways but also the people who depend on it. You’ll learn about Native Americans, French fur traders, the first European immigrants and today’s residents.
Those are just a few of the things this surprising museum has to offer. Next time you’re in Oshkosh, you need to visit the Oshkosh Public Museum.