You’ve heard of the Paine Art Center, the Oshkosh Public Museum, the EAA Museum, and the Military Veterans Museum, but have you ever explored the Julaine Farrow Museum in Oshkosh yet? The history of the Winnebago Mental Health Institute (WMHI) is preserved at the Julaine Farrow Museum. The museum is accessible to the general public and is run by a group of volunteers. We were able to stop by and learn more about the history of the WMHI and Julaine Farrows impact at the hospital.
WMHI is a key behavioral health service provider in the state of Wisconsin - and is home to the Julaine Farrow Museum (one of 16 mental health institute specific museums in the nation). The Julaine Farrow Museum is located on the WMHI campus in a house that was once occupied by superintendents and their families. The WMHI was constructed and had its first patients in April 1873. With a small group of workers wanting to share with the community the advances in mental health treatment and the WMHI facility - the museum was first housed in the blacksmith shop in the late 1970s. Julaine Farrow is the nurse to thank for collecting artifacts and objects used over time at WMHI, which are now on display at the museum currently located in the former superintendent’s house. Julaine not only helped to set up the museum, but she wrote the hospital's first history book!
With over 10 rooms on two floors, visitors can view furniture and objects used throughout the years in settings such as a surgery room, a pharmacy, treatment scenarios, and more. We learned more about the WMHI history, including how agriculture and farming played a big role, a petting zoo was once on campus, as well as a dedicated fire team! The museum is open to the public February through October on Thursdays from 1-3:30. This museum is operated by a group of volunteers, but if you would like to make an appointment to view the museum outside of open hours, contact 920-235-4910, ext. 2311.
Learn more: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/wmhi/museum.htm
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