The History Museum at the Castle, Appleton

4.1
#5 of 19 in Things to do in Appleton
The History Museum at the Castle is a local history museum located in downtown Appleton, Wisconsin across College Avenue from Lawrence University. Owned and operated by the Outagamie County Historical Society (OCHS), the museum has previously operated under the names The Outagamie Museum and The Houdini Historic Center.The building in which the museum is housed was formerly a Masonic temple, built in 1923, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Masonic Temple. Appleton's Waverly Masonic Lodge sold the building to the OCHS in 1985.The museum's collections focus on the history of the Fox River Valley, containing artifacts from the 1840s onward. The History Museum at the Castle also has a large collection of original Harry Houdini performance paraphernalia and personal documents, including a selection of his picks, locks, keys, and handcuffs. The museum also holds a collection of artifacts from the life of Senator Joe McCarthy, who was from the Appleton area. The museum owns 35,000 photographs dating back as far as 1857, including ones of Houdini, McCarthy, Edna Ferber, and Appleton native John Bradley, one of the six men who took part in raising the flag on Iwo Jima.
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The History Museum at the Castle Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
123 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • This is an excellent smaller museum housed in a past Masonic Temple. The building itself is worth a trip just to see, this museum has something for everyone. The most popular exhibit of course would b...  more »
  • Wow, never realized how people were thrown into a mental health facility for the insane with such behaviors and bewildering reason as were used in that time period. They even present articles and exhi...  more »
  • Lovely building. Former Masonic temple. Fun museum. Can easily see it all in 1 to 2 hours. Second floor devoted to Houdini. Some magic revealed. First floor varies as rotating exhibit. Cute quick.  more »
Google
  • What a great community asset! The exhibits are well done and maintained. The history walks are educational and entertaining and the curators are knowledgeable and approachable.
  • Nice place clean and no nice exhibits. Fun afternoon.
  • It was nice for a small museum. The aka Houdini exhibit was fun, but about half of the interactive displays were broken. I would consider coming back if there was a temporary exhibit that intrigued me.
  • For a small local museum this place was pretty cool. The building itself is super awesome!! They had 4 exhibits, and 3 of those were a very good size, and mx of information, artifacts, with a little bit of interactive parts. The toy exhibit was not worth walking into, but the other 3 were super cool! I would visit again, after the changing exhibit flipped. Not a great place for very young children due to the lac of interactive opportunities. Great price, and friendly staff. Stairs between floors, and I am unsure if an elevator is available.
  • It was an amazing experience! The Hudni part was awsome, loved it because you could interact with some of it

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2 days in Appleton BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, relaxing, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Appleton, Burlington & Helena BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Helena, Burlington & Appleton BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Appleton BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 12 days in Appleton BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Appleton BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, teens, popular PREFERENCES: December, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 30 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 2 days in Appleton BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Appleton & Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Appleton BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Appleton BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 2 days in Appleton BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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