About Geneva Lake Museum

Geneva Lake Museum History

Founded in 1983 the museum was originally located in the house at 818 Geneva Street.  In the 1990’s the city moved the Waterworks Department, which had been housed in the 1929 Wisconsin Power & Light building, to a new larger facility.  The Geneva Lake Museum leaders persuaded the city to let them use the old building for a museum. In 2004 the museum moved to that building at 255 Mill Street. Taking advantage of the generous space the new building provides, the Museum Board along with  much volunteer help, created Main Street, Lake Geneva.  There was ample room left over for additional display areas, a museum store and meeting rooms.

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Main Street, Lake Geneva 1830 – 1930
Step onto the brick pavement and step back in time. Walking along our “Main Street” you can not only peek into historic stores, homes, a school room and other places, but you can actually go into them for a close up look at furniture, clothing, tools, machines, merchandise, photos and other artifacts of daily living. Take this stroll and you will get a real feel for life and lifestyles in the late 19th and early 20th century in the Geneva Lake area.

Come to Main Street and see

  • Turn of the century architectural styles
  • Log cabin with Potawatami tools & arrowhead collection
  • Blacksmith shop, horseshoeing and ice cutting tools
  • Fire engine house with 1890 Hose Wagon
  • Farm implements and tools
  • Spring house for cooling milk
  • Telephone switchboard
  • 1920’s Dental Work Station
  • General Store
  • 1890’s school room with teacher and students

But wait, there’s more! Go beyond Main Street up and into the North Gallery and learn about

  • The boats and yachts of Geneva Lake
  • Chicago & North Western Railway
  • The private mansions
  • Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hotel Geneva
  • Yerkes Observatory
  • Legendary cartoon character Andy Gump
  • …and, don’t miss the new Woodland People and Crane Windows exhibits

Geneva Lake Museum Mission Statement

Geneva Lake Museum discovers and preserves the rich history that hides throughout Geneva Lake and the surrounding communities. The exhibits within the walls are time capsules that capture every essence of Geneva Lake and its people; people with amazing stories that unravel with every scene and every word led by our knowledgeable guides. These stories wait for people young and old who have the ears eager to listen, the eyes that are ready to be awakened and the open mind waiting to learn.

Geneva Lake Museum Staff

Ed Schwinn


Janet Ewing

Janet Ewing


Helen Brandt


John Gelshenen


Leslie Schwinn


Special Mementos of your visit to the Geneva Lake Museum
Books to remined you of such great history