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Adams County History Museum

Posted by on November 1, 2022


Adams County History Museum

In the Adams County Heritage Center, 311 Main Street, Friendship, Wisconsin.

Upper Level

After nearly three years in the making,  our Adams County History Museum is now open.

It has been a long journey.

It started with our elevator and the fund-raising necessary to install it. Over a period of three years, our supporters contributed over $180,000 for the elevator, plus a handicap-accessible bathroom and other remodeling at our Heritage Center.

It continued with the commissioning of the professionally produced Adams County, Of Place and Time video history of our county. It was completed early in 2020, just before the Covid pandemic forced us to close our sites to the public.

We then decided to make lemonade out of lemons and use the down time to set up our museum. After two and a half years of researching, collecting, building and preparing photos, art and artifacts for display, we are ready to open.

Anyone who visits our Heritage Center can reach the Museum the old-fashioned way, up the front stairway or via our new elevator. Donors to the Elevator Fund can take pride in riding in what they helped to purchase and install. Before getting in the elevator, they can look for their names mounted on the Elevator Fund Donors Door. It is our way o saying Thank You.

A museum tour starts with a viewing of the Of Place and Time video, which summarizes our county history in 22 minutes. You can see it on the big screen downstairs.

Upstairs, visitors will find two large galleries containing 28 separate exhibits. They range from the “Glacial Legacy” to the “Ho Chunk Return” to “The Origin of County Place Names” and more in one gallery. The second gallery has exhibits on “Village Life,” “The Railroad,” “Parades and Festivals,” “A-F Speedway,” ‘Leading Women” and more. Another entire room is devoted to the men and women from our county who have served in the military from the Civil War to today.

In addition, there are dozens of extra-large photos and maps mounted on the walls around the building, as well as mini-exhibits both upstairs and down.

We have not counted them all, but we estimate that we have several hundred photos, works of art and artifacts on display.

Adams County may be a “small” place, but it has a big history. We have done our best to exhibit it.

Come share it with us when the center is open Tuesdays and Thursdays afternoons

Some of the exhibits to be seen at the Adams County Museum


Heritage Center’s new elevator




Step inside and press 2 to enter the Adams County History Museum






Split Black Ash basket made by Maude Decorah












E Nuk Ka Ho No Kah, Maude Decorah with her son Joshua Sanford











Built in 1881 on West Street in Friendship, St. Leo's was the first Catholic church in the county. It was succeeded by St. Joseph's in Adams in 1922

Traditional Bohemian Costume

St. Leo’s Catholic Church
in Friendship












Celebration at Bohemian Hall (Initials are for the Czech words)



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