Become a member of the Burlington Historical Society or renew your current
It's easy ...
Click on the membership form link above, print the form and mail with your
check to: Burlington Historical Society, 232 N. Perkins Blvd., Burlington, WI 53105
More about the Burlington Historical Society
The Burlington Historical Society Museum, corner of Jefferson Street & N.
Perkins Boulevard, is open most Sunday afternoons from 1 to 4 p.m. and at other
times by appointment.
Our Pioneer Log Cabin, N. Perkins Boulevard near Washington Street
(in the next block north of the Museum) is open from mid-May through
mid-October on Saturday afternoons from 1 to 4 p.m. and other times by
Our 1840 school house, called Whitman School, located on Beloit Street west
of McHenry Street and near the Burlington Water Department and Branen Little
League Field, is open by appointment.
Important works in collection
-- Historical and genealogical information on, and historical artifacts from,
Burlington and the surrounding area.
-- Extensive photograph and negative collection.
-- Several Al-Vista panoramic cameras - this camera, the world's first panoramic
camera, was invented by Peter Angsten in 1896 and made in
Burlington by the Multiscope & Film Co. from 1897 through 1908.
-- Artifacts from the world famous Burlington Liars Club.
-- Information on the Mormon settlement at Voree established by James J. Strang.
-- Information on the Burlington area connections on the Underground Railroad.
The Society, its history, and important dates, events, and
The Burlington Historical Society was established in February 1928 to collect
and preserve historical records and artifacts pertaining to the Burlington area.
It was the first historical society in Racine County. The Society is a private,
not-for-profit organization run entirely by volunteers.
In 1964 Antoinette Meinhardt Fulton, one of the founders and the first
president of the Society, donated a former church building, erected in 1883, to
the Society for use as a museum. Included in the museum displays of Burlington
area artifacts are a Victorian-era parlor, a turn-of-the-century kitchen, a
collection of Indian artifacts, and several items from the Civil War.
the Society acquired and moved the first school building in Burlington - a brick
structure erected in 1840 - from its original location, where it was scheduled
to be demolished, to a city park. The building was renovated and outfitted as a
19th century school house, and from time to time, classes have been taught there
as they were in the 1840s.
In 1997 and 1998 the Society dismantled, moved,
cleaned, reassembled, and restored a pioneer log cabin that had been donated to
the City in 1960, but which had experienced a period of limited use and
increasing deterioration. The restored cabin, which re-opened on July 4, 1999,
is furnished with mid-19th century artifacts and reproductions and is opened on
weekends from mid-May through mid-October. A tool shed with "swing-out" display doors
was constructed near the cabin to display hand tools and farm artifacts and to
provide information on Burlington's agricultural history and on early settlers
in the area.
The Society erected a monument in 1935 marking the
site of the Voree (Mormon) settlement, and aided in erecting a monument
honoring Dr. Edward G. Dyer, Burlington's first doctor and an ardent
abolitionist. It also participated extensively in a community effort in
the early 1980s to save and restore Burlington's original water tower,
constructed in 1890 but no longer used for its original purpose. The
tower and its surrounding area is now a city park.
In 1993-94 the Society spearheaded a community fund-raising effort to
refurbish a seriously dilapidated, one-of-a-kind statue of a standing Abraham
Lincoln delivering his second inaugural address ("with malice toward none, with
charity for all"). The statue, which had been donated to the City in 1913, was
cleaned, a protective wax coating was added, and the statue was rededicated in
The Society published a history of Burlington in 1935 - Burlington's
centennial year. That history was expanded, updated to 1990, and re-published in
1991 with many photographs and illustrations. In 1996 the Society produced a
video on some of Burlington's historic houses, and it has prepared and published
a "Historic Walking Tour" guide to Burlington. The Society is represented on the
city's Historic Preservation Committee, and it has been active in providing
historical information on, and photographs of, buildings in Burlington's
Downtown Historic District to building owners and prospective owners.