Stay away from the new...
Stay away from the new developed section of the city and head towards the older part of the city over by the lake. Meeting so many nice, friendly people and just relaxing. The lake is really beautiful - I had never imagined a lake so huge that you can't see to the other side...
Besides the new Civil War Museum, Kenosha, Wisconsin, has several more wonderful museums to discover.
Kenosha Public Museum
5500 First Avenue, Kenosha, WI 53140
"This museum is dedicated to the preservation of our natural history and to provide educational exhibits that are both informative and interesting". This quote comes from a brochure that the museum distributes. It opened in 1937 [in what was once a post office building] and through the years their collection has grown considerably. They now have more than 65,000 items concerning biological science, geology, anthropology, and decorative arts. It is now located in a new 50,000 sq. ft. lakefront building that overlooks Lake Michigan. It's a part of the HarborPark development project. The architecture of the building symbolizes the "glacier which sliced through this region more than 15,000 years ago."
I was amazed when I walked inside and saw the 60 ft. atrium lobby and a massive wall of field stone. The second floor has special temporary and traveling exhibits as well as a view of Lake Michigan.
free general admission
Sunday & Monday, 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm
Tuesday-Saturday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Dinosaur Discovery Museum
5608 Tenth Avenue
Kenosha, WI 53140
This is a great museum for everyone but especially for children. They use recently excavated specimens which add to our understanding of diosaurs. You are able to see a real working paleontology lab. The Carthage Institute of Paleontology has an on-site lab which focuses on the science of unearthing dinosaurs. They concentrate on the link between dinosaurs and modern-day birds. Kids love the dramatic life-size dinosaur replica casts, bones, and fossils.
They also have a great Museum Gift Shop.
Tuesday-Sunday 12-5 p.m.
Kenosha History Center
220-51st Place, Kenosha
This museum is on Kenosha's harbor and features the Yesteryear Gallery, the Rambler [car] Legacy Gallery with changing Kenosha automobile exhibits. It is adjacent to Southport Light Station. There is a gift shop.
Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sunday 12 noon- 4p.m.
Harbor Park II
BE SURE TO SEE HIDDEN PHOTOS TO GET A FLAVOR OF KENOSHA HARBOR REVEVELOPMENT.
I was flabbergasted when I laid eyes of the new redeveloped industrial space on Kenosha Harbor. Who would be able to tell that this was once home to Simmons Mattress Company, then old American Motors, then Chrysler properties. These heavy industrial areas have now been turned into beautiful public spaces, residential housing, parks, museums, a marina, and a commercial area.
This combination-use of space is bringing in thousands of new visitors each year. Because access is available via car, bus, electric street car, bicycle, and walking, it is successful.
There is a beautiful promenade, a recreation trail, conveniently placed antique-like benches, ample lighting, courtyards, and public restrooms.
People who are drawn to the area are people who love boating, fishing, history, nature, and beautiful architecture. It supplies activities for children, teens, adults, and elders. The electric street car system is a real plus.
Activities such as the July 4th Fireworks on Lake Michigan really draws the crowds. The asphalt recreation trail for bikes and roller bladers links the park to a 250-boat slip marina. This is an area that covers over 70 acres.
The paths are in a three-tier system:
One for fishermen
One for pedestrians
One for bikers and bladers
I really liked the seating wall for fishing that also serves as a wave wall and a separator from pedestrians.
Underground Railroad Connection
I try never to miss an Historical Marker as I travel for fear that I will miss something quite significant. I'm so glad I did not miss the Historical Marker in Kenosha, Wisconsin in the Library Square as we walked toward Lake Michigan.
This Historical Marker concerns the "Underground Railroad" connection to Kenosha. The marker reads:
Deming was born in Vermont in 1789 and
came to the Village of Southport, later
renamed Kenosha, in 1836. Deming was
a Methodist preacher and a staunch
supporter of the anti-slavery movement.
For Methodists, slavery was considered
the worst of social wrongs.
In the 1850s, Kenosha was an active
stop on the "Underground Railroad."
This "railroad" was a covert networkof people who hid southern slaves in
their homes before they were smuggled
onto ships bound for Canada. Deming's
residence, originally located near this
site, is believed to have been a stop on
the "Underground Railroad."
This marker was erected in 2002 by the Wisconsin Historical Society.
Deming allowed slaves to stay in his attic until the ships were ready to leave Kenosha harbor. His family, including his own children,were sworn to secrecy about this fact.
Reuben Deming was a man who believed that educating children was important. He helped to open free schools in Kenosha in 1845. It was the first free school built west of the Allegheny Mountains!
Rueben and his wife are buried in the Green Ridge Cemetery in Kenosha.
I'm always pleased when I am able to view a home or a location connected the the Underground Railroad System.
Simmons Island Park
When we left the Harbor Park area, we drove the car to Simmons Island to get a closer look at the two historic lighthouses, Pierhead Lighthouse , (See Photo #5) affectionately known as "Big Red" and Southport Light Station . In addition, we were pleased to get a close-up look at the other harbor called Kenosha Harbor.
There is also an historic Beach House that is listed on the National Register. It's a Tudor Revival structure at 5001 Simmons Island. The building is made of concrete, brick, slate and wood.
Also, there is a HUGE Public Lake Michigan Beach(See Photo #4) near the park. We noted a paved bike trail and two playgrounds. One of the playgrounds was on the beach!
We were impressed with how far the Simmons Island Lakeshore goes and how rugged it seems with all the huge Rocks. (See Photo #3)
The U.S. Coast Guard is located in this area across from Simmons Island Park. (See Photo #2).
Simmons Island is another of the many interesting and fun places to visit while in Kenosha, Wisconsin.