Preserving the Past to Teach the Future. Our mission is to collect, exhibit and educate people about Kenosha County history.

Kenosha History Center Blog

Why become a History Center Volunteer? Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at a museum? Who organizes those files of old photos and letters? How do those tour guides know so much? The answer to these questions can be found by participating in the Volunteer Program at the History Center and Southport Light Station Museum.

Why become a History Center Member? Why should you become a member of Kenosha History Center and the Southport Light Station Museum?. Your membership makes up a vital portion of our operating budget, helping us to preserve our local history. The support we receive from our members makes possible the preservation of the Society's extensive museum and archival collections. The Society uses these in exhibits, school kits, workshops and publications and in our Speaker's Bureau to tell the story of Kenosha County's founding and growth.

The Kenosha County Historical Society collects, preserves and exhibits materials that document Kenosha County between 1830 and the present. Our Archival collections consist of the following: Bound Local Newspapers 1845-1945, Obituaries 1960-Present, Cemetery Lists, Maps & Atlases 1835-1985, City Directories 1858-2000, Family Histories, Iconographic Collection 1840-Present, Manuscripts, City & County Histories, local families, and School Year Books.

The primary mission of the organization is to collect, exhibit, and educate people about Kenosha County history. Priority use of our buildings and grounds will be for programs and activities that support our mission. The History Center will make the following areas available for rental by individuals, groups and organizations when the events do not conflict with our programming: Lighthouse Grounds and Gardens, Lighthouse Keeper's Dwelling, Rambler Legacy Gallery, and Meeting Room Archives. The History Center reserves the right to review and approve, or disapprove, all activities to ensure that they are in agreement with our goals and objectives of the organization and its standards.

Families, friends, individuals or organizations can light the 1866 lighthouse for a special person, occasion, anniversary, birthday or memoriam. Lighting the lighthouse is done as a package; the lighthouse is lit the evening of the requested date from dusk to dawn and an accompanying ad may be placed in the Kenosha News that morning. Packages are $35 with a short amount of text, or $50 for longer text and/or a photograph. The ad will always have a sketch of the lighthouse and says, "THE LIGHT SHINES. Tonight the 1866 Kenosha Southport Lighthouse shines in..." Customers write their own text after shines.