The Museum of Local History located at 111 S. Adams Ave. a two-story brick building built in 1888, is a tribute to the early history of the Berlin area and the people, businesses and industry that helped shape the community.
A visit to the museum will introduce the visitor to the early Indian tribes that lived here with some of their artifacts and stories. Then you meet Nathan Strong and company as they explore the area for a good river crossing. Another room is dedicated to the many churches of Berlin with photos and artifacts.
Other exhibits on the first floor include the history of Wisconsin’s first telephone exchange located here in Berlin, the story of the Grand Army of the Republic Post #4, the oldest post in the nation; and the history of Carnation Co.’s time in Berlin. Visit the shops of downtown with Peck’s Hardware the birthplace of Hardware Mutual Insurance Co (today known as Sentry Ins.) an early meat market, an early drug store, and cigar-making equipment. Step back in time and stop in the millinery and shoe shop and view items from these past businesses.
On the second floor is a tribute to Wisconsin’s cranberry industry. On display are artifacts and pictures from the “glory days.” The fur and leather industries that were so important to Berlin’s early economy are represented on this level. Berlin’s granite quarries provided employment to residents from the late 1800’s to 1922. An exhibit pays tribute to this industry.
Steamboating, an important means of transportation in the 19th century, had a lively business on the Fox River that flows right through the city. Berlin’s steamboat and railroad history is represented here. Berlin’s hospital was started in 1911. An exhibit celebrates that event and displays items from medicine’s past.