Explore thousands of artifacts in our 4-building complex and discover the rich history of Shelby County through our different exhibits, programs, and events.
Hoskins Building The Hoskins Building houses our collection of objects relating to Native American history. Learn about the inhabitants of Shelby County before the arrival of European settlers. The lower level of this building contains many interesting commerce related items including horse-drawn farming equipment, blacksmith shop, and cobbler’s shop.
Prairie Trails Our Prairie Trails building is home to fascinating objects that illustrate Shelby County’s history and the many people, big and small, who have passed through and impacted this area. Our Military Exhibit Hall, located in this building, contains a large collection of military object spanning from a Civil War uniform to a Nazi cup and saucer. While open, this exhibit hall is currently under renovation but completion is expected to occur by 2020.
McIntosh Cabin Our McIntosh Cabin was built in 1857 by John McIntosh. This father of 15 lived with his large family in this home located in Grove Township. Over the years, updates were made as new discoveries and inventions occurred including the addition of electricity 1948. The building was moved to its current location in 1970. Leland Cabin This cabin was built in 1857 by Benjamin Leland and Samuel Lytle, Samuel was married to Benjamin’s daughter Sarah J. Leland. The cabin was constructed to house the two families and contained two rooms and a loft. The cabin was donated to the museum by Mr. and Mrs. Elven Steenbock and moved to its current location in 1972.
We provide a variety of programs and event throughout the year. If you’re interested in exploring specific topics of Shelby County History, please contact us, and we’d be happy to design an individual program or tour for your school group, organization, or club.
Current Exhibit Our Sounds of Shelby County exhibit is currently on display through October 1st. This exhibit explores how residents of Shelby County’s past produced and listened to music. See how our appreciation of music has evolved and changed over decades past. Upcoming Exhibit Voting in Shelby County – As Americans, the right vote is one of our fundamental rights. Or is it? This exhibit will explore the journey many Americans faced to earn this fundamental right. View many artifacts from past Shelby County’s elections including photographs, election buttons, an automatic Voting machine, and more! Interested in learning more? Contact us an we’d be happy to create a detailed itinerary with engaging activities for your group.
Featured Artifact: Tinsley Register This National cash register oversaw many transactions for engagement rings and anniversary gifts throughout this county's history. The Tinsley family served as well-respected jewelers on the north side of the Harlan Square 1876-1977. But things are not always as they seem. Several years after this cash register entered our collection, a visitor who had worked at Tinsley's helped us to open the stuck drawer. Inside we found several checks that had fallen behind waiting to be cashed.