“You Are Here” Grand Opening

We celebrated with The History Museum at the Castle the completion of their new exhibit at a grand opening event on April 26. Their highly anticipated exhibit, You Are Here, covers 3,100 square feet and features four thematic areas demonstrating the relevance and interconnectivity of the Fox River Valley region’s landscape, peoples, and cultures through time.

Bright colors and lighting welcome visitors, piquing their interest about what the new exhibits have to offer. A large graphic of Wisconsin draws visitors into the space and lets them know they’re in the right place. Rounding the corner, visitors are excited to engage with an oversized topographic map, developing an appreciation for the central role of the Fox River in the region’s history.

From the central map, visitors trace a floor graphic to the far wall where they’re immersed in learning about the relationship between the regional environment and innovations in agriculture, industry, and conservation. A long modular wall offers multiple facets for visitors to engage with the storyline—from farming to hydropower and the paper industry to the Fox River cleanup and contemporary recreation. In the center of the space, a portion of the museum’s wire loom is featured to interpret the connection between hydroelectric power and industry.

On the opposite side of the gallery, visitors get the chance to connect with the diverse peoples who have called the Fox River Valley home throughout history, tracing the story of the Native Americans who first lived here, as well as the European immigrants who followed. The touch sensor interactive wall helps visitors develop an appreciation for the different waves of people who have lived in Outagamie County and how they have shaped the communities we recognize today.

At the far end of the gallery, visitors discover how people have built community in Outagamie County throughout history. Focusing on the cultural values that underpinned this process, graphics highlight the community institutions and activities that have made Appleton what it is today. A large visitor reflection activity prompts conversation about these values, while reminding visitors that these people and institutions are a product of their times.

The exhibit will make a generational impact on how people experience and understand the history of the Fox Valley.

Want to visit in person?
The History Museum at the Castle is open daily, except Tuesdays, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. located at 330 E. College Ave., Appleton, WI