The Geneva History Museum Endowment Fund was created to support the Museum’s mission to preserve and share Geneva’s evolving story while inspiring and engaging the community. This is accomplished by collecting material on Geneva’s history, preserving artifacts, sharing resources with researchers worldwide, and educating and engaging visitors.
In 1943, dedicated citizens formed the Geneva Historical Society to preserve local history and educate the community. Artifacts were cataloged and stored in private residences and exhibited in storefronts. A Museum Committee was formed in 1961 to raise funds for a building. After years of searching existing buildings, they made a deal with the park district and city to build the first Geneva History Museum in Wheeler Park. This building was expanded twice, in 1972 and in 1990.
As newcomers began to outnumber long-time residents, the Historical Society recognized the need for flexible space and a more central location. In 2004, the organization, renamed the Geneva History Center, conducted a successful capital campaign to purchase a two-story building in the heart of Geneva’s historic district. The building was renovated to create two exhibition galleries, storage areas for collections and archives, a research room, a meeting room and offices. The organization has always operated on voluntary donations and does not receive public funds.
In 2013, while participating in the Museum Assessment Program, it was rediscovered that the word Museum best represents the activities and services of the organization. In June 2014, the name became the Geneva History Museum, operated by the Geneva Historical Society.
The Museum celebrated 10 years at its current location in August 2014 with a grand reopening of the redesigned Main Gallery, “Geneva’s Story,” our permanent exhibition. Group Programs and Geneva on Wheels tours by van, trolley and bicycle were also developed to bring the Museum out into the community.
In 2014 the Museum started the Standards of Excellence Program for History Organizations (StEPs) offered by the American Association for State and Local History which provides benchmarks against nationally recognized standards.
In 2017, the Museum was voted one of the “Best Museums in the Suburbs” by The Daily Herald and one of the “Best of the West” area Museums by West Suburban Living Magazine.
For more information on the Geneva History Museum, please visit their website.