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Downers Grove Museum

Downers Grove Museum

The mission of the Downers Grove Museum is to provide educational and leisure opportunities for the community by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting materials that explain and document the history of Downers Grove and its relationship to local, state, regional, national and global history.

Downers Grove was settled in 1832 by Pierce Downer, a Rutland, Virgnia native. Downer moved to Ellisburg, New York where he met and married his wife, Lucy. They were a farming family and eventually had five children. Downer’s son, Stephen, moved to Fort Dearbon in Chicago to help with the construction of a lighthouse. Following the departure of his son, Pierce Downer decided to also move west in the pursuit of a new future. He reached Chicago and eventually traveled down the DuPage River and settled in an area that would become Downers Grove.


Pauline Wandschneider was a long time resident of Downers Grove and was the founder and leader of the Downers Grove Historical Society. She dedicated her life to collecting, preserving, displaying and interpreting the history of Downers Grove. In addition to this, she also aided in finding a permanent home for all of these materials. In 1977, in honor of her contribution, the Park District named the site of the Park District museum Wandschneider Park. Pauline died in 1993, but the park carries on her name and contribution to the Downers Grove community.

This 4-acre park contains the Downers Grove Park District Museum, ... view more »


Downers Grove Museum

Wandschneider Park, 831 Maple Avenue, Downers Grove, IL 60515


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