DuPage County Historical Museum

The DuPage County Historical Museum is located at 102 East Wesley Street in Wheaton. The building was erected in 1891 as the Adams Memorial Library and served the residents of Wheaton as a combined library and cultural center until 1965. The facility was a gift to Wheaton from John Quincy Adams, a native of Massachusetts and cousin of the Adams presidents, in memory of his wife. Mr. Adams lived in Wheaton from 1876 until his death in 1899.

In 1965, as a generous expression of their interest in preserving our heritage, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin F. Deicke purchased the building and presented it as a gift to the DuPage County Historical Society and the people of DuPage County for the establishment of a county museum. Subsequently, the property was deeded to the County of DuPage for operational purposes, and the Society funded the transition from library to museum. It is the only facility responsible for presenting the whole of the County’s history, and state and national awards have recognized its efforts. The Romanesque limestone structure with its turrets, steep pitched roof, arches, bay windows and meticulous coordination of decorative detail typifies the early work of Maine-born, Chicago architect, Charles Sumner Frost. Carved oak woodwork beams, balustrade and paneling enhance the essentially unaltered library floor. The second floor auditorium, originally planned to seat 500, has a vaulted ceiling and arched stage which are illuminated by stained glass windows. A handsome spiral staircase descends through the tower to the former service level.

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