Past Exhibits                                                                                 

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Worthy Brothers and Sisters: A History of Secret Societies in Elkhart County

Learn about the fascinating history of Secret Societies.  View ribbons, regalia, furniture, badges, swords, and ephemera used by organizations like the Order of Patrons of Husbandry (Grange), International Order of Odd Fellows, Loyal Order of Moose and Freemasonry.  Items on loan from several of the area's longstanding lodges are included alongside the Historical Society's collection.

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Heritage Quilt Challenge: Featuring Quilts made by the Maple City Quilt Guild

Museum staff challenged the Maple City Quilt Guild to replicate or reinterpret traditional quilts over a one-year period. Some members chose to replicate family heirloom quilts, while others used the opportunity to replicate some of their favorite early twentieth century designs. The challenge resulted in 17 beautiful quilts for display.

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Beyond Necessity: Folk Art from the Permanent Collection

The folk arts in the exhibit represent useful items made by hand by craftsmen who added creative, artistic design or decoration to patterns that they inherited from earlier folk artists. Most of the items in the exhibit are examples from early in the history of Elkhart County.  A special section includes folk arts made by Elkhart County residents today who continue early traditions. All are from the permanent collection of the county museum.

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Heritage Quilt Challenge: Featuring quilts made by the Material Girls Quilt Guild

The Material Girls Quilt Guild was presented with a challenge by the museum to replicate heirloom quilts. The members could either complete an exact replica, or create a new twist on a traditional pattern.  Sixteen quilts made by members of the club were displayed featuring six bed-sized quilts and 10 smaller designs.

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Mapping Elkhart County

View 30 seldom before seen maps of Elkhart County, including Elkhart's earliest known plat map for 1832. Discover how surveying and map drawing was done by viewing surveying equipment and map drawing tools over the years. Among the highlights will be a collection of map making equipment used by Ambrose Bierce. Visitors are welcome to test a reproduction of a surveyor's compass from the 1830s.

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Campaigning for President

Experience local political history through a timeline of election results, party traditions, campaign slogans, and key figures spanning 1830 to 2008. See artifacts from presidential election campaigns that occurred in Elkhart County, including ribbons, rally flags, photographs, buttons, and bumperstickers. Interpretive features will target adults and children. Visitors can test their presidential knowledge by matching slogans with candidates, and visitors will have an opportunity to take the Presidential Oath of Office. Children can also participate in an “I Spy” activity to find and learn about items on display.