About the 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, including the 1892 Blodgett House (main museum and offices), the 1846 Blodgett House, and the Annex Building, which houses special collections and featured exhibitions. Other amenities include a gazebo, Wildflower Walk perimeter pathway, and a Heritage Vegetable Garden.
- Drinking Fountain
- Guided Tours
- Natural Area
- Picnic Tables
- Wildflower Walk Gravel Pathway
- Heritage Vegetable Garden
The Downers Grove Museum is always looking for enthusiastic individuals to join our team. Opportunities are available in the following areas:
- Collections: Go behind the scenes and work directly with the objects
- Exhibits: Help staff curate and install an exhibit
- Programs: Assist in DGM programs and summer camps
- Tours: Brush up on local history and give tours of the DGM Campus
- Research: Help answer research inquiries and conduct exhibit research
If you're interested in becoming part of the awesome Museum team, contact us at 630.963.1309.