The Greater Cedarburg Foundation (GCF) recently awarded grants totaling $85,000 to support the opening of the new Cedarburg History Museum in an historic building at the corner of Portland and Columbia Roads. The museum, which opened in February, was the result of a joint effort by local philanthropist Mal Hepburn, the Cedarburg Landmarks Preservation Society and the Cedarburg Cultural Center.

The building, the former Hilgen & Schroeder Mill store, was donated by Mal Hepburn in 2015 to the Preservation Society, which started construction to bring the building back to its original condition, as well as create spaces for galleries and a welcome area. Once completed, the Cedarburg Cultural Center began oversight of the operations of the museum, hiring a full-time curator as well as part-time help at the welcome desk. The Cedarburg Chamber of Commerce relocated its offices to the second floor of the building.

Jim Pape, a local preservationist, calls the museum “a link to our past so future generations can see what came before.”

Toy Exhibit at the Cedarburg History MuseumIncluded in the museum is the General Store Gallery, which was relocated from its former location on Spring Street. It also houses an ice cream parlor, a candy store, a gallery for rotating exhibits, an area for the Jepson Cedarburg collection, and a gallery for the Harold Dobberpuhl and Edward Rappold historic photographic collections. In the photo gallery is a large interactive screen where hundreds of pictures, audio interviews and videos are displayed using a touch screen. Two smaller interactive screens are located in other galleries of the museum. The content for the interactive system comes from the Rappold photo collections, the Fireside Chats hosted by Jim Coutts, and audio interviews of Cedarburg’s founding families conducted by Rita Edquist in the 1970s and 1980s

“We are so grateful that the Greater Cedarburg Foundation has helped the Cedarburg History Museum go from vision to reality,” said Lisa Froemming, who chaired the cultural center board during the History Museum project. “Through this support — and by their generosity throughout the community — the GCF celebrates, preserves and furthers the outstanding legacy of Cedarburg.”

The Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 pm. More information can be found on the Cedarburg Cultural Center’s website at

Grants totaling $85,000 were awarded by GCF President Joe Fazio, right, to Don Levy, president of the Landmarks Preservation Society and Stephanie Hayes, director of the Cedarburg Cultural Center, to support the opening of the new Cedarburg History Museum.

Photo courtesy of Ozaukee County News Graphic: Mark Justesen, photographer