AAA Editor Notes
The History Museum is at 808 W. Washington St. Artifacts, photographs and video presentations tell the history of the St. Joseph River Valley region. On site is the Oliver Mansion, the former home of J.D. Oliver, president of the Oliver Chilled Plow Works. The 38-room historic house contains leaded glass windows, parquet floors, 14 fireplaces and original furnishings, reflecting the Oliver family's era. The 2.5-acre grounds feature formal Italianate and rose gardens as well as a tea house, pergola, fountain and carriage house. Also on the grounds is the Worker’s Home, which shows how a working-class family might have lived in the 1930s.
From late November to late December the mansion is decked out for the Christmas holiday, during which performers portray Oliver family members.
Permanent as well as changing exhibits at the History Museum trace the valley's past from prehistoric times to the industries of the early 1900s. The history of the University of Notre Dame is chronicled in the Raclin Gallery. Kidsfirst Children’s Museum offers a playful setting that includes a Conestoga wagon and a pioneer village with a log cabin, schoolhouse, trading post and livery stable.
Guided tours are available. Time: Allow 2 hours, 30 minutes minimum.