American Indian Collections

moccasinsThe past is present here…

 

There are three distinct Indian collections housed at the Museum.  Arthur D. Grutzmacher, a local resident who grew up on a farm in the Town of Vernon and began collecting arrowheads as a boy, willed the original collection to the Mukwonago Library in 1965. The Mukwonago Historical Society and Museum was formed in 1967 to take care of his collection, which includes more than 10,000 prehistoric Indian artifacts.   You can see items from the Grutzmacher collection on display at both at the Museum and the Mukwonago Library.

Charles G. Schoewe, a Waukesha County resident, donated the second collection directly to the Museum in 1970.  His collection includes projectile points, moccasins, baskets, pottery, bowls, pipes, and other tribal material from Wisconsin and other parts of the U.S.  The third collection was donated in 1982 by a descendant of William West Kirkby, a missionary who lived among First Nations people in the subarctic region of Canada in the mid 1800s. The Kirkby collection includes moccasins, embroidered gloves, belts woven from porcupine quills, beadwork, and more.

Whether your interest is prehistoric stone artifacts or exquisite beadwork from the fur trade era and beyond, something is certain to catch your eye in the Indian room!