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RACINE — The Racine Heritage Museum’s Heritage Walking Tour is a wonderful way to spend a summertime Saturday morning.

The guided tour starts at the Racine Heritage Museum, 701 Main St., and takes visitors along city streets, the lakefront and the Root River valley for a rich narrative of Racine’s development into an important Lake Michigan shipping port and manufacturing center.

Tour-goers will learn about local personalities and landmarks, including:

  • The story of Joshua Glover, a fugitive slave whose imprisonment and rescue became a national story in the 1850s.
  • How the John Dillinger gang robbed a Downtown bank of $27,000 (about $480,000 today) and took hostages in November 1933.
  • Dr.  Shoop’s thriving patent medicine business of the 1890s that included Restorative Nerve Tonic, Catarrh Cure and Pain Panacea and Magic Ointment.

Historic churches, significant architecture and Underground Railroad historical locations are among other tour highlights.

Racine Heritage Museum
Dillinger’s wanted poster from the Illinois State Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation – Credit: Racine Heritage Museum

The Heritage Walking Tours are perfect for those new to the area and enjoyable for natives who would like to learn more about their community.

The tour route is about one mile. Participants should wear comfortable shoes, bring a water bottle and be prepared to walk for about 90 minutes. Tour participants must be at least age 12.

The tours are offered at 10:30 a.m. Saturdays from May through September. Tickets are $15 each and must be purchased in advance on the Racine Heritage Museum’s website.


  • Tuesday – Friday…..10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday……………….10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sunday…………………noon to 4 p.m.
  • Mondays………………closed

Visit the Racine Heritage Museum online for more information.

New Wright exhibit at Racine Heritage Museum

Visitors and residents alike will want to see RHM’s newest exhibit “Wright before the ‘Lloyd’” located on the first floor. The exhibit, featuring rarely seen items from a private collection, explores the early career of legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright and his friendship with fellow architect Cecil Corwin.

Corwin was well known in the Racine area having designed several local homes. Corwin’s father was pastor at First Presbyterian Church from 1880-88. Wright, a Wisconsin native, is internationally known for dozens of landmark works, including the SC Johnson headquarters and research tower in Racine.

The “Wright before the ‘Lloyd’” exhibit will be on display into 2024.

Racine Heritage Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; 12 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Closed Mondays. Admission is free; donations are welcomed.

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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...

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