History of the Museum Building

Wennerholm Livery with horses and buggies

Pictured above: Original building as the Wennerholm Livery

Constructed in 1885 as the Central House Hotel Livery, the building has housed many businesses over the years. Although much is new construction, the original facade of the building remains, with its six windows and rounded entry stable doors facing Range Street, or the current Dixie Highway, just as they did in the 19th Century. Occupants on this site include:

  • 1885 - Central House Hotel Livery
  • 1893 - Wennerholm Brothers Livery
  • 1911 - Wennerholm Brothers Auto Livery and Garage
  • 1944 - Strassenburg "Strassey's" Trucking
  • 1945 - Pachner and Koehler (P&K) Fishing Tackle
  • 1955 - Kimberly's Kaiser-Fraser Auto Dealership
  • 1972 - Plaque Village Ceramics
  • 1977 - Expansion of the A&P into Momence Finer Foods
  • 2006 - America's Country Restaurant
  • 2012 - The Earl D. Schoeffner Memorial Building
  • 2017 - The Earl D. Schoeffner Farm Museum

Rich in Momence history, the building stands as a lasting tribute to those who lived and worked here through the years.

The museum itself is a piece of history, with the façade on Dixie Highway being a part of an original horse livery stable. Visitors will stroll through an authentically-furnished four-room house from the 1940s, and go back in time to visit an 1870’s farmhouse kitchen. The barn area features antique farm tools and equipment, from an original 1880 John Deere prairie plow to Schoeffner’s own 1951 Massey-Harris tractor. Personal items from Schoeffner’s childhood also create a vivid picture of life on the farm in the 1940s. On display are games, toys, art projects, and writing assignments from young Earl’s days in a one-room schoolhouse in Momence.