Welcome to a new season at
Turner Museum and Carlin House!

Open Saturdays 10-2

Coming Events

Please see our Calendar of Events
for more information.

October 28
Deadline for Gingerbread House
contest entries

December 2
Christmas at the Museum
Dolls and Dollhouse Community Collection on display

December 3 thru April 2018
Museum closed for the season

For archived
newsletters (from 1980 through Winter 2015) that you can read online or print and read at home, click on

 Palmyra Historical Newsletters

Newsletters from Fall 2015 to the present are available to society members. Want to become a member and get the latest news from the Palmyra Historical Society? Contact us using our Help Us tab and we'll tell you how you can join our growing number of supporters, to whom we extend a heartfelt thank you.


Would your group like an exclusive tour of the Carlin House and Turner Museum? Or would you like to use our public space for a special event?
Contact us with your request
(using our Help Us tab).


The Palmyra Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible and always welcome.

Palmyra Historical Society
Main & Third Streets, PO Box 265
Palmyra, WI 53156-0265
(262) 495-4245, 495-2412

Welcome to the Palmyra Historical Society.

You've made a great decision to visit us!
We're celebrating the Palmyra Historical Society
and Carlin House Museum's 40th Year with over 170 years of history!

Nestled along the west edge of the scenic Kettle Moraine Forest in southeastern Wisconsin, Palmyra is a charming community of 1,700 people that is steeped in history and tradition. From its early days, Palmyra would make a mark on Wisconsin history, as when the first Wisconsin railroad was laid through the village in 1852, a posh resort hotel and healing spa was built in 1874, and one of the state's first Old Settlers' Day celebrations was established in 1885.

Many prominent businesses would spring up in Palmyra over the years, starting with a sawmill built in 1847, water bottling companies in the late 1800s, and a prosperous and highly awarded automobile sales business in the early 1900s.

Amid a flourish of development activity in the mid-to-late 1800s, Palmyra gained notoriety for having one of the "great wonders of the world," which drew nation-wide attention from journalists and celebrity figures alike. The wonder still exists, and we'd love to tell you more about it and all the other special things about Palmyra and the surrounding area.

And so we invite you to view more of our website and then stop in and visit us at the Carlin House and Turner Museum, located at 112 N. Third St., Palmyra, Wisconsin (about 50 miles southeast of Madison and 45 miles southwest of Milwaukee), Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm (first weekend in May thru the first weekend of December).

With so much to boast about, it's easy to see why Palmyra is called the "Heartbeat of the Kettle Moraine."

Fortune Scale

On display at the Turner Museum is a fully refurbished 1920s Fortune Scale, donated in November, 2016, by Craig Jones (formerly of Palmyra). In addition to displaying your weight, the scale also provides an answer to one of 200 questions which you select. The scale was popular in department stores, drug stores, barber shops, and other stores across the nation in the 1920s up through the 60s. We hope you'll stop by and see the scale during our 2017 season.


A few notes about Christmas at the Museum
December 3, 2016

It appears that the 13th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Santa Visit was a splendid occasion for all ages. Following the Holiday Parade, which boasted no less than 18 festive and gaily-lit floats plus the jolly honored guest, Santa Claus, attendees made their way to the museum for Christmas tree lighting and caroling (which included the Palmyra United Methodist Church youth choir), a view at community model railroad exhibits, lots of hoiday treats and hot beverages, and a chance at winning one of seven Christmas Candy Sculptures. Winners of the sculptures were: Terry Koehn (#1 Caboose), Dale Mitchell (#2 Christmas Tree), Katie McGlothlen (#3 Bells), Cassie Beaudoin (#4 Bird), Kevin Holcomb (#5 Train), Mary Tiller (#6 Candy Cane Garland), and Leo Manogue (#7 Christmas Tree with Bows). Congratulations to all winners! And thank you to everyone for coming out to enjoy holiday festivities with the Palmyra Historical Society!


Featured Publication

Now on sale at the Turner Museum is Terry Tutton's 31-page, densely illustrated book about the Palmyra Springs Sanitarium and the area's mineral springs. Learn about Palmyra's early beginnings and what unusual events put our small town on the map.


Gift Shop

Looking for a gift for that person who has everything? The Turner Museum gift shop has a unique offering of books, jewelry, ornaments, children's activities, and more with a yesteryear nostalgic flair. Most popular are the recent publications: Muck Farming and Palmyra Springs Sanitarium and Mineral Springs, which offer a comprehensive history of activities in yesteryear Palmyra. Memoires and other publications of local residents are also available for sale along with a wide selection of other books.