Programs & Events

Four participants of the 2019 Night At The Museum program returned for an encore performance during the Dolan Collection open house.
Participants are (from left to right): Ryan Mack (Chief Papakeechie), Grayson Lashley (Chief Wawasee), Ivan Waikel (Joseph P. Dolan), and Maddox Ringler (Eli Lilly)

The Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum is proud to bring you exciting programs and events. 

Event Sponsorship: If you or your business would like to sponsor an event for the Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum, contact Jamie Clemons, the Museum’s Director. (574) 457-3599 or email at

Summer Events:

  • Centennial Homes:

    The museum is proud to bring you the 9th annual Centennial Homes program.  What started as a showcase of 100+ year old homes in our community has branched out to include the history of communities and people within the area.  Syracuse resident and native, Ann Vanderford Garceau brings an educational and insiteful look into the homes, communities, and people that have been a part of the town of Syracuse before and since its establishment in 1837.
    If you have a lake area home that is +100 years old and would like to participate, please contact the museum for more information. All participants receive a plaque as a thank you for participating. Free!
    This program is funded by a grant from the Kosciusko County Community Foundation.
    The programs for 2024 begin at 10:30am in the community center gym.
    July 13: The Southeastern Shore of Lake Wawasee, part 1
    August 10: The Southeastern Shore of Lake Wawasee, part 2

    Beginning, Saturday morning, July 13th, from 10:30 to noon at the Syracuse Community Center, the Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum’s summer Centennial Programs will feature the lakeshore from where Turkey Creek enters Wawasee on the Southeast end of the lake, to Buttermilk Point and on to Cottingham Beach.  The first program on this expanse includes: the fascinating Rollert family who owned 26 acres along this lakeshore, and the pioneer Jarrett family of buttermilk fame who sold to Charles Johnson in 1914 developing an amusement park and then Johnson’s Hotel with its 5 buildings.  Also included will be Elmwood Heights.

    The August 10th Centennial program from 10:30 to noon at the Syracuse Community Center will begin on the other side of Johnson’s Hotel with Klingaman’s grocery & rooms – her father came to this area from Nappanee in search of buried treasure in the Game Preserve area; being unsuccessful, he built a store & young Ike Klingaman married her; Ike called square dances at Johnson’s Hotel.  In the 1950s, the Heil family bought the property and built Heil’s Haven. Descendant Ross Heil will share early home movies of the property.  The program will feature some Centennial Homes on Cottingham Beach, including one built around a very early log cabin.  Many well-known condominium complexes now occupy much of this area since first being built in late 1960s.  Plan to enjoy the programs on Saturday mornings, July 13th and August 10th, from 10:30 to noon at the Syracuse Community Center.

  • Youth History Club: June 6-August 8, 2024

    Do your children complain about being bored during the summer? The YHC 2023 was a tremendous hit! We learned about a different topic each week, including beading, basketry, food preservation, and native birds.  The program is designed around grades 1-6, but is open to all age groups, including adults.
    Our guest teachers this year will be Cathy Draeger-Williams, an archaeologist from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources–Department of Historic Preservation & Archaeology and a special guest-by-video striving for a track and field Olympic spot. Hope to see you there! FREE!
    The YHC 2024 schedule is ready!  Please note that if you would like your children to participate in the July 25 “Shoes Through History” you will need to preregister them in order to ensure they have a shoe kit. Each meeting will be held in the Celebration Hall and/or outside to allow more space for children and teachers.
    This program is funded by a grant from the Dekko Foundation.

Archaeology Month

  • September is Indian Archaeology Month throughout the state. The museum makes an effort to bring a FREE, informational, and fun-filled event each year specifically for the state-wide event. This year’s scheduled dates are September 12-14, 2022. We strive to make the Saturday portion of our programming a family event, though children are welcome to all events. The Archaeology Month event is co-sponsored by Chautauqua-Wawasee.
    This program is funded in part by grants from the Dekko Foundation and the Kosciusko County Community Foundation.

    • Programs are:
      • September 12, 6:30-7:30pm: Tools & Weapons of the Indigenous Peoples
      • September 13, 6:30-7:30pm: Archaeology of the French Northern Indiana
      • September 14, 10:00am-Noon: Held on the WACF property (weather permitting).
        • Jim Bickel & Michelle Edington: Bring your own artifact
        • Mike Judson: Five Medals Living History
        • Angie Butler: Metal Detecting in Archaeology
        • Joe Zdziebko: 1754 French Marine
        • Jeff Mesaros: Flintknapping demonstration
        • Jamie Clemons: Atlatl Weapon Demonstration
        • IN-DNR Department of Historic Preservation & Archaeology

Fall/Spring Events

  • Living History
    Join us as the Syracuse Elementary 4th grade students present a “Night At The Museum: A Living History” presentation. The participants present prominent historical figures from our community, including dressing as their characters. 
  • We are working with the Wawasee School Corporation in scheduling our next event.

Educational Outreach Programs for Elementary School Classrooms:

The Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum has a mission of sharing local history with all members of the community – including school children! Our Educational Outreach Program aims to excite students about our town and county history through hands-on activities and interdisciplinary learning. All programs are tied to Indiana State Core Standards for Social Studies and can be tailored to emphasize specific learning objectives or topics at the request of classroom teachers.
Educational Outreach Programs are designed to be held in school classrooms or take place on site at the museum. Museum tours and scavenger hunts for children are also available by request. Most programs are free; donations are appreciated. Some program expansions may require a small fee per student for supply costs.
Education Outreach for 2022-2024 is funded by the Dekko Foundation.

Check out the “Educator” tab and contact the museum to learn more and schedule your visit!