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Raupp Museum

901 Dunham Lane
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
Office Phone: 847.850.2135
Office Fax: 847.459.3148
Email: museum@bgparks.org

Raupp Museum Receives State Grant

November 18, Governor Pritzker announced that 43 Illinois museums that attract more than 16 million visitors annually will receive $22.8 million through the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program to improve their facilities and develop new exhibits.  The investments are through the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program, funded through Gov. Pritzker's Rebuild Illinois multi-year state capital program.  The Raupp Museum will receive $240,000 for the development of educational gardens at The Nature Classroom that is located at Mike Rylko Community Park, on the northeast end, near the skate park.  The grant will allow the Park District to provide the public with programs and examples of many different ways to interact with nature, including historic plants, native plants, a sensory garden, and adaptive gardening.

Raupp Museum Educational Gardens Concepts Raupp Museum Educational Gardens Concepts

Raupp Museum Educational Gardens Concepts Raupp Museum Educational Gardens Concepts

Museum Educational Programs
Scout Programs 
Buffalo Grove History


Raupp Museum


Monday - Thursday:11 am - 4:30 pm
Friday & Saturday:Closed
Sunday:1 - 4 pm


Current Raupp Museum Program Offerings

Raupp Museum Online Archive


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The Raupp Museum features 3 exciting exhibit galleries:

The Main Gallery tells the story of the history of Buffalo Grove, beginning with Potawatomi life in the 1830s, continuing through early farm settlement, and arriving at the bustling suburb of today. Visitors to this exhibit can look at a Potawatomi garden, sit on the porch of an 1890s house, milk a replica dairy cow and much more.

Main Gallery


The Crossroads Gallery explores life in Buffalo Grove during the early 1900s.  Visitors can listen to a telegraph at the Train Station, try shopping at the General Store, and learn what it was like to grow flowers at the Greenhouse.

General Store

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Museum Educational Programs

Educational Programs

The Raupp Museum is proud to offer a wide range of educational programs created for students ranging in age from preschool to middle school. Whether your class is learning about community life or Native American culture, westward expansion or WWII, we have a hands-on history experience to fit your curriculum, schedule and budget.

What about CCSS? Museum programs are designed to help hit many Common Core benchmarks. Let us know which program you’re interested in, and we’ll send you a chart of which benchmarks it hits.

To schedule a class visit, please contact the museum at 847.850.2135 or museum@bgparks.org.

Cows Are Cool
Grade: Pre K - 3
Discover the life of a dairy farmer in turn-of-the-century Buffalo Grove.  Participants get a hands-on experience by milking the museum’s working replica dairy cow, making butter, and enjoying a history scavenger hunt.

Potawatomi Pathways
Grade: Pre K - 5
This program emphasizes the connection between history and the environment.  Students touch reproduction Potawatomi artifacts while learning about Native American houses, food, and clothing.  Additional options include a memory game, folktale, or trading post activity, depending on student age.

A Student’s Life
Grade: 1 - 2
This presentation uses images and artifacts to show students what life was like 100 years ago. They explore one day in the life of a child - home, school, shopping, and having fun.

Tiny Traders
Grade: 1 - 2
Shop like the farmers did 125 years ago! First, students milke the museum’s replica dairy cow, gather eggs, and make a shopping list.  Next, they sell their milk for money at the creamery.  Finally, they shop in the General Store, using their money and eggs to buy and barter for the things on their shopping list.  This is the perfect way to teach younger students the difference between needs and wants, and the connection between work and money.

Buffalo Grove Then & Now
Grade: 1 - 5
Learn how Buffalo Grove has changed during the past 100 years.  First, students look at a series of artifacts to see how one object changes over time.  Then a slide show contrasts pictures of past Buffalo Grove buildings with buildings that currently stand in those locations.

Grade: 2 - 3
History+Math! How did farmers organize the space in their barn to make the most money? This program combines history and math, as students practice area and perimeter, and choose sides in the battle of cows vs. chickens.

Grade: 3 - 4
How do animals and plants survive and thrive? They adapt. This program will teach students about the different ways that plants and animals adapt to their environments and the changing seasons.

Packing For Pioneer Life
Grade: 3 - 5
Experience westward expansion into Illinois in the 1830s.  Students start by brainstorming what pioneers needed to settle Buffalo Grove.  Next, the museum educator opens a pioneer trunk filled with reproduction artifacts, demonstrating the use of each item and the need it filled.  Finally, students team up for a hands-on wagon packing activity.

What Makes A Good Exhibit?
Grade: 3 - 5
Tired of looking at rainbow font? This program introduces students to the design behind good exhibits and signs. Using hands-on examples, they will discover that the way information is arranged visually is key to helping the reader understand their message.

Grade: 5 - 8
Introduce students to the history, science, and practice of archaeology.  After viewing a presentation about archaeology principles and techniques, students put their knowledge to work by participating in a mock dig and analyzing the artifacts they uncover.  Available in September and October only.

World War II
Grade: 5 - 8
Explore life on the home front with this in-class presentation.  Students learn about rationing, women in the workforce, scrap drives, local military bases, and how children contributed to winning the war.

Civil War
Grade: 5 - 8
Learn about the life of a Civil War soldier.  This in-class presentation makes the Civil War come to life.  Students learn about the experiences of local soldiers, from camp life to battle, as well as the challenges faced by their families on the home front.

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Buffalo Grove History

Buffalo Grove Timeline

1834 - The first settlers from New England arrive in the Buffalo Grove area.

1846 - John Simon Henneman settles in Buffalo Grove and sends for his family in Germany.

1847 - Jacob “Little Jake” Weidner (or “Klein Jake” in German) arrives in Buffalo Grove. Melchoir Raupp finds a good farmstead in Buffalo Grove. The first Catholic Mass is celebrated in the home of John Simon Henneman.

1852 - St. Mary’s Catholic Church is built for $300 and the first Mass is held on September 16.

1853 - Melchoir Raupp buys his first farm, 187 acres, for $1,975.

1855 - St. Mary’s Church burns down on February 19, and it is rebuilt over the course of the next year.   The first St. Mary’s School is a log cabin.

1860s - The General Store is built.

1898 - J.G. Weidner & Sons General Store becomes Weidner Bros.

1899 - The present old St. Mary’s Church is constructed for $28,000.

1900 - Mike Firnbach builds his tavern and hall, “Little Mike’s Place” (later known as the Buffalo House).

1930s - The Welter family operates Buffalo Grove’s first gas station on McHenry Road (Route 83).

1947 - The present St. Mary’s School is built. The old school becomes the rectory.

1957 - Descendants of Melchoir Raupp sell the farm to developer Al Frank and the first subdivision housing is built.

1958 - The Village of Buffalo Grove is incorporated on March 7 with a population of 164 people. William Clohesy is elected the first Village President.

1959 - The Police Department gets its first emergency vehicle. The Wheeling Public Library District is incorporated.

1960 - The Buffalo Grove Recreation Association is organized. Alcott Elementary School opens.

1961 - Buffalo Grove population is 1,492 people. The Volunteer Fire Department/Rescue Squad is established and gets its first ambulance. Jack London Junior High School opens.

1962 - The first Buffalo Grove Days is held. Emmerich Park is dedicated.

1963 - Buffalo Grove population is 3,429 people. The first full-time police officer is hired.

1964 - Ranch Mart Shopping Center (presently The Plaza at Buffalo Grove and Dundee Roads) opens.

1966 - Joyce Kilmer School opens. Buffalo Grove Road is widened to 4 lanes.

1967 - Buffalo Grove population is 6,900 people. Levitt and Sons’ Strathmore subdivision models open at Arlington Heights and Dundee Roads. The first apartment complex, the Buffalo Grove Apartments, is built.

1969 - Beth Judea becomes the first synagogue in this area. The Buffalo Grove Park District is incorporated.

1972 - Buffalo Grove population is 15,653 people.  Temple Chai is started. Buffalo Grove High School opens.

1979 - The Raupp Museum is dedicated.

1983 - The Spoerlein family sells their farm, which becomes Spoerlein Farms townhomes and Spoerlein Commons shopping complex.

1997 - Buffalo Grove population is over 40,000 people.

Buffalo Grove History
The very first pioneers to come to the Buffalo Grove area came from New England around 1834, and stayed for about 5 years. Many of them had received land grants from the government and came to settle on their frontier property. Early land records show a mix of English, French and Scotch names including Stephen Lamb, Napoleon Periolet, Richard Adams, John Foster, Job Tripp, Darius Rice, William Flemming, Samuel Mills, Jonathan Luce, Stephen Olcott and Joseph McDuffee. Captain Daniel Wright and Mr. Amos Bennet have been recognized as the first non-native settlers in Lake County.

In the 1840s many of the first homesteaders and land speculators sold their land to the German immigrants fleeing their homeland. Living conditions in Germany were bad, so the cheap yet fertile land in America was very appealing. Most Buffalo Grove area pioneers settled by people who shared their religion and nationality. German Catholics mainly settled together in the Buffalo Grove area, German Lutherans decided to live in Long Grove, and German Presbyterians moved to Wheeling. After they bought the land, the settlers worked to turn the early farms and wilderness into their own community.

Who were the first settlers in Buffalo Grove? It is hard to tell. Many families sent one person ahead to see if Buffalo Grove was a good place to live, and if they thought it was, the rest of the family would follow. Some say that John Simon Henneman came in 1846 and sent word to family and friends in Germany for them to come to Buffalo Grove.  Jacob Weidner, who was known as Little Jake, was 27 years old when he came to Buffalo Grove to scout out the area for his family. Little Jake liked the land so much that he asked his father, his 5 brothers, his uncle and their families to come live in Buffalo Grove.

Melchoir Raupp was the settler who had the longest journey before ending up in Buffalo Grove. He first came to Buffalo Grove in 1847, but he was not able to buy the farm he wanted. Next, he traveled to Wisconsin to see if he would like it there. He thought the farmland looked good, but he also thought there were not enough people, and it would be too lonely to live there. Melchior then headed west on a wagon train after hearing about the gold in California. The few nuggets that Melchoir found did not make him rich, in fact, he had to walk back to Buffalo Grove. When he got back, he took a job with a farm family until he was able to earn enough money to buy the farm he wanted and start a family.

These first Buffalo Grove families formed a very close community, with a high rate of intermarriage. Religion and education were two of the most important aspects of their new community. At first, both church services and school lessons were held in pioneers’ homes, but soon they realized a separate church and school would be good for the community. The settlers built the first St. Mary’s Church in 1852 and the first St. Mary’s School in 1855. By 1899, downtown Buffalo Grove had grown with the addition of the Firnbach Tavern and the Weidner General Store. Even though most of the pioneer families in Buffalo Grove are gone now, you can still remember their names, because many streets and parks are named after the families who originally settled in that area.

Aerial picture of Buffalo Grove 1961

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