Special Exhibits

The Soaring Achievements of John C. Houbolt

This state-of-the-art Apollo/Houbolt Exhibit celebrates the historic 1969 moon landing and honors former Joliet resident and key proponent of the lunar orbit rendezvous concept, Dr. John C. Houbolt. The 500 square-foot, two-story exhibit features interactive panels, diagrams and maps, audio-visuals, flat-screen narratives, and period dioramas to tell the exciting story of the race to the moon, the Apollo 11 mission, the moon landing, and Dr. Houbolt's vision.

A step-in Lunar Lander Simulator (pictured at lower left) challenges visitors to begin their daring journey of space exploration. Once inside, visitors see the same controls used by the first lunar explorers during their missions. Using a throttle and a joystick, guests use skill and wit to guide their craft to the approaching lunar surface.

John C Houbolt Joliet Museum Exhibit

Strike Up the Band! 100 Years of the Joliet Township H.S. Bands

Band Beginnings

“They are one of the finest organizations in the world.  They are a credit to themselves, their parents, their teachers and their community which supports them and which they represent.”

- Director Bruce Houseknecht (JTHS 1945-1969)

Strike Up the Band! Joliet Museum ExhibitToday, Joliet is known as the City of Champions, not because of its sports teams or movie stars, but because of its world-class high school band program, the Joliet Township High School Band (JTHSB). An estimated 25,000 students have taken part in band activities over the past 100 years.  This permanent exhibit celebrates the program that has performed for luminaries such as John Phillip Sousa, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Mickey Mouse.

So, why feature the band?

  • JTHSB helped to advance the school band movement by showing officials in other communities the high level of musicianship young people could attain.
  • JTHSB performed at national conventions and competitions, military camps and soldier send-offs, and innumerable parades and local concerts.
  • JTHSB served as a model for programs across the country.

Initially organized on an informal basis, the Joliet Township High School Band went on to play a significant role in the development of instrumental music education in the United States.

This beautiful exhibit features many colorful artifacts, instruments, trophies, awards, and touch screen audio and visual treasures from the early part of the 20th century up until modern day.

Special Temporary Exhibits

Last Call for Alcohol!  The History of Joliet's Breweries
February 2nd through January 13th, 2019


Like many towns, Joliet’s early history was not well documented. Records were lost or destroyed, and what does still exist often provides conflicting information. It was not until The Revenue Act of 1862 that businesses were required by law to be properly licensed for tax purposes, thus making future research more factual. So, cheers to those pioneer breweries whose names we do know, but whose full stories have been lost over the passage of time.  

By 1910, the population of Joliet had again doubled to 85,000.  This growth was reflected in the local breweries as well. In 1871, Joliet’s breweries were producing 8,000 barrels of beer a year.  By 1910, that number had would grow to nearly 75,000 barrels per year.  From 1912 until prohibition, Joliet’s three breweries, Sehring, Porter, and Citizens, maintained steady growth while battling the coming storm called Prohibition.  Come and visit the Museum to learn about the rest of the story...