Partners in History – Ellwood House

One of the benefits of working in a university town is access. Lectures, workshops, museum openings, concerts, and culture can be found most days of the year. It’s enriching just to be around all of the activity. However, one of the greatest rewards is working with the students, both on campus and off.


Over the past three years, museum staff partnered with NIU Museum Studies to create a new exhibit in the Ellwood House’s Patience Ellwood Towle Education and Visitor Center. Three courses were taught with an end goal of giving students meaningful instruction in the classroom, hands-on work in the museum environment, and as a way to expand a very limited museum staff to a powerful force of diverse backgrounds and ideas. The project was funded through the DeKalb County Community Foundation and Jerry and Cheri Brauer, and it features a new look at the Ellwood site, providing museum visitors an orientation gallery to learn about the Ellwoods and the growth of DeKalb.