Traveling Exhibits and Trunks


Manitowoc County A to Z Exhibit

C is for Circus

During the depths of the Great Depression, Manitowoc residents could see a circus every day at the world’s only training school for clowns.  In 1925, Billy Schultz (1880-1958) hurt his back after a 25-year career as an acrobatic clown.  He went home to Manitowoc and when a Boy Scout troop leader asked him to organize a circus for the scouts, Schultz happily agreed. The kids were so excited that they urged him to start a public class at the local vocational school.  Schultz’s clown school quickly grew into a full-blown circus academy, with classes in everything from trapeze work to face paint.  Boys and girls ages 10 to 27 were eligible, and the school was so popular that Schultz had to limit enrollment to 65 students per year.  Within five years, his graduates were so well-regarded that major circuses regularly visited Manitowoc to recruit talent.

Follow along as you explore our local history with 26 stories of people, places, and events that have made our community. The exhibit comes with a teacher's guide with various activities aimed at Grade 1 through 4. The exhibit is comprised of 7 retractable banner stand panels, measuring 78" by 33", that are easy to put up.

"Manitowoc County A to Z" is made possible by the Shopko Foundation and generous supporters to the Society's Education Fund.

The exhibit can be rented for up to 4 weeks.  A donation of $10 is suggested. Please call MCHS at (920) 684-4445 or email with any questions or to reserve the exhibit.


Traveling Trunks

This exciting series of traveling resource trunks is created for teachers, youth group leaders, museums, libraries, and other Wisconsinites looking for a unique and educational way to share the rich heritage of our state with others.

Each trunk focuses on a specific topic in our local history and contains many high-quality reproductions of historical artifacts, and primary source documents and photographs for your students to have a personal experience with the past. 


pioneer life

The Traveling Trunk contains a lesson plan and 16 items which would have been found in the home or one the farm in the 19th century.

maps and directories

Filled with Manitowoc County Directories, maps, and photos, this trunk is perfect for middle school and high school learning opportunities. 


This is a great way for students to learn historical thinking skills, practice asking questions about the past, study history from multiple-perspectives, and share their knowledge through creative activities. A teacher's manual is included. 

Trunks can be rented for up to 2 weeks.  A donation of $10 is suggested. Please call MCHS at (920) 684-4445 or email programs@manitowoccountyhistory.orgwith any questions or to reserve a trunk.