History of the Hamburger Exhibit
The museum has approximately 6,500 feet of display space on two levels. Equipped with an elevator and wide aisles the facility is handicapped accessible and wheel chair friendly. Interactive exhibits and the utilization of the latest in technology make the museum/learning center a fun, educational experience for the entire family. A 1,500 square foot multi-purpose room is ideal for meetings and special events.
Click here to view the Exhibits
Seymour - A Brief Early History
Settlers began to move into the Seymour area in the late 1850s just prior to the Civil War. Inexpensive land and abundant timber were the main attractions. Most people lived off the land selling timber to local sawmills and raising crops on the newly cleared rich land. Following the end of the War in 1865, numerous Union Army veterans purchased inexpensive land in the vicinity.
By 1867 the population of the Town of Osborn increased to the point where the northern part was organized into the Town of Seymour. Horatio Seymour, the former Governor of New York and land speculator, owned thousands of acres of land in the township. He was active in the Democratic Party and a national political figure running against U. S. Grant for the presidency in 1868. Consequently, when the town was organized it was named after him.
Many of the early settlers were “Yankees” who came from New England. The German influx came later and by the 1870s they outnumbered the English speaking residents especially in the rural areas.
North Main St. 1907
Before the railroad was built through the valley in 1873, the south town line road was a busy place. This settlement called “Lime Rock” included a grist mill, general store, blacksmith shop and church. With the completion of the railroad the business district gradually shifted and the present city of Seymour began to grow. During the 1870s five timber processing mills operated in the city. They produced a variety of wood products ranging from wagons, hubs, and spokes, to barrel staves, shingles, and cheese boxes.
Seymour, with a population of 910, was incorporated as a city in 1879. As the vast stands of white pine were depleted, the lumber camps and related mills began close and move farther north. By the 1880s the transition to an agricultural based economy was well underway. By the turn of the century, Seymour was a prosperous farm based city of 1,100 inhabitants and a major shopping and shipping center in northern Outagamie County.
During the 20th Century, Seymour grew and prospered with the agricultural based economy being nurtured by surrounding dairy farms and abundant crops. Two modern hotels graced Main Street and as many as eight trains a day passed through the city. As highways improved, many area residents looked to Green Bay and the Fox Cities for well paying jobs and more variety in shopping. The family farm became less common and downtown stores had trouble competing with national chains.
Today Seymour, a community of 3,500 people, features excellent city services, an outstanding school system, tree-lined streets and abundant parks. Small businesses have made a comeback including quality dining and a wide variety of shopping. Summers are exciting with the Outagamie County Fair and Burger Fest drawing huge crowds. To learn more about our city and the origin of the hamburger, plan a visit to our museum.