The museum offers a variety of educational programs for all ages throughout the year.



generously funded by the cy miller foundation

Ellwood Explorers is a series of monthly family programs offered from April through December. All programs are free of charge and last approximately one hour. Programs take place rain or shine. Please see below for the 2019 Ellwood Explorers schedule.

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Adult Lecture Series

presented in partnership with the dekalb county history center

partially funded by the mary e. stevens concert and lecture fund

Brown Bag Lunch /Local Lore is a series of lecture programs related to history, collections care, and historic preservation. Once a month, a knowledgeable speaker will present an hour-long program at a site in DeKalb County. All programs are free of charge and open to the public.

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Portions of the museum’s collection of historic photographs have been scanned and uploaded to SmugMug, a digital photo sharing platform. Click the button below to access the collection.

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School field trips are free of charge.

group size

Due to space limitations inside the mansion, the maximum number of students we can accommodate at one time is 45.


We prefer to host field trips in the morning and can begin as early as 9:00 AM. School tours cannot be scheduled for 1:00 PM or 3:00 PM. School tours are available Tuesday through Friday. The museum is closed on Mondays.

Food & Drink

Lunches can be brought and eaten on the grounds. The Hearthside Room in the Visitor Center may be available as a backup in case of inclement weather. Please contact our office for availability.


We appreciate chaperones, but we ask that you limit parent chaperones to 2 adults per visit - not including teachers and staff.

Special Programming

We offer tours specifically designed for elementary-aged students. Please see below for details.

Time Travelers

2nd Grade Program

Students will discover how historical documents and artifacts can lead to answers to historical questions. During a guided tour of the mansion, students will learn how the building itself is a historical artifact that provides a look into the past.

program purpose

Students will be introduced to Isaac Ellwood and the barbed wire industry in DeKalb, learning how barbed wire impacted the lives of the Ellwood family and why Isaac Ellwood was important to the development of DeKalb.

Program Logistics

The program lasts 90 minutes. Please call our office at 815-756-4609 or email Audrey King at king@ellwoodhouse.org for more information or to book this program.

Hard Work


Students see and feel what life was like for those individuals who worked for the Ellwood family around the turn of the twentieth century. While touring the mansion's work areas and staff living quarters, students will try hands-on some of the jobs done by staff members.

program PURPOSE

The program familiarizes students with differences in lifestyle between the Ellwood family and their working class staff. Students will gain an appreciation for the complexity and physicality of working at the Ellwood House. Students will also learn about the immigration experience and how education, language, and practical skills determine the types of jobs available to the Ellwood House staff.


The program lasts 90 minutes. Please call our office at 815-756-4609 or email Audrey King at king@ellwoodhouse.org for more information or to book this program.


Museum family passes, including free admission to a regularly scheduled tour for up to five children and two adults, are available to borrow through the DeKalb Public Library’s Children’s Department. Passes must be used within one week of check-out and are available from March 1 through November 14. Before your visit, click the button below to access additional information and activities.