Museums & History

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Deke Slayton Memorial Space and Bike Museum

Deke Slayton was one of America’s first astronauts, part of the Mercury 7 group, that was formed by NASA in 1959. The Deke Slayton Space & Bicycle Museum commemorates the progression of transportation – from bikes to space. The museum has been a proud part of the Sparta, Wisconsin community since 1999.

The Deke Slayton Museum is located on the second floor of a repurposed Masonic Temple. Residing on the first floor is the Monroe County Local History Room. The museum complex is part of Sparta’s unique four corners; on each corner of the intersection of Court St. and Main St. resides a historic building. These four historic buildings include the Museum Complex, Sparta’s Courthouse, Sparta’s Post Office, and the Sparta Free Library.

Come see over 80 bikes on display in addition to dozens of model planes, space artifacts, and memorabilia, even a piece of the moon!

Fort McCoy Commemorative Area

The Commemorative Area consists of World War II-era buildings set aside to help tell Fort McCoy’s unique story. These facilities, representative of the type found in the cantonment area when it was constructed in 1942, help to depict Soldier life during the 1940s.

The History Center features displays of memorabilia that reflects the role the installation held throughout WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Cuban Refugee Resettlement center operations, Operation Desert Storm and more.

The Equipment Park is an outdoor area used to display historical and present-day equipment representative of the types used on the installation. The design of the park allows for display of more than 70 pieces of equipment, ranging from helicopters and howitzers to trucks and trailers.

Monroe County Local History Room & Museum

The Museum within the Monroe County Local History Room offers a number of interactive and multi-generational exhibits pertaining to the history of the county.  Both permanent exhibits and regularly changing displays help bring the past to life and engage visitors by illustrating the past lives and experiences of Monroe County:.

Exhibit highlights include:

  • “Monroe County A to Z,” an award-winning exhibit featuring 27 hands-on elements
  • 3-D photo viewer of 1950s scenes
  • “Monroe County in Miniature,” a 64 square foot HO scale model railroad layout
  • And much, much more

General museum admission is free.  Bus tours and group visits are encouraged, but please arrange them in advance by calling 608-269-8680.  There is a fee for bus tours.