Hearthstone Historic House Museum



Monday-Wednesday: Closed

Thursday — Friday: First tour begins at 10:00 am

Saturday: First tour begins at 11:00 am

Sunday: First tour begins at 1:00 pm

Tours are conducted every half hour with the last tour of the day beginning at 3:30.

Evening tours are available during Haunted Hearthstone and Victorian Christmas or by appointment. Hearthstone is closed Easter, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Day.


General Admission

Adults: $6.00

Senior Citizen/AAA Members: $5.00

Children (ages 5-17): $3.00

Children under 5: Free

Haunted Hearthstone and Victorian Christmas Tours

Adults: $7.00

Senior Citizen/AAA Members: $6.00

Children (ages 5-17): $4.00

Children under 5: Free

Flowered horn The sites and sounds of early Edison phonographs will be exhibited at Hearthstone from February 15th to June 29th. Of all Edison 1,093 patents, the phonograph was his favorite invention. Edison’s phonograph did not only produce the songs of the day, they could also be acquired with beautiful flowered horns.
Flowered horn This springtime exhibit will display Edison phonographs with beautiful flowered horns throughout the Victorian rooms of the world’s first home lighted by a central Edison hydroelectric station on September 30th The great American inventor, Thomas Alva Edison began working on the concept of a talking machine on July 18, 1877. By December 6, 1877 he had a working model which recorded and played back sound on a rotating cylinder that was covered with a strip of soft tinfoil. Mr. Edison was amazed that the machine worked the first time he tried it. “I was always afraid of things that worked the first time.” he later commented. With the invention of a device capable of recording and reproducing sound in Edison's laboratory that winter, a new industry was born. The Edison Tinfoil Phonograph as it was called was a wonderful scientific curiosity and drew large crowds when demonstrated by exhibitors before the public. However, as such it was not very practical as a consumer product since the tinfoil recording could only be played back once or twice before wearing out.
At this time, Mr. Edison’s next concern was the development of an incandescent lamp and the generating and distribution equipment needed to operate it. For the next ten years he let his invention languish. Other scientists made significant improvements on Edison’s phonograph. Other companies succeeded in producing a recording process that circumvented Edison’s patents. Realizing that others were about to takeover his invention, Edison embarked on a crash program to improve his invention and overtake the competition.
By the early 1890s, Edison and his engineers had standardized the wax recording cylinder size and developed a series of spring-driven phonographs that would be directed at everyday Americans. For the next 40 years, Edison was a dominant force in the phonograph and music industry.
Flowered hornThe exhibit is brought to Hearthstone by authors and collectors Robin and Joan Rolfs. They give lectures on Edison phonographs throughout the United States and felt that Hearthstone is a perfect setting for an array of Edison’s talking machines with floral horns. .

Victorian Tea with Mrs. Rogers is Sold Out!

tea set
Victorians would have never used this terminology, but we feel we must: you snooze, you lose. All seats have been filled for the May 4, 2014 Victorian tea with Mrs. Rogers. But you will again get your opportunity. Keep watching this space for the announcement of the next tea, or follow us on Facebook.

Read More

Contact Us:

920-730-8204 (phone)

920-730-8266 (fax)


Hearthstone Historic House Museum

625 W. Prospect

Appleton, WI



© 2010 Hearthstone House Museum