The Museum Department of the City of Platteville was established in 1964 to collect, preserve, and interpret artifacts and documents relating to the history of mining in the Upper Mississippi Lead-Zinc District. In 1966 the museum acquired the historic Rock School built in 1863, and the museum began the development of exhibits and public programs.
In 1972, museum staff located the long-closed Bevans Lead Mine just south of the Museum. A city referendum approved funding the excavation of the mine and, in 1976, the mine and headframe were opened to the public. The Platteville Optimists raised funds to acquire a 1931 mine locomotive which they donated to the museum. The train and passenger cars were rebuilt, and in 1978 aboveground train rides became a part of the mine tour. Today the Mining Museum is the largest museum interpreting the tri-state mining district to residents, students, and travelers.
The Rollo Jamison Museum began in Beetown, Wisconsin as a private collection of Rollo Jamison. Jamison collected artifacts of Southwest Wisconsin history for over 70 years. No longer able to care for his collection due to his age, Jamison offered it to the City. In 1980, Platteville’s City Council accepted the collection. The Rollo Jamison Museum is located in Platteville’s first high school built in 1905. The collections were studied, interpretive exhibits developed, educational programs instituted and the Rollo Jamison Museum opened to the public in 1981. Since then additional artifacts have been donated by area citizens eager to see that local history is preserved and that this story is available to area school children, residents, and visitors.
The two museums are administered by the City of Platteville Museum Department under the direction of the Museum Board and City Council.
-Information taken from http://mining.jamison.museum/about-us
The Grant County Historical Society operates the Mitchell-Rountree Stone Cottage. Built in 1837 by Reverend Samuel Mitchell, father-in-law of John Rountree, the cottage stands today as it did for over 150 years ago, with original furnishings and restored interior and exterior. The Stone Cottage is known as “..an architectural gem like no other in Wisconsin.” The two-foot thick walls of dolomite Galena limestone are examples of some of the most perfect stone construction to be found in the United States. The Cottage is open Saturdays and Sundays from Noon-4pm from Memorial Day to Labor Day.