As a collaborative institution, Hearthstone is continually looking to partner with like-minded entities. Our current collaborative initiatives include the following.


To have a great idea... have a lot of them.
— Thomas A. Edison



The current monument in Soldier’s Square in Appleton, Wisconsin was dedicated by Albert Priest, the second owner of Hearthstone, in 1911 to the memory of his brother James, who died during the Civil War, and to all those who served in the Army and Navy during that conflict.  Hearthstone intends to extend the meaning of the monument and its surrounding area to honor all United States veterans and active duty and reserve service members, regardless of their branch of service, the conflicts they have fought in, or whether they are living or passed through a new project. The project will also help revitalize the long neglected Soldier’s Square memorial.

A donation of $40 will create a monument to a veteran, active duty, or reserve service member by having an historic paving brick engraved with her or his name, branch of service, and conflict (if applicable). Each engraved brick will be incorporated into the redesigned Soldier’s Square to honor all those who serve our country. Although the name will not be officially be changed, the project will recast Appleton’s “Soldier’s Square” into “Every Soldier’s Square” - a monument to the sacrifices of those who serve our country and their families.

The bricks for the project are historic pavers dating from as early as 1890 that once lined the electric trolley lines that ran through Appleton and then served as Hearthstone’s driveway. Last year, Hearthstone needed to remove many of the bricks to accommodate installation of its new parking lot.   Instead of having a salvage company cart them off to Madison or Milwaukee, where they would lose all of their historical significance and become just another commodity, Hearthstone volunteers removed over 13,000 of the nine pound bricks one-by-one and by hand.  They pried out of the ground and palletized 53 tons of bricks in anticipation of this project.

In addition to helping Hearthstone, donations will raise funds for the John H. Bradley VA clinic in Appleton and Sculpture Valley, a local non-profit that has worked to restore area military memorials.

For additional information and to donate for a brick to honor a service member, please visit

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“STEMIE” Education with the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and Appleton Area School District

Hearthstone has partnered with The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation (Dearborn, MI) to bring new curricula to the Appleton Area School District and other area school districts.  The 10-week set of lessons, which are available for grades K-12 through our program called INVENT WISCONSIN, builds on STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) by adding an “I” for Invention and an “E” for Entrepreneurship to create STEMIE.   Students are taught the scientific method, the invention method, the engineering method, and the entrepreneurship method through interdisciplinary and dynamic activities. The comprehensive curricula, which meet Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, are provided entirely free-of-charge to area schools, after school programs, and at-home students. The curricula include all lessons, associated lesson plans, supporting materials, and activity resources.

The pilot program was conducted at Kaleidoscope Academy Middle School in Appleton during SY 2018-2019.  All 116 sixth graders participated, bringing a marvelous array of new inventions to life. Each of these students received an “Inventor Extraordinaire” award and eight were selected as “Edison-Rogers Award Finalists.” The awards are named for Thomas Edison, the consummate inventor, and Henry Rogers, the consummate entrepreneur and builder of Hearthstone. From these finalists, three exceptional students were awarded an “Edison-Rogers Prize” and invited to the National Invention Convention. Please refer to additional information below.

Hearthstone also funded the “Maker Space” at Kaleidoscope Academy where all students, regardless of economic strata, could access free materials to create their inventions.

In SY 2019-2020, Hearthstone intends to expand the use of the curricula in charter schools in the AASD and to extend the program to at least two additional area school districts. In SY 2020-2021, the program anticipates being in districts across the state.

For more information on INVENT WISCONSIN and STEMIE curricula, please contact our Executive Director George Schroeder ( or see (our dedicated website will be unveiled shortly) and

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Invention Convention with the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

As the state of Wisconsin affiliate of the STEMIE Coalition, our STEMIE efforts culminate in annual Invention Conventions on local and state-wide levels that celebrate the ingenuity of our students.  Local winners receive “Edison-Rogers Prizes” to recognize their success (please refer to additional information above) and go on to the National Invention Convention held annually at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation (Dearborn, MI).

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Revitalized Second Grade Curriculum and Tours with Appleton Area School District

In addition to our STEMIE Initiative, we are revitalizing our the second grade curriculum that our volunteer educators have written. Our second grade curriculum, in various forms, has been a mainstay of AASD coursework for the past 30 years.

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UW-Oshkosh Public History Course Practicum Work

UW-O students are receiving hands-on experience doing actual curation work under the guidance of our curators. In the Fall of 2018, students also participated in a Twitter re-enactment of the events in Appleton leading up to Armistice Day as part of our commemoration of the end of World War I (please see #HearthstoneArmistice).  Hearthstone is also sponsoring internships for a number of UW-O and other area college students who may be interested in careers in public history.


Curation Internships with Lawrence University

Lawrence University students are conducting longer-term curation work under the guidance of our Curation Director. Students are gaining vital, real-world experience doing restoration research and employing the latest techniques to preserve and interpret Hearthstone’s collections. The first area to receive extensive attention is our extensive Victorian textiles and clothing collection.