The Deke Slayton Memorial Space & Bicycle Museum, Inc is a 501(3)(c) nonprofit corporation. The Museum was founded in March 1999 by a core group of Monroe County residents. They wanted to honor Deke Slayton’s memory in his hometown of Sparta, Wisconsin AND commemorate the rich bicycling heritage of the area.
The Museum is presented as a progression of transportation from the first bicycles, to the Wright Brothers Bicycle Shop & the Wright Flyer, then on to aviation in Monroe County, and into outer space with Monroe County’s Mercury 7 astronaut – Donald Kent “Deke” Slayton.
Our Mission Statement makes it clear that the Museum is dedicated to enhancing an understanding and encouraging an interest in and an appreciation of the career of Donald Kent “Deke” Slayton, the History of Bicycling, Wisconsin Astronauts, and Aviation in Monroe County.
On display at the Museum:
- More than 80 antique, vintage & collectible bicycles
- 3.9 billion year old lunar sample from the Apollo 17 Mission
- Deke Slayton’s Mercury 7 astronaut space suit
- Actual Pietenpol AirCamper airplane
- Quarter scale Wright Flyer
- Artifcat collection is over 4,000 relating to Monroe County Aviation, Wisconsin Astronauts, including our own Deke Slayton and Bicycles.
- We look forward to seeing you soon!
What does the Museum do for the Community?
The Museum Provides:
- Historical Preservation - The Artifact collection is over 4,000
- Education - Provides educational programming to more than 3,000 children and adults annually. Groups may select from several educational modules (refer to Educational Modules). The Museum also coordinates and teams up to provide educational programs with the Local History Room & Museum which is located in the same building. It is the desire of both Museum Directors to be used as an extension of the classroom where students can experience and touch history and make it feel real. They also provide tours for the new student teachers and their host teachers.
- Entertainment - Some of the entertainment events include: Family Nights at the Museum. Tea Time at the Museum. Garden Tours around the community. Take a Poem to Lunch and Fundraising Events along with Open Houses. All have an education component snuck in as well.
- Tourist & Commerce – The Museum has hosted tourists from every state, and several countries. Tourist visiting the Museum have an economic impact on our whole community and area- lodging, shopping, eating, biking, visiting other historic sites and attractions. The Tourists are the best advertisers and promoters for the Museum and City of Sparta.
The Organization Structure of the Museum:
The Board of Directors -all Volunteers
Representation from the:
Monroe County Historical Society
Monroe County Board of Supervisors
Sparta City Council
Monroe County Local History Room
A Deke Slayton Family Member
An additonal 4 open positions from community
Volunteer Ex Officio Board Members including members of the Deke Slayton Family.
Fund Raising * Promotions & Publications * Finance * Collections & Exhibits * Memberships * Monroe County Aviators * Education * Gift Shop
Salaried Executive Director
Hourly wage seasonal employee
Monroe County Community Service
Work Crew Members