Where Past Meets Present

Notable Women 2019 exhibit
A Specialty Exhibit

Celebrating Two Notable Women in Rock County

Help celebrate two notable women in Rock County at a new, limited-time exhibit! See the costumes and memorabilia of the late Sherry Thurner, well-known as Janesville’s “cemetery expert,” and Janesville’s Cindi Morgan Dyke, the first Miss Janesville to be named Miss Wisconsin and compete in the Miss America Pageant.

Cindi Morgan Dyke

The first Miss Janesville ever to earn the Miss Wisconsin title and compete in the Miss America Pageant, Cindi Morgan Dyke represented this community with grace and humility. A resident of Janesville to this day, Cindi earned the Miss Teenage Janesville title in 1968. See mementos from Cindi’s pageant days, including:

  • Six specially-made gowns worn by Cindi during her time as Miss Wisconsin and in the National Miss America televised competition
  • A football signed by the 1969 Green Bay Packers
  • A key to the city from Atlantic City, NJ, where the 1969 Miss America pageant was televised
  • Tiaras and trophies from Cindi’s time as Miss Janesville and Miss Wisconsin
Cindi Morgan Dyke

“While I was out in Atlantic City (competing in the Miss America pageant) there was a telegram being created here in Janesville. It was the largest telegram ever received in Atlantic City. There were hundreds of names on it … Many names I recognized, but … [many I didn’t]. To have so many people extending their friendship and encouragement to me like that was truly humbling.”
– Cindi Morgan Dyke

Sherry Thurner

Well-known as Janesville’s “cemetery expert,” Sherry Thurner was a devoted community servant and a friend to the Rock County Historical Society.

A woman of many talents, Sherry is perhaps best known locally for her role as guide for the many historical tours she conducted in Janesville’s Oak Hill Cemetery. The tours, which Sherry helped to initiate in 2014, were presented in conjunction with the Rock County Historical Society.

Also reflecting her interest in genealogy, in recent years Sherry accounted for nearly 15,000 entries of Oak Hill Cemetery burial records on the worldwide Find A Grave website.

Sherry passed away in 2019. This display honors her work and includes many of the costumes she wore in her historical interpretations. Sherry’s study materials will also be on display.

Sherry Thurner

“I just love finding and telling people’s stories. I get to feel connected to my community – and I get to continue teaching. The public library helps make that possible.”
– Sherry Thurner


This exhibit is housed inside the Helen Jeffris Wood Museum Center, 426 N. Jackson Street, Janesville. Parking available in Franklin St. lot.


There is no charge to view this exhibit. No tickets are required.

Exhibit Hours

Sept. 2 – Oct. 13, 2019

Mondays & Tuesdays: Closed

Wednesdays & Thursdays: By appointment

Fridays & Saturdays: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Sundays: Noon – 3 p.m.

Oct. 14 – Nov. 10, 2019

Daily: By appointment

Nov. 29 – Dec. 30, 2019

Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays: Closed

Thursdays & Fridays: Noon – 7 p.m.

Thursdays: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Saturdays & Sundays: Noon – 4 p.m.

** Special hours on Mondays (Dec. 23 and 30): Noon to 7 p.m.