Villa and Park
The «Freiämter Strohmuseum» opened to the public in 1976 in the building of a former bank near the Catholic church. Because it was beginning to get on in years and bursting at the seams, a new location was sought with new possibilities for a modern museum.
From private residence to public institution
The villa and the garden were built by August Isler in 1860. A major renovation took place in 1926 when the former front facade was moved to the opposite side of the building, facing today's round flowerbed. The park boasts a variety of commanding trees such as a 200-year-old yew, a giant ginkgo, a stunning magnolia, and a Japanese maple.
In 1997, J. Rudolf Isler, the last owner and resident of the house, expressed his intention to make provisions "to preserve the property at Bünzstrasse 5 including the surroundings, gardens and historic tree population." In addition, it should become public property.
Ten years later, the „Ortsbürger,“ historic citizens of Wohlen, voted on purchasing the villa and 760 m2 of land, and in January 2009 they became the proud owners of the property.
In 2011, the Ortsbürger granted a building loan of CHF 4,573,000. This was passed with the extraordinary result of 152:0 votes! Almost 70% of the investment costs were financed by third-party contributions. The groundbreaking took place on 13 February 2012 and only 15 months later, on 3 May 2013 the re-opening of the Straw Museum at its new location was celebrated. Thus, new life was breathed into the Isler villa.
The Ortsbürger, the historic citizens of Wohlen, promote cultural life in Wohlen by taking an active part in preserving and embellishing the community. Thanks to their engagement, the last intact property that stands for the once blossoming straw industry could be secured for the Wohlen public. Furthermore, they continue to support the museum with a yearly contribution towards operations.