Showing 1-52 of 52 items found in History
‘Begins the Trail’ Reagan Statue
A bronze statue of Ronald Reagan, astride the likeness of a palomino horse he rode nearly 60 years ago, sits at the head of the Heritage Crossing Riverfront Plaza located on River Street in downtown Dixon. The statue, created by local artist Don Reed, serves as the centerpiece of Heritage Crossing, an open-air plaza that looks out onto the Rock River.
A.G. Spalding: From Byron to the Big Leagues Exhibit
Located at the Byron Museum of History, this exhibit features Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Albert Spalding, from his youth in Byron to his league pitching career and the founding of the Spalding Sporting Goods Company.
Amboy Depot Museum
Built in 1876, this 19-room museum, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was the division headquarters for Illinois Central Railroad. The museum showcases local artifacts from Amboy and the surrounding area.
Atwood Park War Memorial
The memorials here are a tribute to veterans of the Vietnam War, Korean War, Gulf War and World War II. The war memorials are the only ones built in the U.S. by youth, constructed by Boy Scouts of Troop 312 Rochelle as Eagle Projects.
Downtown park on the banks of the Rock River. Site of several Native American "Effigy Mounds," which have been preserved, and home to Rockford Artists Fair.
The first brick home built in Polo is now a tourist information center and home of the local Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Burpee Museum of Natural History
The award-winning "Jane: Diary of a Dinosaur" exhibit explores the history of the museum's young T. rex skeleton on display that has been called one of the 10 most important dinosaur discoveries of the past 100 years. Visitors can also view the skull of Homer, a juvenile Triceratops, and see Burpee staff members working on his bones in the lab. Other exhibits include a coal forest with simulated thunderstorms, a Native American exhibit with a full-size wigwam, and rotating traveling exhibits in the new Woodward Hall. Don't miss Burpee's annual PaleoFest in March.
Byron Museum Of History & Lucius Read House
The Byron Museum Complex consists of a large Exhibit Hall and the historic Lucius Read House, which was on the Underground Railroad and is a listed site on the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. The Read House features a permanent exhibit entitled, ‘From Shackles to Freedom: The Underground Railroad’ which shines a spotlight on Byron’s participation in the Underground Railroad. We are happy to accommodate group tours outside regular hours. Tours are free and are self-guided or a docent can be arranged. We also have ample meeting space available.
Byron Natural History Museum
This natural history museum displays prairies, woodlands, wetlands and other interesting exhibits illustrating life as it existed hundreds of years ago in Northern Illinois. Be sure to make a stop at the museum gift shop.
Camp Grant Museum and Command Post Restaurant
Memorabilia of Rockford's Camp Grant, U.S. Army induction and training camp during World Wars I and II. The museum, an original building of Camp Grant, houses the Command Post restaurant and contains postcards, pictures, and memorabilia of the camp along with Rockford postcards.
Chaplin Creek Historic Village
Chaplin Creek is an evolving, full-scale historical restoration project depicting a prairie settlement typical of the mid-19th century. Several historically significant buildings and artifacts have been relocated here from the surrounding area. Photo courtesy of Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition
CITY: Franklin Grove
Dillon Home Museum
Built in 1858, this Italian Renaissance-style home displays the history of the Dillon family and Northwestern Steel, as well as fine antiques which belonged to the Dillons.
Dixon Historic Center
History Research and Learning Center housed in President Ronald Reagan's boyhood South Central School. Beautifully restored and proudly affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution.
Erlander Home Museum
The cultural centerpiece of Rockford's Swedish-ancestry community, Erlander Home Museum is located in Rockford's first brick home, built by John and IngaStina Erlander family in 1871. Restored to its original Victorian decor, the twelve-room home features collections that include Rockford-made furniture, a renowned collection of more than 50 dolls created by Charlotte Weibull and many artifacts recalling Swedish immigration to northern Illinois and Rockford's Swedish heritage. Don't miss the Midsommar Dag festival in mid-June, and Lucia Fest in early December.
Erlander Home Museum
The cultural centerpiece of Rockford's Swedish-ancestry community, Erlander Home Museum is located in Rockford's first brick home, built by John and Inga Stina Erlander family in 1871. Restored to its original Victorian decor, the twelve-room home features collections that include Rockford-made furniture, a renowned collection of more than 50 dolls created by Charlotte Weibull and many artifacts recalling Swedish immigration to northern Illinois and Rockford's Swedish heritage. Don't miss the Midsommar festival in mid-June; the First Annual KUBB Tournament in early June; Julmarknad in late November; Lucia in early December; Camp Sweden, a youth camp, in July; Swedish language classes offered in the fall and spring.
Ethnic Heritage Museum
Six nationalities that helped shape the cultural region are represented in this home museum, built in 1850. Located in the heart of the old water power district, the house features a room for each ethnic group it represents: African American, Irish, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, and Hispanic. Call to confirm hours and admission fees.
Fever River Railroad
For model railroad aficionados -- and everyone else who ever enjoyed model trains -- this model railroad is something to see. The Fever River Railroad is a 120X24-foot HO scale model of a hypothetical railroad running from Duluth, Minnesota to St. Louis, Missouri. This fully operational model railroad has detailed scenery, rail yards, factories, and interchanges with many other railroads. The model railroad allows for the operation of multiple trains along railroad right-of-way that portrays typical towns along the Duluth to St. Louis route. The Fever River Railroad is an ongoing project with upgrades to the layout and scenery that provides an exciting model railroad experience. A collection of railroad memorabilia and pictures, many from the surrounding area, are on display throughout the facility. The Stephenson Society of Model Trainmen, who operate the railroad, host an open house twice a year, and visitors are welcome at other times by appointment.
First Christian Church
First Christian Church served as the Reagan family church while they lived in Dixon and helped form Ronald Reagan's Christian-based work ethic, which included a short term as a Sunday School teacher.
Franklin Creek Grist Mill & Interpretive Center
This four-story, reconstructed 1847 grist mill features a four-ton waterwheel and displays of 1800s milling equipment.
CITY: Franklin Grove
Franklin Creek Preservation Area
Franklin Creek Grist Mill, 1893 Twist Road off Old Mill Road, Franklin Grove. Covered wagon tours. Interpretive Center.
CITY: Franklin Grove
Garnhart's Oliver Museum
Explore the largest Oliver Hart-Parr collection in the Midwest, including farm toys, advertising, and collectibles dating back to 1860, and real antique tractors and machinery. Bus and group tours are available, but should be scheduled in advance.
CITY: German Valley
Genealogical Research Library
Research early history, marriages, cemetery and census records, and family books, all pertaining to Ogle County.
German Valley Historical Museum
This newly refurbished museum features displays of memorabilia relating to the history of German Valley and the surrounding area, including items from the Ostfriesian area of Germany. A kitchen area, bedroom, dining room, parlor, military room, and children's playroom are furnished with items from the past, and a display room offers a variety of exhibits. A schoolroom contains items of interest from German Valley's Pleasant Prairie Academy and other area schools. Farm and other outdoor exhibits are featured in an outdoor facility. Special events and displays are featured throughout the year.
CITY: German Valley
An 1857 Italianate limestone house with ceiling murals, parquet floors, pocket doors, stained glass, curved staircase, carriage house and stables. English garden. Special events. Guided tours for groups on Sundays by appointment.
H.I. Lincoln Store
Two-story stone building built in 1860 by Abe Lincoln's cousin. Restored dry goods store houses a consignment shop featuring local artisans. Also national headquarters for the Lincoln Highway Assn.
CITY: Franklin Grove
The 1878 Henry School, located on the Galena Trail, was used as an operating school until 1957. The Polo Historical Society has turned it back into an old country school, which includes displays on the Black Hawk War of 1832.
Jane Addams International Peace Garden
This peace garden honors Rockford College alumna and Nobel laureate Jane Addams. The garden is located at Fisher Chapel on the grounds of Rockford College.
John Deere Green Iron Days
The John Deere Historic Site will be covered in green during the 13th biennial tractor & equipment show. Enjoy the sights & sounds of hundreds of pre-1979 machines. You can also tour the John Deere home, archaeological excavation site of his original blacksmith shop and see a live demonstration of blacksmithing in a replica of his shop.
CITY: Grand Detour
John Deere Historic Site
This historic site is where John Deere (1804-1886) first developed and produced his steel plow, changing the face of farming in the Midwest. Deere erected a simple, one-and-a-half-story clapboard house that resembles a type found in New England. Although the original Deere blacksmith shop was demolished, its archeological excavations and interpreted artifacts are open, sheltered by a pavilion. A reconstructed blacksmith shop located southwest of the original site is furnished with old tools, farm equipment, pioneer utensils, and a working forge. The John Deere Home in Grand Detour was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and placed on the Nation Register of Historic Places in 1966. Copy and descriptions courtesy of AIA Illinois and the 150 GreatPlaces in Illinois www.illinoisgreatplaces.com
John Deere Historic Site
John Deere's home still stands with a working replica of his blacksmith shop and a preserved archeological dig that unearthed Deere's orginal shop.
CITY: Grand Detour
Lincoln Highway Association National Headquarters
Visitors from around the world enjoy researching highway information in this restored 1860 dry goods store built by Abe Lincoln's cousin. The Lincoln Highway Museum and Store is also housed inside.
CITY: Franklin Grove
Lincoln Manahan Museum
Abraham Lincoln, then 47, came to Sterling to speak at a rally for presidential candidate, John C. Fremont. On July 18, 1856, a twist of fate brought Mr. Lincoln to the home of Sheriff William Manahan to spend the night. He slept on a sofa with two chairs placed at its end to accommodate his long legs. In the morning he graciously thanked his host and left Sterling for a speaking engagement in Chicago and the rest is history! The home has been restored and its interior, furnishings, and facade reflect the time when Lincoln visited in the late 1850s.
This memorial commemorates Lincoln's 1832 service in the Black Hawk War, and consists of a bronze figure of Lincoln as a 23-year-old captain. The statue was dedicated in 1930 during the centennial celebration of the town of Dixon.
Lincoln The Debater Statue
This famous statue was designed by Leonard Crunelle of Chicago, and was presented to Freeport at the 71st anniversary of the Lincoln-Douglas Debate on August 27, 1929, by local industrialist W. T. Rawleigh. It is located in Taylor Park.
Step back in time in the Loveland Museum and get a glimpse of Dixon and Lee County history. With exhibits from the life of "Father" John Dixon, the Blackhawk War, Civil War and other conflicts, local industry and attractions, the Truesdell Bridge disaster and President Ronald Reagan.
Midway Village Museum
The museum campus consists of a Victorian village with 26 historical buildings filled with artifacts of the era as well as several beautiful 19th century gardens that depict life in northern Illinois from 1890 to 1910. Interpreters in authentic period dress are available seasonally for guided tours. The main museum building holds large group meeting rooms and exhibit space with a number of permanent exhibits reflecting Rockford's history and culture that include The Girls of Summer: Rockford Peaches of the AAGPBL, Queen City of the Prairies: Rockford's First 20 Years and The Missing Link: Socks, Monkeys and Rockford's Industrial Past. Special events throughout the year include a World War II re-enatment, Sock Monkey and Scarecrow Harvest Festivals, and more. Free recreational path located on property.
New River Model Railroad Museum
See model trains in operation, an HO-scale model of the Chesapeake & Ohio RR circa 1950s West Virginia, and running diesel and steam locomotives on a double main line.
Old River School Historic District
This residential district includes original Freeport and the city's first street, Monterey, and was later known as the "Gold Coast". Points of interest include Freeport's oldest house (built in 1838), the childhood home of famed Hollywood gossip columnist Louella Parsons, a monument honoring Freeport's founder, William "Tutty" Baker, and the Van Buren Bridge, built in 1885 of wrought iron.
Polo Historical Society/Aplington House
Lincoln slept here two nights in 1856, as the guest of his friend Senator Aplington, the founder of the village of Polo. Learn about the history of Polo and view the Ogle County Military Museum, which showcases artifacts from all wars.
Rochelle Railroad Park
View trains from the Union Pacific and BNSF railroads as they rush by the park pavilion and browse the railroad-themed gift shop.
Rockford Art Museum
Part of the Riverfront Museum Park, the Rockford Art Museum features an eclectic collection of 20th century American artworks. Discover pieces by self-taught African American artists, American Impressionist paintings and modern art glass. Changing exhibits feature regional and national artists.
Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home and Visitors Center
Tour the restored home that the Reagan family resided in from 1920-1923, and meander through the Visitor Center and Gift Shop which features books and gifts highlighting the Reagan legacy. The tour includes the four-room Presidential Timeline exhibit and the viewing of a Reagan biographical video.
Silver Creek and Stephenson Railroad and Museum
All aboard as a 36-ton 1912 Heisler steam locomotive pulls three cabooses, including an antique red caboose reported to be the oldest in the state, for a four-mile ride through farmlands. Purchase your ticket at the Silver Creek Depot, a turn-of-the-century replica filled with railroad artifacts, and browse the Freight House Gift Shop and Silvercreek Museum that's filled with early Americana.
Silver Creek and Stephenson Railroad and Silvercreek Museum
All aboard, as a 36-ton, 1912 Heisler steam locomotive pulls three cabooses, including an antique red caboose reported to be the oldest in the state, for a four-mile ride through farmlands. Purchase your ticket at the Silver Creek Depot, a turn-of-the-century replica filled with railroad artifacts, and browse the Freight House Gift Shop and Silvercreek Museum that's filled with early Americana.
This museum, operated by the Stephenson County Antique Engine Club, which also operates the Silver Creek and Stephenson Railroad, offers 20 rooms of early Americana. Exhibts include 500 pieces of crockery, dolls, a recreated schoolroom and kitchen, art exhibits, quilts, tools and agricultural equipment, and many other historical exhibits. Also on the grounds is a display of antique machinery and an exhibit of Henny Motor Company vehicles which were manufactured in Freeport. Plus visitors can view the Cooper-Corliss engine, a giant 130-ton steam engine with a 25 foot flywheel which originally operated a rolling mill in a zinc plant. Special exhibits and events are featured throughout the year.
The Civil War Soldiers Monument, on the southwest corner of the Stephenson County Courthouse, is inscribed with the names of those soldiers from Stephenson County who lost their lives in the Civil War. On the southeast corner is the Stephenson County Vietnam Era Veterans Memorial, which is a bronze statue of a full-sized M-16 with a bayonet stuck in the ground and a helmet on top.
Sterling Mural Society
The town of Sterling features 10 colorful murals in its downtown area that depict the history of the community.
Sterling-Rock Falls Historical Society Museum
This local museum explores the history of Sterling and Rock Falls.
Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens
Tinker Swiss Cottage is a historic house museum located in the heart of Rockford, Illinois. The museum complex contains the historic house museum, barn, and carriage house from the Tinker family. In addition, the property is the home of the founding site of Rockford and contains a Pre-Columbian Native American conical mound. Robert Tinker's inspiration for the Cottage came during his tour of Europe in 1862, where he fell in love with the architecture of Switzerland. In 1865, Robert began building his Swiss Cottage on the limestone bluff overlooking Kent Creek.Robert surrounded his Swiss Cottage with over 27 acres of trees, vines, winding pathways, flowerbeds, and gardens. A three-story Swiss inspired barn was added to the property which housed cows, chickens, and horses.
Trolley Car #36
Take a 45-minute trolley ride along the Rock River, into Rockford's industrial roots and through Sinnissippi Gardens, where you'll visit the greenhouse, lagoon and beautiful planted gardens.
Tutty Baker Monument
This monument honors William "Tutty" Baker, the founder of Freeport. Tutty came to this area, which was home to the Winnebago Indians, in 1835 and built a trading post along the banks of the Pecatonica River, offering travelers free ferry rides.
Wings of Peace and Freedom Park
A Bulgarian immigrant donated the Wings of Peace and Freedom sculpture to the City of Dixon. The artwork, which includes a full-size replica of a section of the Berlin Wall, recognizes President Reagan's efforts to attain worldwide peace and freedom.