Showing 1-37 of 37 items found in History
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.
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.
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. 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.
Trolley Car #36
Trolley Car #36 is a turn-of-the-century, open-air trolley, the kind your grandparents might have taken to work, except you don't have to go to work. Board the Trolley at the Trolley Station in Riverview Park (on Thursdays, board at Nicholas Conservatory), ride along Madison Street beside the scenic Rock River Recreation Path, stop for a brief visit to the Eclipse Lagoon and Gardens, travel to the Symbol, then turn around and return to the Trolley Station. Trolley Car #36 is wheelchair accessible; however, the trolley is limited to 2 wheelchairs per ride.
Blackhawk War Monument
This monument is located on the site of Kellogg's Grove, an early settlement established in 1827 on a mail route between Peoria and Galena, and now on the National Register of Historic Places. It honors those killed in the Blackhawk War, including in the final Illinois Battle which occurred at this grove in June, 1832. Abraham Lincoln, a member of the Illinois militia, helped bury five of the slain men. The remaining soldiers were originally buried throughout the area at the spots at which they fell. Fifty years after the war, local farmers collected the remains and buried them in one enclosure on top of this hill overlooking the Yellow Creek Valley. The 34-foot high monument was dedicated in 1886.
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.
Downtown park on the banks of the Rock River. Site of several Native American "Effigy Mounds," which have been preserved.
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.
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
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.
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.
Lincoln-Douglas Debate Square
Experience the history of the second of the famous debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. It was at this site on August 27, 1858 that the Freeport Doctrine, an important statement regarding slavery and state's rights, was proclaimed by Douglas. The site is self-interpretative through a series of waysides that tell of the events and ideas which led up to the debates, as well as the life-size statues "Lincoln and Douglas in Debate."
Ethnic Heritage Museum
The museum exhibits reveal the history and early beginnings of the six ethnic groups that settled in southwest Rockford, where the city began. The museum's new addition, The Lockwood Gallery, accommodates school groups, workshops, programs and tour groups. Visitors may also explore the six ethnic galleries to see the ever-changing themed exhibits: African American, Hispanic, Irish, Italian, Lithuanian and Polish.
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.
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.
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
Lena Water Tower
Built in 1896, the 100-foot-tall tower is believed to be one of only three in Illinois of similar construction, and has become the symbol of the Village of Lena.
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.
Jane Addams Burial Site
Jane Addams, born and raised in Cedarville, was an internationally famous humanitarian and social work pioneer who founded Chicago's Hull House and won the Nobel Peace Prize. She is buried in this lovely old hillside cemetery.
Woodbine Glass Museum and Gift Shop
Museum displays 4,000 pieces of hand-blown glass, including contemporary and antique work from many countries. Glass blowing video. Gift shop.
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.
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.
Silver Creek and Stephenson Railroad Antique Steam Train
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 visit the Silvercreek Museum across the street. Open: May thru October on selected holiday and weekends; 1 am - 4 pm. Train departs on the hour.
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.
Cedarville Historical Museum
This museum is located in an 1889 school building and features a permanent exhibit honoring Jane Addams, who was born and raised in Cedarville. Miss Addams was an internationally famous humanitarian and social work pioneer who founded Chicago's Hull House and won the Nobel Peace Prize. Museum exhibits include personal items and memorabilia from her life and the life of her family. There are also changing exhibits on topics of local historical interest and a research center and a research center. Open: May thru October: Saturday and Sunday: 1 pm - 4 pm; or by appointment.
Stockton Heritage Museum
Stockton Heritage Museum is a not-for-profit entity dedicated to the preservation and teaching of Stockton area history. Discover exhibits on the Chicago Great Western Railroad, model trains, history of Kraft Foods, and Stockton-area history exhibits.
Macktown Living History Education Center
Built in 1834 on the Pecatonica River by fur trader Stephen Mack, one of the area's first settlers. See the walnut cradle Mack made for his children, plus Native American artifacts, donated by Mack's descendents. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Macktown is where Stephen Mack, his Native American wife, Hononegah, and the people who inhabited the village conducted their daily business. Remnants of 8,000 years of Native American occupation of this same site can be seen. Stephen Mack’s Home and the Whitman Trading Post still stand, and a reconstruction of the village is being undertaken, including the disassembly of the 2-story shop and schoolroom to be rebuilt at its original site. There are many historic and prehistoric artifacts in the Education Center.
Winslow Historical Society Museum
Discover the history of Winslow. Featuring displays relating to discovery of cream cheese, which had its beginnings in Winslow and later made famous as Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Also see the history of Doc Carver's Wild West Show. Each open date will also feature a brat stand and a farmers market. Open: April thru October: Second Saturday of each month: 10 am 3 pm.
Stephenson County Historical Society Museum
The museum complex consists of five buildings; The Italianate home built by Oscar and Malvina Taylor in 1857. The Taylor home was the social center of Freeport in its time and is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places; The One-Room Schoolhouse from the 1920s; The Industrial Museum featuring products manufactured in Freeport by such companies Henney Motor Company, Stover, W. T. Rawleight and Burgess Battery; The Arcade Toy Museum featuring cast iron toys made in Freeport by Arcade Manufacturing, and stamped-metal toys also made in Freeport by Structo; an authentic Log Cabin which was originally an Irish immigrant homestead. The three plus acres of the museum campus also features an arboretum and butterfly garden. Open: Wednesday thru Sunday: Noon - 4 pm; or by appointment. Adults: $8.00; Children 6 and above: $4.00.
McConnell Area Historical Society & Museum
Items on display in this local town museum include a mill stone, ox yoke, McConnell telephone switchboard, and other items relating to the history of McConnell and Waddams Township. There is a large collection of family histories, obituaries, and genealogical materials. Special activities and exhibits are planned for each of the open dates.
Lena Area Historical Museum
The Lena Historical Museum tells the history of Lena and the surrounding area, with galleries focusing on various historical topics. Highlights include a Civil War regimental flag and an extensive clothing collection. Also on the grounds are a summer kitchen, the first log schoolhouse built in Lena, an Illinois Central Railroad caboose, a general store, a recreated chapel, and a barn filled with antique vehicles and farm tools. Open: Saturday: 1 pm - 4 pm; or by appointment.
Silver Creek Museum
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. Open: May thru October on selected holidays and weekends: 11 am - 4 pm.
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.
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.
Stephen Mack Home & Whitman Trading Post
Built in 1834 by fur trader Stephen Mack, one of the area's first settlers. Located at Macktown Forest Preserve, site of archeological dig, and golf course.
Lincoln-Douglas Debate Square
Experience the history of the second of the famous debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. It was at this site on August 27, 1858 that the Freeport Doctrine, an import statement regarding slavery and state's rights, was proclaimed by Douglas. The site is self-interpretative through a series of waysides that tell of the events and ideas which led up to the debates, and also includes the life-size statues "Lincoln and Douglas in Debate" by artist Lily Tolpo. The park-like setting is complete with benches, lighting and spacious walks.
Veterans Memorial Hall
Dedicated in 1903 in ceremonies that included a speech by Teddy Roosevelt, Memorial Hall is a tribute to Rockford citizens who have served in the Armed Forces. Large wall plaques list names of fallen veterans, and cases in the main lobby, side rooms and the lower level display Armed Services artifacts including memories of the Civil War, the World Wars and Camp Grant. The renovated second floor auditorium is used by cultural groups for shows and presentations and is accessible via the elevator.