Showing 1-24 of 46 items found in History
Historic Woodstock Square
A Victorian town square, complete with bandstand and gazebo, is the setting for many unique shops, eateries, antiques stores and art galleries. The square is home to many events, and was the film site for the hit movie Groundhog Day.
Donley's Wild West Town
See a Wild West show and museum of Western memorabilia, then dine at Donley's Old West Steakhouse.
Valley View Model Railroad
Experience the glory days of mainline railroading as you watch model trains in operation on a detailed scenic railroad.
Donley's Wild West Town
Wild west displays and genuine cowboy memorabilia including train rides, horse rides, panning for gold, cowboy shows and more. Extensive antique phonograph and music box collection on display. Seasonally open April - October.
McHenry County Historical Society Museum
Preserved buildings include an 1847 log cabin, an 1885 town hall, an 1895 one-room school house, and a 20th Century modern tourist cabin.
Illinois Railway Museum
The award winning Illinois Railway Museum (IRM), open from April through October, celebrates railway preservation with electric cars, steam trains, diesel trains, trolley buses and motor buses operating throughout the grounds. This museum was the film location for all of the scenes on the train and at the railroad depot in A League of Their Own.
Joiner History Room
The Joiner History Room is a cooperative effort of the DeKalb County Board, the County Judiciary, the County Clerk’s Office, the County Facilities Management Office, Sycamore Library and DeKalb County Citizens concerned with safeguarding their historical documents. The Joiner History Room is an archives that has many items of museum quality. Our historical materials date back to the hand written minutes of the first session of the County Commissioners in 1837. As there has never been a fire to destroy any of the county valuable historical files, they have been meticulously preserved to meet the needs of today’s researchers. The collection includes Civil War papers, newspaper files, old photographs and numerous boxes of manuscript materials.
Sycamore History Museum
The Sycamore History Museum strives to collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit significant materials relating to Sycamore and the surrounding area, to provide related educational services for the public knowledge of Sycamore.
North Grove School
North Grove School, 3 miles northwest of Sycamore, was built in 1878 by the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church as a parochial and Sunday school. Pupils of diverse ethnic backgrounds learned their lessons in Swedish, even several years after the DeKalb County public school system purchased the school in 1880. The Sycamore unit district acquired the school in 1949, and it continued as a school until 1952, when it was closed. The North Grove community continued to lovingly maintain the building and used it as a neighborhood social center for many years. Classroom in School Upon the closing of North Grove School in 1952, all furnishings were removed. However many furnishings from old Sycamore schools were still in storage in the 1960s when the Natural Resource Center in Genoa began using the site for special education programs. The school was refurbished and re-supplied using these furnishings, with additional period pieces being donated by private citizens. In 1970 North Grove School at 26745 Brickville Road (Map) was listed in the Illinois Directory of Historical Buildings. On May 24, 2012 the United States Department of the Interior placed the school and its outbuildings on the National Register of Historical Places. Today the school is still owned by the Sycamore School District but is leased to and lovingly cared for by the North Grove School Association, whose goal is to preserve this educational icon for future generations.
Sycamore Public Library
Although the Sycamore Public Library did not open its doors until 1892, we can trace its roots back to 1875 when a Chautauqua Scientific Circle was formed in Sycamore. Once members had completed the course, they established the Athena Literary Society in order to form a public library. Over the course of three years they raised $700 and asked city council to appropriate money for books and that the mayor appoint a board of directors. On July 12, 1892, the Sycamore Public Library opened in Hoyt and Rogers’ Store, second floor, in the backroom. This building now is occupied by Marlyn’s Majorettes. The City Council appropriated $800 to purchase books. The Athena Literary Society assisted with funding the library for the first two years. Miss Flora Jeannette Dow, a member of Athena, was the first librarian. In 1902, Andrew Carnegie offered the City of Sycamore $10,000 for the construction of a library, provided an acceptable site could be secured and that the Sycamore City Council would annually appropriate at least 10% of his donation for maintaining the building. Mr. Frederick B. Townsend donated the property where the library stands today. Miss Dow received the honor of placing the first trowel of mortar on the cornerstone on May 24, 1905. Over the next 90 years, several renovation and remodeling projects took place and then on October 14, 1995, a new era of growth began with the groundbreaking ceremony for the library expansion. Today we are looking at ways to serve the community’s needs by providing the best possible services and programs available.
Historic Auto Attractions
More than 70 historic autos including presidential limousines, Al Capone's car and movie cars such as the Batmobile, PLUS hundreds of "pieces of history" and constantly changing exhibits make this museum a step above the standard auto museum.
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.
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 descendants. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Downtown park on the banks of the Rock River. Site of several Native American "Effigy Mounds," which have been preserved.
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.
Burpee Museum of Natural History
Come explore Burpee Museum and its award-winning exhibits such as Jane: Diary of a Dinosaur, called one of the ten most important dinosaur discoveries in the past 100 years. Burpee Museum also features Homer, a sub-adult or "teen-age" Triceratops. Four floors of exhibits include Windows to Wilderness, a woolly mammoth skeletal cast, Pennsylvanian coal forest, a Native American exhibit, Geoscience, and a viewing lab.
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. Visit the website for information about current exhibits.
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.