Showing 1-96 of 256 items found in History
1876 Banwarth House and Museum
A fascinating, hands-on experience awaits! Join period interpreters on a journey through the fine Victorian home of Charles Banwarth.
Abe Lincoln's Talking House Driving Tour
Tune your vehicle's radio to 1650 AM or 1620 AM and listen to the history behind 14 homes in Pittsfield that have a connection to Abe Lincoln. Front yard signs also explain each home's historical significance.
One of the most important archaeological sites in Illinois, Albany Mounds contains evidence of continuous human habitation over the past 10,000 years.
The Alexis Museum houses numerous fascinating displays that depict the early days of the community.
Alexis Phelps House
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this home is a great place to watch the river traffic go by. Open by appointment for breakfast, teas, luncheons, receptions and weddings.
Alfred Brown Museum
This museum has a large collection of post cards from the 1904 World's Fair, a drum from the civil war, Native American artifacts, old uniforms, and school artifacts.
All About A Ghost Tour
Walking tour with researched, authentic stories about Galena's ghostly past & present. Mix of history and mystery.
Alton Hauntings Tours
Based on the book Haunted Alton by Troy Taylor, Alton Hauntings Tours offers an entertaining and spine-tingling trip into the unknown, taking visitors to the most authentic haunted places in Alton. Uncover the eerie folklore, ghostly tales and documented haunted spots on a three-hour walking tour of the city’s most haunted sites. Visitors will see sites that have become nationally known, like the old Alton penitentiary, First Unitarian Church, Enos Sanitarium and many others. The tours have been proven to be popular with ghost enthusiasts and history buffs alike, and nowhere else can you learn as much about the real, haunted history of Alton. Walking tours and bus tours are offered during two touring seasons – Spring & Summer and the Haunted Fall Season. Private tours are also available for groups of 20 or more. Reservations must be made in advance for all tours.
Alton Museum of History and Art
Winged monsters, explorers, riverboats and a gentle giant. The Alton Museum of History & Art shows the crossroads of American history in Alton. The museum is located in the historic Loomis Hall across from the Wadlow statue. Loomis Hall is the oldest building in the state of Illinois continuously utilized for education. One of the most popular rooms, the Wadlow Room, pays tribute to Alton's "Gentle Giant" and the World's Tallest Man. The Pioneer Room explores the history of Alton from the Lewis & Clark Expedition to the Civil War with exhibits on Elijah Lovejoy, the Lincoln-Douglas Debates and the "Alton Route" on the Underground Railroad. Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sunday 1 - 4 p.m.
Amelia's Galena Ghost Tours, Inc.
Nightly ghost tours on a luxury air-conditioned shuttle bus with a theatrical flair exploring several locations in historically haunted Galena.
American Woman's League Chapter House
Built in 1911 and listed in the National Register of Historic Sites, this house is now owned by the Andover Historical Society. Was built as one of nine Woman's League Chapter Houses in the state of Illinois, features stylistic characteristics of the arts and crafts movement.
Ancient Stone Inspirations/ Mac's Home Brew
Jewelry, books, gifts and home brew retail supply store for beer and wine making. Located in the Historic Quincy Business District. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm.
Andover Historical Museum & Grounds
This former home of August Rehnstrom was a temporary haven for Swedish immigrants in the 1860s. The lawn features the bell from the area's first two-story school and millstones from the historic Edwards River Mill.
Annie Wiggins Ghost Tours
Join us for the original ghost tour of Galena's sites, cemeteries and famous ghostly tales. Costumed guide. Reservations recommended.
Apple River Fort State Historic Site
Apple River Fort State Historic Site, located in Elizabeth, Illinois, is the site of one of the battles fought during the Black Hawk War. Black Hawk and his 200 warriors attacked the hastily erected fort on June 24, 1832. His story and that of the early settlers are told.
Asa Crook Home
The Asa Crook Home is the first frame house built in 1839 by Whiteside County's first settler. The restored home is open for tours.
Atkinson Historical Society Museum
This historical society museum has diplays and entertaining stories about the people and history of Atkinson, the Hennepin Canal, Rolle Bolle and Henry County.
Augustana's Fryxell Geology Museum
One of the largest collections of rocks, minerals, and fossils in the Midwest. Exhibit also includes a complete skeleton of the dinosaur Cryolophosaurus and a large fluorescent mineral exhibit. Museum is located on the campus of Augustana College in the Swenson Hall of Geosciences.
CITY: Rock Island
Beall Mansion Historic Tours
Tour the mansion built as a wedding present by railroad baron and riverboat magnate Z.B. Job for his son and bride Mary Drummond, heiress to the Drummond tobacco fortune. Today this three-story mansion serves as a bed and breakfast.
Meriwether Lewis is reported to have stayed here. It is home to some of the earliest settlers in Illinois (1782) and was named by the French for a spring located on the beautiful site.
Benjamin Godfrey Memorial Chapel
Originally called Monticello, the village of Godfrey was named for a Massachusetts sea captain, Benjamin Godfrey who founded the Monticello Seminary in 1838. One of the more rapidly growing Illinois community colleges, Lewis & Clark Community College, now calls the Monticello campus home. Located on the campus, the Benjamin Godfrey Chapel, built in 1854, has become a landmark in the community. This church has been designated as one of only six churches outside of the northeastern United States that are authentic copies of New England church architecture and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Berger-Kiel Log House
The log house gives a glimpse into local life in the 1800s. While at the park, visit the refurbished caboose and passenger train.
Bethalto History Museum
A log cabin originally built in 1873 is this city's history museum. The cabin is authentically furnished as it might have appeared 150 years ago. The building once housed Bethalto's water, fire and police departments. The tiny one room jail can still be seen. Open M - F 1 - 4 p.m. for tours. Call for tour appointment.
Big River State Forest
Encompassing more than 3,000 acres along the Mississippi River, Big River State Forest is a remnant of woodland that once bordered the vast prairies. The 1-½ mile Lincoln Hiking Trail commemorates Abraham Lincoln's march through the area in 1832.
Bishop Hill Arts Council
Return to the serenity of an earlier time with a visit to this restored Swedish village. See traditional craftsmen at work, explore our museums, visit our numerous and unique shops and dine in one of our Swedish-American restaurants.
CITY: Bishop Hill
Bishop Hill State Historic Site
Four historically significant buildings are owned by the State of Illinois and are maintained as part of the Bishop Hill State Historic Site. These architectural treasures are the two-story Colony Church (1850), the three-story Colony Hotel (1852-ca. 1860), the Boys Dormitory (ca. 1850), and the Colony Barn (mid-1850s) that has been relocated behind the Hotel. In addition, the central village park contains a reconstructed gazebo and war monuments. On the south edge of the village, stands a new brick Museum to house a comprehensive collection of paintings by colonist and self-taught artist, Olof Krans (1838-1916). Hours and days of operation change with the season. Please call to confirm your visit.
CITY: Bishop Hill
Black Hawk State Historic Site
Wonderful for families and friends, this wooded, steeply rolling 208-acre tract, borders the Rock River in the city of Rock Island. Prehistoric Indians and 19th-Century settlers made homes here, but the area is most closely identified with the Sauk nation and its great warrior, Black Hawk. Voted one of the "7 Wonders of Illinois," this pristine park offers beautiful trails for hiking and walking only. Picnic areas are also available. While at the park be sure to visit the Watch Tower Lodge that houses the John Hauberg Indian Museum. The museum features Sauk and Meskwaki Native American Indian artifacts and displays depicting the four seasons and life of these tribes. A new exhibit tells the story of the Sauk and Meskwaki—how they came to live in the Quad City area, why they no longer live here, and, as the piece de resistance, a four-by-eight-foot scale model of the city of Saukenuk one of the largest Native American Indian settlements in the United States.
CITY: Rock Island
Blandin House Museum
This two-story brick home, owned by town founder Joseph Blandin, is said to have been visited by Abraham Lincoln during his 1858 campaign against Stephen Douglas. The museum features artifacts from Blandinsville's rich history.
The monument is a tribute to Swiss poet Heinrich Bosshard, who wrote Semparcherlied here in the 1850s.
Bradley University is an independent, privately endowed, coeducational institution. With an enrollment of approximately 6,000 students, Bradley University is the ideal size for living and learning. The University offers a full range of baccalaureate and graduate level programs as well as personal attention, from a faculty dedicated to student learning.
Brussels Historic Village Jail
Once known as the local "calaboose", the Brussels Jail was built around 1876 and centered in the heart of the village. The jail mainly housed men overnight for drinking too much and the last person to stay in the jail was in 1952. The jail is open seven days a week.
Bureau County Historical Museum
The Bureau County Historical Society Museum is located behind the Courthouse square at the intersection of beautiful Park Avenue West and Pleasant Street in Princeton, Illinois. The museum consists of two buildings that are next door to each other: the Clark-Norris Home, a handsome Prairie Square mansion built in 1900, and the Newell-Bryant House, a stately Greek Revival house dating back to 1853. The Museum is behind the Courthouse. There is free parking on Park Avenue in front of the Museum.
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
Illinois' only United Nations World Heritage Site. This 2,200-acre site preserves the central section of the largest prehistoric Indian city north of Mexico. An Interpretive Center presents a coherent account of this sophisticated prehistoric culture. Climb Monk's Mound, see the film and life-size village. Don't miss annual events that focus on Native American culture.
Cairo Public Library
Museum quality working library of Queen Anne, Architecture on two floors built in 1884.
Carl Sandburg State Historic Site
Author-poet Carl Sandburg was born in the the three-room cottage at 331 E. Third Street in Galesburg on January 6, 1878. The modest house relfects the typcial living conditions of a late-nineteenth-century working-class family and features many furnishings that once belonged to the Sandburg family. Behind the home stands a small wooded park which features the Quotation Walk, a celebration of the Prairie Poet's work and words. It is in this tranquil setting that the ashes of Carl Sandburg and his wife Lilian were liad to rest beneath Remberance Rock.
Carriage Classics, Ltd.
This horse-drawn carriage service is available for scenic tours, weddings and other occasions. Equipped for all seasons. Evening rides in downtown Peoria Fridays and Saturdays during April through mid-October. Thursday through Saturday rides during June through August. Pick-up points at Hotel Pere Marquette and The Landing. $20 for two adults and $5 for each additional person. Children under 10 ride free. Carriage rides available 7 p.m. through midnight. May be hired any time of the year for service in the Peoria and surrounding area. We also have a horse-drawn trolley available for special groups outings. Call for details!!!
The Carthage Jail was the site of the martyrdom of Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum on June 27, 1844. Joseph and Hyrum with two companions were imprisoned here. A mob broke into the jail and killed them and injured severly one of their companions. Today the restored jail and visitors center and memorial gardens are open to visitors daily.
Caterpillar Visitors Center
Opened in October 2012, this new visitors center celebrates the long history of the Caterpillar company. Visitors can explore the past by taking a journey back in time via historic photos and antique equipment. Visitor favorites include a 24-foot tall 797 mining truck that doubles as a movie theater and a product floor complete with simulators to explore its world-famous product line.
Center For American Archeology
Located in Kampsville, the Center for American Archeology Museum is housed in the historic Kamp Store, offering a variety of exhibits focusing on the 10,000 year pre-history of the lower Illinois River Valley, the archeological history of Illinois and the history of the Kamp Store. Guided tours of the facility and excavation sites are available for groups of ten or more.
Center for Belgian Culture of Western Illinois
The Center offers an extensive collection of documents and archival material for genealogical/historical research. Also, translation services, lace-making demonstrations & gift shop.
Charter Oak "8-Sided" School
This building is a great study in physics as well as history. It was designed to withstand strong winds and capture light throughout the day.
Chester Riverfront Mural
Painted in the 1930s on the upper interior wall of Chester's post office, this fascinating mural depicts pre-Civil War riverboat activity on the Mississippi River.
Chicago Great Western Railway Depot Museum
Experience railroading during its glory days at a former link for the Chicago Great Western Railway from Chicago, Illinois to Oelwein, Iowa by taking a tour through our extensive collection of railway memorabilia. See a full-size caboose, both G-scale and HO-scale operating model railroads and artifacts of northwestern Illinois railroads.
Chillicothe Historical Society
Chillicothe Historical Society was created for the preservation of the town's heritage and history. We feature a Johnston McCully exhibit, "creator of fictional character Zorro."
Civil War Monument
This monument features a statue of a Civil War soldier.
This beautifully restored home has cobalt blue windows. Tours by appointment and open for special events.
Collinsville Historical Society Museum
Local and world histories are combined in these exhibits.
Colonel Benjamin Stephenson House
This two-story brick home is a wonderful example of Federal-style architecture from 1820. Col. Stephenson, who was a contemporary of Lewis & Clark, moved there in 1809.
Colonel Davenport House
Located on the historic Rock Island Arsenal island -- an active military munitions base -- the home offers guided tours that highlight the famous people who have visited this historic home, the history of the island through various wars, and the events that took place when the Davenport family lived in this home. Learn about the river bandits that broke into the home during the 4th of July and what happened to Colonel Davenport. IMPORTANT: Because this is an active U.S. Army facility, a current ID is required for age 16 or older to enter the island. International visitors must register one week ahead by calling 309-782-2686 Monday through Friday between the hours of 6 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Central Time.
CITY: Rock Island
Confederate Cemetery and Memorial
This monument remembers those who died in the infamous Alton prison. A smallpox virus spread rapidly through the Alton Prison in 1863, killing more than 1,435 incarcerated soldiers. The soldiers are laid to rest here and each of their names is commemorated at the Memorial. The Alton Prison and Confederate Cemetery are some of the rare northernmost monuments to the Confederate Soldier.
Confederate Prison Site
Built in 1833, Alton houses Illinois' first state penitentiary. During the Civil War, the facility imprisoned thousands of Confederate soldiers. Partial remains of the structure can still be observed today.
Corpus Christi Catholic Church
Completed in 1885, the church has a 150' spire and neo-Gothic architecture. Only ten Catholic churches in the U.S. have a saint’s body, and Corpus Christi houses the holy relic of St. Crescent, taken out of the catacombs in Rome in 1838.
This Lower Mississippi-style house was built in the early 1800s, and has been completely restored to reflect life during this period.
CITY: Prairie du Rocher
Custom House Museum
This renovated 1872 Romanesque-style structure houses historical artifacts from the surrounding area.
Deere-Wiman House & Butterworth Center
Two historic homes, built in 1872 and 1892, were occupied by four generations of John Deere's descendants. Guided tours showcase the history of the houses, and are available by reservation only.
DeSoto House Hotel
Stay the night at the DeSoto House Hotel on Galena’s Main Street, which dates back to 1855 and is Illinois’ oldest operating hotel. The DeSoto has hosted such notable guests as Abraham Lincoln (who spoke from a hotel balcony to the assembled crowd below) and served as the presidential campaign headquarters for Ulysses S. Grant. The hotel features 55 Victorian-style guest rooms, three restaurants and boutiques.
Dickson Mounds Museum
The premier on-site archaeological museum, located 45 miles southwest of Peoria, interprets the 12,000 year history of American Indian cultures in Illinois through artifacts, interpretive exhibits, major multi-image productions, hands-on activities and a variety of public events in a rural setting.
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.
Discovery Depot Children's Museum
Discovery Depot Children's Museum is a non-profit institution providing fun and educational programs for children and families. Interactive exhibits, programs, and collections will stimulate curiosity, promote discovery and encourage learning. Creative playground facilities outside for children too. Through these resources, visitors will gain a better understanding of our world.
Dollhouses Then & Now
Museum that houses over 70 vintage furnished doll houses from the 1920’s- to current. The architectural designs and fashions depict and present the evolution of homes and furnishings from then to now. The Then and Now gift shop is complete with collectable doll house furnishings for sale. Children enjoy playing the scavenger hunt and viewing the 1949 “Disney House” and the 1924 Tootsie Toy house furnished with Tootsie toy pieces. Located inside Taylor’s Furniture Store, along the square in Quincy’s downtown business district.
Galena's oldest house, Dowling House, was built in 1826 by John Dowling. Built of limestone, it was once the only trading post in the city. The Dowling House was equipped with primitive living quarters and hosted many fur traders in years past. Tour guides provide a complete history of the development of the City of Galena and Dowling House while you browse through quaint artifacts from the early nineteenth century. Thirty-minute tours. Noreen's Old Tyme Photo & gift shop on site.
Stroll brick-paved St. Louis Street in the Lebanon Antiques District, where you’ll find more than 20 antique and specialty shops in this historic town that was founded in 1804, during the time of the Lewis & Clark expedition.
Dr. Richard Eells House
The Dr. Richard Eells House was a stopping point on the Underground Railroad in the 1840s, and is the oldest standing two-story brick home in Quincy.
East End Historic District
The East End Historic District is distinquished by its grand collection of homes of every period and style since 1850. Most have been painstakingly restored with lawns of beautiful planted sugar maples, tulip trees, flowering dogwood and redbud trees. Enjoy Quincy's several historic districts through the Quincy Area Convention & Visitors Bureau's Self Guided Driving Tour, available online at www.seequincy.com.
Edwardsville Children's Museum
The museum focuses on expanding young minds through a variety of educational programs. It is available for birthday parties and field trips.
Elihu B. Washburne House State Historic Site
Washburne was a popular congressman/friend of Lincoln and Grant. Grant's election news was received in the library via telegraph.
Emma Kunz House
Visitors are invited to walk through this home, considered to be the oldest Greek Revival-style home in Illinois.
Founded in 1855 by abolitionists, this historic and scenic campus boasts buildings on the historic register, including the Reagan Peace Garden and Museum.
Fort de Chartres State Historic Site
This former French military stronghold has been partially rebuilt and turned into a museum. Regular living history events shed light on colonial life in Illinois, and include 18th-century crafts, food, music, hundreds of historically dressed participants, flintlock rifle and musket contests, cannon and mortar competitions, traders and much more. There are also guided tours of the 1800 Creole House, which was designed in the French-American Transitional Architecture style.
CITY: Prairie du Rocher
Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site
(TEMPORARILY CLOSED beginning 10/08 except for special events.) This site preserves what is left of the old fort-one of the first built on the Mississipi River. A scenic overlook offers views of the Mississippi and Kaskaskia Rivers, and of Old Kaskaskia.
CITY: Ellis Grove
Fulkerson Mansion and Farm Museum
Colonel William H. Fulkerson's mansion and farm museum contains many rare agricultural items and equipment with emphasis on large, rare farm steam traction engines, utilized for plowing the prairie, threshing the grain, and for powering early sawmills. The estate is 14-room Southern-style Victorian mansion that has remained virtually unchanged to this day. It was placed on the National Historic Register of Historic Places in 1998.
Galena & U.S. Grant Museum
Discover Ulysses S. Grant, one of the most celebrated Generals of the Civil War and United States President, in this museum bearing his name. Featuring ‘Ghosts of the Grants’ hologram, Civil War exhibits, 1830s lead mine shaft. Book/gift shop. Galena merchandise.
Galena Carriage Co.
Historic carriage rides, dinner rides, "romance and roses" rides. Friday-Saturday evenings, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Seasonal sleigh rides. Reservations recommended.
Galena Trolley Tours
City tours of Galena, tour of homes and nightly ghost tour. Group services and charters. Original tour company since 1988.
Galena/Jo Daviess County Historical Society
A qualified museum guide will board your group's motorcoach and take you through Galena, with stops that can include the Galena/Jo Daviess History Museum, Ulysses S. Grant Home and Old Market House.
Galesburg Railroad Museum
Museum celebrating the shared histories of Galesburg and the railroad. Tour a real steam locomotive. See the authentic railroad memorabilia. Great for kids and rail fans! Right next door to the Amtrak Depot.
Garrison Hill Cemetery
The cemetery was created when graves were moved from Kaskaskia Island in the 1890s after a flood. According to one account, 3,000 boxes were moved, some containing entire families.
CITY: Ellis Grove
An elegantly appointed venue along Peoria’s Riverfront, the Gateway offers the finest surroundings for your next business or social function. Constructed in 1997, this beautiful building was designed and created to be the focal point of Peoria's Riverfront. The Gateway is conveniently located downtown just one block from Interstate 74 and is within walking distance of hotels, major businesses, and many restaurants. The Riverfront provides a spectacular backdrop with its stunning views and the vibrant nightlife offers a unique and festive atmosphere. This is an affordable, convenient site for any meeting, banquet, or conference occasion. With the comfort and versatility the Gateway offers, you will want to make this the new home for your annual banquets and weekly meetings.
Gateway Classic Cars & Museum
Car enthusiasts are tempted by every make from Model T's to muscle cars. Shop the Antique Mall for Collectibles or attend their monthly sales and auctions.
CITY: Fairmont City
Gateway Geyser Fountain
As the world's tallest fountain, the Gateway Geyser Fountain reaches 627 feet in height, and is centered in a pond that holds five million gallons of water.
CITY: East St. Louis
General Grant Walking Tour
Whether you are a history buff or someone who is just looking for insight behind the makeup of Galena, join in an one-hour walking tour with Galena's own General Ulysses S. Grant on Main Street in downtown Galena. Periodically, his fellow eight Civil War generals make an appearance. Be on the lookout!
Geneseo Historical Museum
The museum is housed in a historic home that features 27 rooms displaying exhibits that include a general store, dentist office, children's room and thousands of local artifacts.
Governor Coles Memorial
This memorial in Valley View Cemetery honors Edward Coles, the second governor of Illinois (1822-1826). A former slaveowner from Virginia, Coles became an abolitionist and won the 1822 gubernatorial election as the candidate of anti-slavery forces.
Governor John Wood Mansion
The Governor John Wood Mansion is the restored home of Quincy's founder and 12th governor of Illinois. This building is the first example of historic preservation in the state of Illinois.
Governor Shadrach Bond State Memorial
Notably, this is the burial site of the first Governor of Illinois and of U.S. Senator Elias Kent Kane, Illinois' first Secretary of State.
Greater Saint Louis Air and Space Museum
Learn about the history of aviation in the St. Louis area. The Museum is located at the St. Louis Downtown Parks Airport and has Gus Grissom's flight suit, a collection of TWA artifacts, and a 1941 Meyers O.T.W. Bi-plane on exhibit.
This Queen Anne-style playhouse was built for Lucy J. Haskell, daughter of Dr. William A. & Florence H. Haskell. The playhouse was an exact replica of the family home. Lucy died at age nine of diptheria and the Haskell's gave the estate to the City of Alton for educational & recreational purposes. The playhouse is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places and can be visited in Haskell Park.
High atop a wooded hill, overlooking the Mississippi River, sits Carroll County's grandest mansion. Experience a guided tour of this six story, 63 room, hilltop home of Mr. & Mrs. Alan St. George.
Hayner Genealogy & Local History Library
The Hayner Public Library District provides a variety of genealogy-related services to support research efforts. Information from various states in addition to Illinois and other countries is available. The digitized newspaper collection is a wonderful resource of The Hayner Public Library District for genealogy research. The collection includes the Alton Telegraph Archives dating as far back as 1836 and access NEWSPAPER ARCHIVE to locate newspaper articles in other parts of the country.
Henderson County Museum
This museum preserves Henderson County's rural American heritage, with the primary focus of the exhibits on the first half of the 20th century.
Henry County Courthouse
One of Illinois' finest examples of courthouse architecture, this stately structure was built in 1878. The main courtroom ceiling is decorated with murals depicting the principal communities of the county.
Henry County Historical Museum
This museum's detailed exhibits include a one-room schoolhouse, doctor's and dentist's offices, the war room, restored ag implements, machinery, an authentic windmill and a hog house.
CITY: Bishop Hill
On the Mississippi River in an old 12-acre quarry is where you will find a restored and furnished mid-1800s settlement. Paths through the wooded hillsides lead from one home site to another.
Historic Jerseyville Courthouse Square
Built in 1893, this historic masonry courthouse sits at the center of town and serves as the hub of activity for the entire county. The courthouse is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Tours of the courthouse are available for groups with reservations. Hours: Monday - Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m. to noon
Historic Museum of Torture Devices
Displays of torture devices from around the world, pictures and written explanations are part of this self-guided tour. Hours: Jan. 1 - May 31: Saturday & Sunday, Noon to 5 p.m. June 1 - Aug. 31: Friday - Sunday, Noon to 5 p.m.
Hoffman's Patterns of the Past
Hoffman’s Patterns of the Past (located in historic Princeton,Illinois) is home to the “Sea of China,” a unique treasure trove of china and crystal patterns dating back to the 19th century; most of it new “store stock” patterns acquired directly from the manufacturer. Hoffman's has been a Princeton institution since 1944, when the J. A. Murphey family purchased the business, which had existed since the mid 1800s. Patterns of the Past also offers appraisals and has one of the largest gift shops in central Illinois, stocking over 75 of the major collectible lines, including Swarovski, Jim Shore, Fenton, Department 56, and Willow Tree by Demdaco. Store hours are 9 to 5, Monday through Saturday, with special holiday hours. Large or small groups are welcome; for best service, please call or e-mail in advance since the research process can take some time.