Showing 289-384 of 384 items found in History
This authentically restored and furnished 1843 prairie farm house features costumed interpreters who involve visitors in mid-19th century farm life.
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: May thru September: Saturday: 1 pm to 4 pm; or by appointment (Group and School Tours are encouraged to schedule tours) Suggested Donation: Adults: $3; Students: $1; Children 5 and Under: Free
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.
The Dawes House, a magnificent Chateauesque Mansion overlooking Lake Michigan, was the home of the former United States vice president under Calvin Coolidge and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Charles Gates Dawes.
Visit two restored original buildings from Chicago's first settlement house. Exhibits and educational programs depict the life and work of courageous social worker and Illinois native Jane Addams.
Visit the Victorian home where Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway was born in 1899 and learn about his early family life.
Founded in 1872, Ellis Hardware is Illinois' Oldest Family Owned Hardware Store. Ellis Ace Hardware, Rental and RadioShack received the Illinois Historical Society"s Centennial Award in the fall of 2009. At Ellis' you're a neighbor, not just a number. We have over 30 departments with brands you love like Stihl, Toro, Craftsman, Weber and so much more! M-F 8:00am - 8:00pm, Saturday 8:00am - 5:00pm, Sunday 9:00am- 4:00pm. Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/ellisace & twitter at twitter.com/ellisace & Instagram #ellishardware.
Housed in an 1856 landmark building, permanent exhibits include artifacts from the Elgin National Watch Co. and Elgin Road Race memorabilia.
Hands-on interactive exhibits introduce the history of Lake County in a fun learning environment. The Museum also displays the nation's largest permanent exhibition on the history and significance of postcards. Changing exhibits throughout the year.
Spanning the entire Fox River, features include the circa 1930 “Memory” and “Victory” statues in honor of fallen soldiers from World War I. In 1930, Chicago sculptor Emory P. Seidel designed the original plans for the bridge. As a period publication stated, using an artist made the bridge “remarkable in its beauty and unique in its design."
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.
Celebrating more than 100 years of electric trolleys, this museum has original electric trains and cars that travel a three-mile circuit along the scenic Fox River.
This privately-owned, 1890'a depot was restored in 2001 and contains photos and artifacts relating to Momence's railroading history.
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.
KidsWork Children's Museum is a cultural institution that brings children, families and the community together to engage in fun, hands-on interactive play.
Tour the oldest remaining structure in the village. The home was originally owned by Montgomery’s founder, Daniel Gray. A museum offers an educational history of the Village of Montgomery. Open 2nd Tuesday and 3rd Sunday of each month, 12:30-2:30 p.m. May-October.
Pullman is a unique community on Chicago's far, south side that blends the history from many different disciplines in a fascinating touring experience. Visiting this area today brings you into that history and also into a new sense of place, seeing the community as it is today. Stop here for exhibits and tours.
The Manteno Historical Society Museum is headquartered in the Charles Skinner House, located in the center of Manteno. The opening of the Skinner House as a Museum took place in 1994. The first floor of the building has display areas of early 20th century living in the area. Of special interest is the medical display of items from the offices of Dr. Rouleau, Dr. Phipps, Dr. Malott, Dr. Thomas and Dr. Echevarria. Articles from Dr. Gagnon's dental office and pharmaceutical items from Hilsenhoff Drug Store have also been donated. The lower floor includes exhibit space, a kitchen and collections of archival materials. The upper floor presently houses a room commemorating Manteno war veterans featuring uniforms and memorabilia from WWI to the present.
Learn about the history of Wilmette, the North Shore area and Gross Point. Housed in the former Gross Point Village Hall, the museum also offers a research library.
This 50-acre forest preserve houses the Philip B. Elfstrom Stadium (home of the Kane County Cougars minor league baseball team), the Roberta Campbell Cultural & Conference Center (used for art exhibits and community activities) and a picnic/park area.
Depicting everyday life in the late 1880’s, this 1869 home features period furnishings throughout. It originally served as a private residence. The Momence Women’s Club was instrumental in preserving this lovely house museum. The home is maintained by the City of Momence. The arbor and gardens were created by the Momence High School Shop Class and Main Street Momence.
This four-story, reconstructed 1847 grist mill features a four-ton waterwheel and displays of 1800s milling equipment.
Explore rare architecture in this historic district, made up of 667 homes, that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Don't miss the house walk in September.
Experience the history of Elgin, from the Elgin Watch Factory to the first settlers. Everyone will walk out with a better understanding off Elgin's history.
Free Tours by Foot is pleased to present the only pay-what-you-like Chicago walking tours. These interesting and informative sightseeing tours will take you through many of the Windy City’s most famous neighborhoods. They’re one of the best things to do on your visit. They offer walking, food, architecture and bike tours. Come experience their Chicago walking tours.
The Richard H. Driehaus Gallery of Stained Glass, located near the tip of Chicago’s Navy Pier, immerses visitors in darkened rooms bathed in the glow of 11 of Tiffany Studios’ stained glass windows, ranging from ecclesiastical to secular landscapes. Each displays the ways Tiffany Studios reinvented tradition, using embedded colors and new types of glass to create folds, ripples, and other textures that gave life to each scene.
This Victorian home features rooms furnished with artifacts exemplifying the lifestyle of the emerging middle-class during the 1870s. Group tours welcome seven days a week with advanced reservations. Walk-in hours Wednesdays & Sundays. Free admission.
The Milan Township District #83 Schoolhouse served as a center for learning from the turn of the century until 1942. In 1942, it was closed and left to deteriorate. However, the schoolhouse was given a new lease on life when it was donated to the Blackwell History of Education Museum in 1996 and then rebuilt on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL. Since 1999, the Milan Schoolhouse has been available to teachers at elementary and middle schools for re-enactment of a typical day in a one-room schoolhouse, professors at NIU and other institutions, and teachers at high schools for classes, other events, and families and organizations for various activities. We wish to thank Dr. Eui-Kyung Shin, assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, for her guidance of Rebecca Edwards in the development of this curriculum.A Blackwell Museum staff member has created lesson plans for students in 1st through 8th grade that allow them to experience a school day in the early 1900s, depending on the teacher's preference. The one room school is currently unavailable for visits, but we hope to have it open again in the Spring of 2014. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at email@example.com.
A leading institution of the Village of Skokie and a staple of downtown Skokie, the library is truly a center for the community with more than 450,000 items available for check-out, three community meeting rooms and hundreds of events and classes offered each month. The library offers the latest in cutting edge technology with library resources available 24 hours a day via their website, plenty of computers available for internet access and research and a wireless network on the 2nd floor.
The Newberry Library is an independent library free and open to the public for research and reference in the humanities. The library offers a vast array of lectures, seminars, concerts and exhibits related to its collections.
The Garfield Farm Museum is an 1840s living history farm featuring the story of the Garfield family, the Brick Tavern & Inn, restored barns, heirloom gardens, rare farm animals, restored prairie and more.
The library was originally built in 1896 as a carriage house, and later transformed into a treatment and recreation building for the Keeley Institute, a well-known alcohol rehab center in the late 1800s.
Located at the Poplar Grove Airport, this musuem has a variety of vintage autos, trucks and other equipment including aircraft.
Built in the popular Romanesque style, Chicago's oldest railroad station is now a retail shopping mall and an urban neighborhood marketplace. It is also a National Historic Landmark.
DuPage County, Chicago’s Western Suburbs - Victorian, red-bricked house displays collections typical of the 1920s through 1940s in authentic lifestyle settings. Open Wednesdays and Sundays.
Located in Harrer Park, this 1888 Victorian farmhouse features period furnishings and a museum on its lower level with rotating displays.
This museum is a 12 room, two story Italianate Victorian house donated to the Society in 1969. The Society’s mission is to discover, preserve, provide access to and disseminate the history of the general area and of Highland Park, in particular.
This 80-year-old Indiana limestone building was constructed as a memorial to the members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon who fought and died in our nation's wars, and contains some of the last stained-glass works of Louis C. Tiffany.
Housed in the gracious historic mansion of former U.S. Vice President Charles Gates Dawes, this stunning chateau overlooks Lake Michigan. Visitors and history buffs explore this National Historic Landmark appreciating its original furnishings and artwork. The home features exhibits focusing on the history of Evanston.
This full-service library presents a variety of arts events throughout the year.
This international marketplace enables institutions and businesses to manage their financial risk and allocate their assets. Futures and options contracts are traded on the Mercantile's two state-of-the-art trading floors.
The Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) is located on the Magnificent Mile in Lewis Towers, a historic 1926 Gothic Revival building. The museum, with 25,000 square feet contains eight main exhibition galleries, the William G. and Marilyn M. Simpson Lecture Hall, the Solomon Cordwell Buenz Library of Sacred Art and Architecture, the Museum Shop, the Push Pin Gallery, and the Harlan J. Berk Ltd. Works on Paper Gallery.
Restored, One-room schoolhouse serves as living museum. Open June to early September. Groups welcome by appointment. They actually sit at desks in the one room schoolhouse while a docent explains how teaching was done in 1872. They also participate in playing the games the students played during their recess periods.
Step into the restored corn crib and explore artifacts from the century-old Plowing Match or learn more about Welsh immigrants. Open by appointment.
The second-oldest Episcopal church in the state of Illinois was built in 1849 of locally quarried limestone, and is a unique combination of Gothic and Greek architecture.
The area's rich heritage is celebrated at the Historical Society through exhibits, lectures and special programs regularly taking place on the second floor of Historic Pleasant Home. The society also comprises a museum in a restored Cicero Firehouse, which includes a research center, children's activity room and changing exhibits about regional history. Special events are constantly rotating, and visitors are encouraged to check the website's calendar for specific information about upcoming programs.
1850 limestone Greek Revival home restored, developed as preservation study house. June-August, Tues. 1-4pm. Other hours, groups by appointment.
A collection of Ukrainian history and folk art is gathered under one roof and includes everything from festive costumes to colored eggs.
This Victorian home features rooms furnished with artifacts exemplifying the lifestyle of the emerging middle-class during the 1870s. Group tours welcome seven days a week with reservations, based on availability. Admission free.
Pleasant Home is an architectural gem that showcases 19th century craftsmanship and artistry. Designed in 1897 by prominent architect George W. Maher, the home is a National Historic Landmark and the only Maher building open to the public as a museum. You and your guests will be surrounded by rich custom woodwork, extraordinary art glass windows, intricate woodcarvings, and the glowing warmth of light from another era. The Pleasant Home's 1st floor includes of the Great Hall, Living and Dining Rooms and enclosed circular porch. The front porch is a great addition to the 1st floor during warmer weather. It is perfect for wedding ceremonies, smaller banquets or cocktail parties. The Library is slightly off the beaten path, but is a great place for a buffet station for a cocktail reception. It is also perfect for small lectures of meetings that do not require the use of the whole house.
Founded in 1882, the Chicago Stock Exchange boasts more than 3,000 stocks traded, with an average trading volume of 13 million daily. View the second-largest stock exchange in the country from the fifth-floor Visitors Gallery.
Come discover Calumet City's fascinating heritage and history.
Research early history, marriages, cemetery and census records, and family books, all pertaining to Ogle County.
History and artifacts of the Matteson area; obituaries, maps, oral histories, library of antique books and newspaper clippings.
The American Toby Jug Museum is home to more than 8,000 Toby and Character jugs, and related derivatives from around the globe. The collection spans the Centuries and features characters representing the times in which they were made, from the oldest dating back to the 1760’s to the most recent ones still in production. It is the largest collection in the world, and is on display and open to the public
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.
An 1874 CB&Q Railroad Depot, an 1881 wooden caboose, a circa 1850s farmhouse and 1830s tavern/inn. Exhibits, historic gardens, and various programs offered. Meetings for 40-50.
Platform allows viewing of mainline/commuter rails with live switchyard audio. An underground walkway, leading to the park, displays murals depicting railway history. The park features a retired/restored locomotive and caboose.
Built in 1856, the Stone Mill was originally used to produce flour. In 1965, the building was deeded to the Sandwich Historical Society. The building itself is a museum exhibit which includes the original beams and support posts made of 125 year old timber. The historical society first opened the museum to the public in 1969 and now includes three floors of exhibits. Among the exhibits are fire fighting equipment, antique car, furniture, signage, photos and many other items from the area's past. The museum is open every Sunday, 1-4pm during warm months (April to October).
The Warrenville Museum is located in an 1858 Greek Revival Methodist Church that was later used as an art studio by Adam Albright and his sons, Ivan and Malvin. Exhibits include art, featuring works by the Albrights, and local history.
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.
Loyola University Chicago’s Lake Shore and Water Tower Campuses offer multiple conference and event facilities with full service amenities to ease the planning of your next event. Each campus offers elegant year-round venues, affordable housing, electronic classrooms and auditoriums, on-premise catering options, and a full range of audio/visual equipment to make your next event a success. Loyola’s Water Tower Campus is centrally located in Chicago’s eloquent Gold Coast neighborhood and right off of the Magnificent Mile. Experience all the best Chicago has to offer including world famous steak houses, great shopping, theaters, art museums, and many other exciting tourist attractions. On Chicago’s north side, Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus is just steps from the lake and offers a serene setting for conferences and special events alike. From city to lake, Loyola’s two Chicago campuses are surrounded by all the best this city has to offer.
Viewing platform and educational displays at one of the country's largest rail intersections, where the Canadian National main line connects with the Metra line. A must-visit attraction for area visitors!
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.
Visit the Victorian home where Nobel Prize winning author Ernest Hemingway was born in 1899 and spent his early life.
Like their neighborhood history tours, the Chicago food tours have no upfront costs. All food is chosen and ordered by you. Their guides make recommendations and facilitate ordering, but you have the final say. You choose your own food and pay for it directly. They have planned in 4-5 food shops, including a dessert shop, and sometimes even a tea shop. Each establishment serves up incredibly delicious and inexpensive food served in portions that can be easily divided and shared or singularly devoured. In between the food stops, you’ll have time to digest your food as well as digest the history of the neighborhood, as told to you by one of their entertaining and knowledgeable guides.
The Elk Grove Historical Museum provides a look at pioneer living from the mid 19th to early 20th century. The Museum specializes in the history of the Elk Grove and its development over time. Open year round, the Museum offers tours, educational programs, exhibits, and assistance with research on Elk Grove Village and the surrounding area.
CITY:Elk Grove Village
This museum displays artifacts and documents from 1837 to the present. The museum offers annual Thornton Stone Quarry tours.
A cherished landmark in the heart of downtown Wheaton, The Little Popcorn Shop is perhaps one of the most loved and narrowest stores in the Chicagoland area measuring 49 inches wide by 60 feet long. The store’s small, quaint space is like walking into a Norman Rockwell painting. Popcorn is freshly popped, candy lines the wall, and locals greet each other warmly while welcoming newcomers to this very special place called The Little Popcorn Shop.
Step back in time and view memorabilia that traces the history of Northern Illinois.
DeKalb County Convention & Visitors Bureau Books are available to assist you.
Historical and sightseeing motorcoach day-tours of Chicago and the suburbs. Tour packages available for out-of-town groups, conventions, family reunions, local groups and organizations. Call for group tour details.
Visit the finest genealogical research library in the south suburbs.
The Historical Society is a beautiful building available for rental capable of seating 70-80 people comfortably. With a full kitchen and AC it makes a great venue for any social gathering. Call 815-825-2330 to inquire on a rental date.
ince pinback buttons were patented in 1896, people have found many ways to express their life events through buttons. They created the Button Museum to show how people commemorated noteworthy times in their lives by creating and collecting these wearable mementos. The words, artwork, printing style, color, and size were the final result of a vision they wanted to communicate or be a part of.
Hours: Tuesday and Thursday: 9:00am-11:30am & 12:30pm-3:00pm; Saturday: 9:00am-11:00am This museum holds a large collection of historical information pertaining to the surrounding communities. Admission is free.
The Haish Memorial Library building built in 1930 is the current home for the DeKalb Public Library. Open 7 days a week and recently remodeled and expanded, the library now offers more services and creates a great learning environment. The building offers gallery as well as meeting space and houses over 150,000 books, dvds, cds and more.
The LaSalle County Historical Society’s museum lies on the north side of the historic Illinois and Michigan Canal, itself a historical landmark. The museum building, erected in 1848 during the presidency of Zachary Taylor, is a beautifully restored sandstone building that was originally a granary and warehouse. The two-story building has walls of sandstone blocks between 18 and 32 inches thick, quarried in Utica, and secured with hydraulic cement of the same kind used in the construction of the I&M Canal. James Clark, the man who commissioned the building, came to Utica in 1833, where he became a land squatter. In 1842 he became a contractor on the I&M Canal and in 1845 he bought the local cement mill. He made it a huge commercial success by selling the cement to the canal contractors and the general public. The cement was used in many parts of the canal.
Aside from offering patrons an impressive collection of books, audio books, DVDs, and magazines the library also provides copy and fax machines, public use computers, and educational programs.
Open: Wednesday: 1 pm to 3 pm; or by appointment This museum, in an 1870's building, features artifacts from the Rock City area including pictures, clothing, articles and more.
Built in 1929, the Villa Park Historical Museum building originally served the community as the Villa Ave stop for the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin electric train line and an appliance store. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. Today, it houses relics and artifacts from Villa Park's past including articles from the Ovaltine Factory which once operated in Villa Park and Sears Catalog Homes in the area.
The Anthropology Museum at Northern Illinois University was founded in 1964 and is operated as part of the Department of Anthropology. The museum houses over 20,000 objects comprised mostly of ethnographic material with some archaeological material. The museum specializes in cultures of Southeast Asia, New Guinea, and the Southwest and Plains Native Americans. In addition, the museum holds smaller collections from Africa, modern Greece, Mesoamerica, and South America. The museum is particularly proud of the Native American basket collection, featuring over 200 specimens, as well as the Indonesian textile collection, which contains over 600 pieces. In addition, the museum also houses about 100 different Indonesian shadow puppets, a fine collection of Thai khon masks, and important collections of Hmong and Karen artifacts. The museum has a growing collection of modern Mesoamerican artifacts reflecting the cultural and artistic changes taking place in modern Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico. The Museum is open during the NIU Academic Year.
History and artifacts of the Matteson area; obituaries, maps, oral histories, library of antique books and newspaper clippings can be found at this informative resource.
The BVIC is an African-American heritage tourism destination that serves as the main orientation center for those visiting Bronzeville. Here, visitors, residents, students, researchers and entrepreneurs can receive an orientation and information on Bronzeville's rich history and culture.
The Legacy Walk is a dynamic outdoor LGBT history exhibit in the "Lakeview" neighborhood of Chicago. Presently, along the half mile of the North Halsted Street Corridor, between Belmont Avenue and Grace Street, ten (10) pairs of 25'-tall decorative "Rainbow Pylons" define the nexus of Chicago's LGBT community. Affixed to the pylons are a series of bronze memorial plaques commemorating the life and work of notable lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals whose achievements have helped shape the world
Historic museum located inside of a national registered church built during the Civil War. We offer exhibits, tours and the "old stone church" chapel is available for rental of weddings and special occasion ceremonies.
John Binder, a local mob historian and author of "The Chicago Outfit", conducts the popular There Goes the Neighbor Hood tour. Running from early spring to late fall each year, the tour showcases local gangster history through Oak Park and River Forest with visits to 15 houses that were once occupied by major mobsters. Binder sprinkles in facts about the criminal careers of the former owners, unique features of each home, and rare information about the family's time spent there.The tour lasts approximately two hours and travels by minibus with no walking required. The tour departs from (and returns to) the Oak Park Visitor Center.
Midwest SOARRING (Save Our Ancestors Remains & Resources Indigenous Network Group) Foundation was formed in November of 1996. They are a Native American non-profit organization who assists with repatriation, protection of sacred sites and educates the public about Native American culture, through Pow Wows, cultural programs and environmental issues. The new Cultural Center is made possible by a lease obtained through the City of Lockport.
The Richard H. Driehaus Museum immerses visitors in one of the grandest residential buildings of 19th-century Chicago, the Gilded Age home of banker Samuel Mayo Nickerson. Philanthropist Richard H. Driehaus founded the museum on April 1, 2003 with a vision to influence today’s built environment by preserving and promoting architecture and design of the past.
Located just outside the city of Chicago, the Leaning Tower of Niles is a half-sized replica of the famous tower in Pisa. It is made of steel, concrete and precast stone and is 94 ft (28 m) tall with a 7.4 ft (2.2 m) tilt. Completed in 1934 by Robert Ilg.
The Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC), at 360 North State Street in Chicago, is an Illinois non-profit corporation and manages two subsidiaries --Museum.TV and the National Radio Hall of Fame (NRHOF) and its website radiohof.org. The MBC’s mission is to collect, preserve and present historic and contemporary and television content as well as educate, inform and entertain the public through its archives, public programs, screening, exhibits, publications and online access to its resources.
Originally founded in 1891 as a private club for forward-thinking women, the Nineteenth Century Club continues the tradition of social and cultural advancement to this day. One of Oak Park's premiere venues for educational, cultural, and philanthropic events, it boasts an elegant and expansive parlor suited well for weddings and a ballroom that draws an impressive lineup of musical performances.
Experience the history of the second of the famous debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. Its 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. Although Douglas won the Senatorial campaign for which the debate was held, his statements lost him the support of the South and split the Democratic Party. This enabled Lincoln to win the Presidency in 1860, thus precipitating the Civil War. The site is self-interpretive through a series of waysides that tell of the events and ideas which led up to the debates, and also includes a boulder and plaque dedicated by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903, as well as the life-size statues "Lincoln and Douglas in Debate" by artist Lily Tolpo which was dedicated in 1992. The park-like setting is complete with benches, lighting, and spacious walks.
Virtually unaltered since its completion more than a century ago, the 57 room Mansion, built in 1874, is an example of high artistic achievement in architecture and interior design, and the site of historic accomplishments in industry, philosophy, publishing and religion. National Historic Landmark.
The Breaking the Prairie Museum presently consists of two buildings. The Mathesius Brothers' Barn was completed in 2002. In 2004, the Country Chapel was completed and both buildings were dedicated. The Mathesius Brothers' Barn can now be viewed at any time. Large windows on three sides allow viewing 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Farm tools and machinery are exhibited inside and outside this building. The Country Chapel represents a place of worship and family social life at the time the prairie was broken in the late 19th and early 20th Century. A pump organ, manufactured in Mendota in the 1880's produces wonderful music in the Country Chapel for special occasions. The Country Chapel is available for small weddings, renewal of wedding vows, anniversaries, meetings, or other small gatherings.