Showing 1-28 of 28 items found in History
History in the Paint Public Art Tour
In the summer of 2013, a collective of artists, called the Walldogs, came to Kewanee, IL to paint 15 historic murals depicting the long history and heritage of the city. These paintings can be found on many downtown facades, as well as at the Amtrak Station that brings new people to the area, every day. About this mural: Kewanee was founded in May of 1854, when the Military Tract Railroad was routed to the north of Wethersfield. The town founders were from Wethersfield Township to the south, Sylvester Blish, Ralph Tenney, Henry Little and Sullivan Howard, plus Nelson Lay from Wisconsin. Colonel Berrian, civil engineer who supervised the laying of the track through this area, was asked to choose a name and he decided on “Kewanee,” a Winnebago Indian word for “prairie chicken.” In 1921, Wethersfield’s 2,000 people asked to be annexed to Kewanee with its 16,000. That 18,000 would turn out to be Kewanee’s peak population.
Red Covered Bridge
This covered bridge is located 1 1/2 miles north of Princeton on Rt. 26. One of five remaining covered bridges in Illinois, this bridge was built in 1863 and is still open to traffic. It crosses Big Bureau Creek and was once part of the Peoria-Galena Trail. This beautiful landmark is a delight for artists, photograpers and nature lovers. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 149 foot span was built at a cost of $3,148.57.
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.
Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park
The Hennepin Canal State Park, a 104-mile linear park, is a rustic, historic, educational, and recreational jewel spanning five counties and includes the entire width of Henry County with access points in Annawan, Atkinson, Geneseo, and Colona. It offers an up-close look at a fascinating piece of transportation history. It is popular with bicyclists who ride from town to town exploring the history, dining, lodging, and entertainment possibilities as they travel. The canal multi-purpose recreational trail is a portion of the American Discovery Trail, a 6,800-mile coast-to-coast trail devoted to non-motorized use. It is also part of the Grand Illinois Trail, a 535-mile loop through northern Illinois. The tree-lined park is a refuge with prairie restorations and wetlands slicing through corn and soybean farmland. Home to diverse flora and fauna, it has become a favorite for bird watchers and prairie enthusiasts. It offers numerous year-round opportunities to boat, hike, bike, fish, ride horseback, snowmobile, ice skate, and cross-country ski. Explore Henry County’s jewel – the Hennepin Canal. In wintertime experience the longest snowmobile trail in the state -- 91 miles on the tow path. You can use the ice at your own risk, but pay heed to the locks, bridges and culverts where the ice likely is thinner than the rest of the canal. Bring your blades, skating along the canal is free! Keep in mind the rule is there must be 4" of snow and 6" of frost on canal for route to be open. Call the Visitor Center for automated message.
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.
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.
Princeton Main Street
Two and a half miles of magnificent shopping! Unique specialty shops, antique malls and services. So many shops...so little time.
Owen Lovejoy Homestead
The Owen Lovejoy Homestead, built in 1838 was the home of the famous abolitionist minister. Part of the Underground Railroad, rooms are furnished with period furniture and visitors can peer into the hidden area above the stairs where runaway slaves hid. The 1849 Colton One-Room Schoolhouse is behind the house. Located on East Peru Street a half mile from downtown Princeton. Call for dates and times open.
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.
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.
Geneseo Historical Museum
The Geneseo Historical Museum features displays of local people and places in an Italianate-style home built in the mid-1800. Walk through the 27-rooms which tell the story of how people lived in the past and Geneseo’s history. See the Underground Railroad space used to hide runaway slaves. A wide variety of President Abraham Lincoln artifacts are the centerpiece of the museum. Visit the newly built carriage house home to Geneseo’s agricultural history. Explore and be delighted while learning about Geneseo’s heritage
Jenny Lind Chapel
Andover's quaint chapel was endowed by the world-famous opera singer Jenny Lind. Built in 1850, this chapel is the "Mother Church" of the former Augustana Lutheran Synod of America.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Unique floral designs, exquisite silk florals enhance all decors and lifestyles. Accent lamps, framed prints, decorative home accessories all beautifully displayed.
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.
Reiman's Harley Davidson
If motorcycles are your thing, check out Reiman’s Harley Davidson. Roger Reiman, the original proprietor, is a 1998 inductee into the American Motorcycle Association’s Hall of Fame and a three-time winner of the Daytona 200. A top competitor in the AMA’s Grand National Circuit during the 1960s, Reiman cut back on his racing schedule to manage the family Harley Davidson dealership in Kewanee during the 1970s. It was during this time that he became famous as motorcycle stuntman Evel Knievel’s head mechanic. Since Reiman’s death in a racing accident in 1997, the Packee family has owned and operated the dealership. One of the top Harley Davidson dealerships in the Midwest, Reiman’s can meet every motorcycle enthusiast’s needs and desires. Stop by and visit the Racing Museum and check out the history of Roger Reiman and Evel Knievel. Axle will be there to greet you!
Civil War Monument
This monument features a statue of a Civil War soldier.
Ronald Reagan Birthplace & Museum
This quaint apartment, featuring the bedroom where the President was born, restored and decorated to its original 1900's style, sits on the second floor at the site of the First National Bank which has also been restored. Next door is a gift store and museum of Reagan memorabilia.
Princeton Public Library
Princeton's Library contains an outstanding collection of Bureau County genalogical referencematerial including history books, census and cemetery records, indexed newspaper, city directories, atlases, and family histories. New location and building at 698 East Peru Street.
Tampico Area Historical Museum
This museum that focuses on the Tampico area features exhibits related to schools, agriculture, prominent families and businesses. Items on display include newspapers, funeral records and memorabilia.
Ryan's Round Barn
Tour this centennial barn, one of the largest in the country and one of forty-two left in the State of Illinois. It stands 80 feet high and 85 feet in diameter and features a 16-foot diameter floor to ceiling silo. A farm implement museum in on the main floor. Tours are provided by Friends of Johnson’s Park Foundation and groups of ten or more asked to call ahead. Open the first, third, and fifth Saturday beginning May through October. Hours: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Kewanee Historical Society
Founded in 1976, the group maintains the Kewanee Historical Society's Robert and Marcella Richards Museum, featuring numerous exhibits highlighting the colorful history of Kewanee. Open, May 1st to October 1st Thursday & Saturday, 1:30PM-4:00PM Open Everyday Labor Day Weekend
Old Settlers’ Day and Colony School Reunion
Celebrate the 169th anniversary of the Bishop Hill Colony and the 119th year of the Old Settler’s Association. Enjoy a traditional chicken dinner, the High Society Band Concert and program featuring Bishop Hill Colony descendants’ speakers. Sunday a reunion of students and teachers from the Bishop Hill Colony School takes place and memories are shared. Hours: 11:30 am to 3 pm.
Bishop Hill Steeple Building
Take a look back in history and visit the Steeple building, built in 1854. Architecturally intriguing it is a three-story stucco Greek Revival structure with a two-story tower and 66 six-over-six windows. It was built to be used as a hotel, but instead was used as a dwelling, school, administration building, and later housed a bank, telephone switchboard and apartments. The museum is home to the Bishop Hill Heritage Asssociation offices. The rooms and exhibit showcase historic artifacts and photos of early Colony days and take visitors back through time to a quaint prairie village. Group tours by appointment, small fee.
Woodland Palace at Francis Park
A must-see attraction in Kewanee is the Woodland Palace at Francis Park, the first “green” home in Illinois. This unusual home was built way ahead of its time and is filled with engineering wonders. Learn about the quirky and eccentric man who built and lived in the home. Fred Francis was an artist, poet, inventor, builder, mathematician, engineer, and a naturist. Francis started to build the home in 1890 and worked on it for the next thirty-six years. It features hand-carved molding, a water purification system, and is the first house in the state of Illinois to have air-conditioning without the aid of electricity. View the sophisticated achievements of disappearing windows, doors, and more. Visit a home where everything seems to work in harmony. Woodland Palace is open seven days a week from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. April through October 1.