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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.
Dr. Charles Wright House
Built in 1889 by Dr. C.M. Wright, this stately Renaissance Revival home holds three generations of Wright family furnishings, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Ben Winter Museum
This museum's fascinating collection of memorabilia includes scale model locomotives and stationary industrial engines. Take a trip on the miniature train that travels through the surrounding orchards.
Altamont Living Museum
Used today as a theater for live music and dance performances, as well as fine art exhibits, this 1912 church gives you a taste of "old-time religion" with its luminous stained-glass windows, curved oak pews and great acoustics.
National Great Rivers Museum
Located adjacent to the Melvin Price Locks and Dam, this museum is dedicated to telling the story of the Mississippi River, from its colorful history to its modern-day role as a major transportation corridor. The museum features kid-friendly, interactive and computer animated exhibits. Steer a towboat through the locks and dam via simulator, measure your water consumption or come face-to-face with river fish in the aquarium.
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.
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.
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.
Amboy Depot Museum
Built in 1876, this 19-room museum, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was the division headquarters for Illinois Central Railroad. The museum showcases local artifacts from Amboy and the surrounding area.
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.
Campground Cumberland Church
Presbyterian church in continuous operation since 1850 and the site of a winter encampment during the Trail of Tears. Only site certified by state of Illinois and Cherokee Nation.
Illinois Amish Center
Recently relocated to Rockome Gardens in the countryside near a prominent community of Old Order Amish, the largest in Illinois. The museum originally opened in 1996 and features exhibits on most aspects of Amish life, as well as an introductory video about the Central Illinois Amish. Through the museum, tours can be scheduled of the Amish countryside, Amish homes, farms, businesses and meals in Amish homes.
Amish Country Tours
A step on guide will accompany your tour of the Amish countryside. The tours will also include meals in Amish homes, and Amish home, buggy shop, dairy farm and woodworking tours. Additional highlights include an Amish museum, local attractions, restaurants, and accommodations.
Arcola Historic Train Depot & Information Center
This 1885 train depot displays Illinois Central Railroad memorabilia, the largest Louis Klein collection of antique brooms and brushes in the United States, and interesting Arcola relics and keepsakes. Because Arcola is the birthplace of Raggedy Ann creator Johnny Gruelle, Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls and collectibles are also on display.
Arlington Heights Historical Museum
The Coach House, a replica Log Cabin, the 1882 home of F.W. Muller and the 1908 Banta House tell the story of Arlington Heights over the last 150 years. Tour guides introduce you to the life of early residents. Tours: Sat. & Sun. 2pm & 3pm Heritage Gallery & Gift Shop: Fri.-Sun. 1:30pm-4:30pm
CITY: Arlington Heights
Assumption Historical Society/Museum
This museum displays old school pictures and artifacts from the town of Assumption. Open by appointment.
Abraham Lincoln Long Nine Museum
Has electronic audio narrated dioramas that depict Abe the railsplitter, the self-taught scholar, the story teller, the lawyer and the politician.
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.
Atlanta Heritage Waysides
Located at the Atlanta Museum, these three exhibits and 20 other prints depict a variety of Lincoln and Logan County events. It is located at the site of an early political rally during Abraham Lincoln's campaign for President.
Harris Agricultural Museum
The museum houses an agricultural display that includes antique tractors (1922-1937), engines, a 1919 grain/dump truck, a replica of a 1920s farmstead kitchen, and more.
Air Classics Museum and Bannockburn's Ageless Classics showcases classic cars, aircraft memorabilia and a gift shop in downtown Aurora's transportation museum.
Mastodon Gallery at Phillips Park
Get an up-close view of Ice Age mastodon bones unearthed in Phillips Park in the 1930s, while glimpsing into the rich history of one of the area's most beautiful parks.
Aurora Historical Society.
This local history research archives houses historic photos, books, documents and maps covering Aurora's history from the 1830s to the present. Open by appointment only.
SciTech Hands On Museum
An interactive, hands-on science and technology center with over 200 hands-on exhibits and an outdoor science park. Discover science and math can be interesting, accessible, and fun!
Schingoethe Center For Native American Cultures
Located on the scenic campus of Aurora University, the center features a rotating collection of historic and contemporary Native American arts and crafts, along with artifacts from indigenous peoples stretching from the Woodlands to the Pacific Nothwest.
Aurora Art and History Museum
Discover the "City of Lights" through the Aurora Historical Society's collection of photographs, books, maps and other memorabilia. The Aurora Public Art Commission hosts six to eight rotating exhibits.
William Tanner House
Built in 1856, this Italianate is home to the Aurora Historical Museum which offers tours of the fully furnished home.
African American Heritage Museum and Black Veterans Archives
This museum dedicated to black veterans includes a sculpture garden featuring African-American art.
Aurora Regional Fire Museum
This museum features vintage firefighting equipment, memorabilia from the 1871 Chicago Fire, photographs and a gift shop.
SciTech Hands-On Museum
Aurora's interactive science and technology center offers over 200 hands-on exhibits demonstrating the principles of electricity, weather, astronomy and nuclear energy.
Batavia Depot Museum
Experience railroad and war history alongside Batavia-related exhibits. The original bed and dresser from Mary Todd Lincoln's room at Bellview Sanitarium are displayed here.
Civic Center Authority Visitor Center
The Bedford Park Heritage Corridor Visitor Center is full of information and literature of exciting things to do and see throughout the Heritage Corridor. The Visitor Center provides National Heritage Corridor promotional literature and I&M Canal related resources to the public. It is operated by the Civic Center Authority in partnership with Heritage Corridor Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Village of Willow Springs. The Center is staffed by volunteers recruited and managed by the Civic Center Authority. Open Saturday 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM and Sunday 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM.
CITY: Bedford Park
Emma Kunz House
Visitors are invited to walk through this home, considered to be the oldest Greek Revival-style home in Illinois.
Labor & Industry Museum
The Labor & Industry Museum is the only public institution devoted to the history of the labor and industry of Belleville and southwestern Illinois. The centerpiece is Jumbo, a 19th-century steam engine along with coal mining, carpentry, and stove-making exhibits.
St. Clair County Historical Society Museum
This Victorian adaptation of a Greek Revival home was built in the early 1800s. In addition to period furniture and vintage clothing, artifacts, and quilts, the museum contains an extensive research library and gift shop.
Boone County Historical Museum
Explore this varied collection of local memorabilia. The museum includes a log home, Civil War artifacts, a natural history room, historic dolls, clothes, tools and transportation ranging from a 1906 Eldredge Runabout to Belvidere's first Chrysler.
Hot Metal Heaven Museum
This museum features a collection of letterpress printing memorabilia.
Franklin County Jail Museum
This restored 1905 jail museum features displays on General John A. Logan, the Beatles' George Harrison, actor John Malkovich and basketball star Doug Collins.
Franklin County Garage and Auto Museum
This old 1910 Ford garage has been restored to its original condition and now displays vintage cars, Beatles and Charlie Binger memorabilia, and has a gift shop.
Berwyn Route 66 Museum
The Berwyn Route 66 Museum is not quite what you might be expecting. Aside from hundreds of Route 66 related artifacts, there's also a wall of art hubcaps, a bell from the original LaVergne School that predates Route 66, an electric vehicle charging station in front of the museum. The museum also provides gallery space for the Berwyn Arts Council. Several times every year the Museum hosts shows for area artists. In addition, the Museum has several ongoing restoration projects including cars from the Spindle Sculpture that appeared in Cermak Plaza from 1989 until 2008.
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.
Horse and Buggy Museum
The museum offers agricultural history exhibits and programs from the period 1820-1920 when horses were the man source of power for farming and transportation. With 6000 square feet of display area featuring eight interactive touchscreen kiosks with 80 video clips making Henderson county horse era come alive again. Over 50 equipment pieces are on exhibit.
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
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
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.
Prairie Aviation Museum
Highlights the history of Aviation from the Wright Brothers to Illinois astronauts. View or take a ride in the restored DC-3, The National Historic Registry's only flying exhibit!
Ewing Cultural Center
Located on the wooded Sunset Hill estate of the late Hazle Buck Ewing, the Ewing Cultural Center encompasses the open-air Theatre at Ewing (summer home of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival), the elegant Ewing Manor (which is open for tours) and the beautiful Genevieve Green Gardens.
Illinois Aviation Museum at Bolingbrook
Providing the nation with access to the rich history of aviation in Illinois, the Illinois Aviation Museum at Bolingbrook focuses on technology, research, education and community service.
Bolingbrook's Clow International Airport
This airport offers general aviation, flight school, air charter, restaurant and Illinois Aviation Museum all within the airport.
Letourneau Home Museum
The Letourneau Home Museum is the one time home of George R. Letourneau. A contemporary of Abraham Lincoln, George R. Letourneau was the only person to have had the distinction of having been village president and mayor of the city of Kankakee. Today the Letourneau home is a museum that contains many artifacts and is maintained by the Bourbonnais Grove Historical Society. The museum is open on the third Sunday of each month (except January, February and holidays). Call (815) 933-6452 for cancellations or further announcements.
Exploration Station, A Childrens Museum
A hands-on exploration and discovery museum for children and their families. Tuesday & Thursday are donation afternoons, where after 2 p.m. a suggested donation of $1.00 per person is requested.
Witness the history of the universe from its fiery birth to the formation of our own solar system on a state-of-the-art digital projector that gives a multimedia and full-dome show. Open year round, there are several shows scheduled during the week.
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.
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.
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.
The subject of intensive historical interest, the Mansion is probably the oldest brick house in the state of Illinois. It was built in 1810 by Nicholas Jarrot, who was a native Frenchman and landowner in Cahokia.
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.
Custom House Museum
This renovated 1872 Romanesque-style structure houses historical artifacts from the surrounding area.
Toll House Transportation and Civil War Museum
The Confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers at Cairo has seen its share of American history travel past its banks. Now visitors can stop at that famous intersection and take time to learn about that history in the new Toll House Transportation and Civil War Museum. It's at the southernmost point of Cairo at Fort Defiance Park, where US 51 and US 60 split across the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.
Paulson's Agriculture Museum of Argyle
Home of the largest and best collection of farm equipment and antiquites of yesteryear. Over 700 cast iron implement seats, 50 antique tractors, windmills, windmill weights, and antique washing machines. Wagons, spreaders, cultivators, planters, and the most extensive collection of Rockford, Illinois-made Emerson Brandingham equipment. A model tractor and toy collection is as large as it is unique. Individual tours available. The main building is heated and available all year round for weddings, birthdays, social gatherings, or auctions.
Calumet City Historical Society
Come discover Calumet City's fascinating heritage and history.
CITY: Calumet City
Historic Town Square & Downtown Carbondale
Twenty-five historic buildings ring Carbondale's nostalgic Town Square. When Daniel Harmon Brush, Carbondale's founding father, filed the original 56-acre plat of Carbondale in 1852, almost 10 acres were left open in the center of town. Today you can shop charming locally owned boutiques here, ranging from bike shops to furniture stores.
The Science Center of Southern Illinois
This center was designed for children ages 3-13 and their families. The science museum features several interactive hands-on exhibits dealing with a variety of basic concepts of science, as well as special events and programs.
The University Museum
The Museum has a collection of over 52,000 objects. It houses an art collection and a collection of prehistoric, historic, and scientific objects. One of the permanent and very popular exhibits is the "W.P.A. Pioneer Dioramas", which were created by local craftsmen employed at the Museum during the Works Progress Administration, 1938-1942. It has six galleries, an archive, Museum Gift Shop, and a 100-seat auditorium.
The African American Museum of Southern Illinois
Permanent exhibits here include African art collections and slave artifacts. Rotating displays have included Underground Railroad message quilts and local artwork. The museum's changing exhibits seek to portray the outstanding achievements of African American citizens.
Carbondale Train Museum
Built in 1903 by the Illinois Central Railroad, the Old Railroad Passenger Depot has since been restored and now serves as home to the Carbondale Train Museum. Filled with information, artifacts and souveniers, the museum contains significant facts relating to Carbondale's history. Ring the bell of an original train car from the Illinois Central Railroad, which still sits on the track!
The Science Center of Southern Illinois
The Science Center of Southern Illinois is the perfect way for kids to explore the beauty of science in a fun atmosphere. This hands-on children's museum has over 50 exhibits and sees nearly 15,000 annual visitors. Adults are also welcome, as many of the activities can be enjoyed by all.
Macoupin County Courthouse
The Macoupin County Courthouse, built in 1870, used to be the largest county courthouse in the United States, with the possible exception of one in New York City. It was even larger than the Illinois Statehouse. While the courthouse still serves as the seat of county government, it has also become a showplace that attracts tourists, architects and artists from across the country, as well as overseas.
Carlinville Historic District
The Historic District includes the Macoupin County Jail, Million Dollar Courthouse, and the largest collection of Sears & Roebuck mail-order homes in the U.S.
Macoupin County Jail
The historic 1869 Macoupin County Jail was designed by E.E. Meyers. It was built using the "cannon ball" method which prevented jail breaks by making it nearly impossible to remove the blocks. This unique medieval-inspired fortress housed many lawbreakers during its 119 years of use, but only one prisoner escaped. He was soon apprehended a few blocks from the jail.
Macoupin County Historical Society Museum
The Macoupin County Historical Society Museum is housed in the John Anderson mansion, originally built in 1883. The main house is a museum with exhibits that chronicle the development of Macoupin County and its citizens. In addition to the mansion, several other buildings on the grounds emphasize the county's history: a one-room schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, church, wash house, granary and herb garden.
Clinton County Historical Museum
This building was the former home of Judge Sidney Breese, who came to Illinois from New York. He studied law here and became Assistant Secretary of the State of Illinois.
Ratcliff Inn Museum
1828 Stagecoach Inn -- Abe Lincoln stayed here as he was campaigning. White County artifacts also on display.
Porthole Barn Trail
After the Civil War, Confederate shipbuilder Joe Minch was looking for a fresh start. He made his way back to the Rockbridge area and traded his building expertise for a set of tools. That first project of building a barn set into motion a new trend in barn design. Joe placed round windows, now know as portholes, in the barn. Travel through Greene County today to view the highest concentration of Porthole Barns in the country.
John A. Logan College Museum and Gallery
Named after Civil War General John A. Logan, the college combines modern architecture and a beautiful park-like setting. Memorabilia of General Logan and his wife, Mary, are on display in the museum and art gallery at the college.
Carterville Heritage Museum
Opened in June 2011, the Carterville Heritage Museum is a beautifully renovated building showcasing architectural detail of the former 1924 area high school, hundreds of photo and memorabilia. It also serves as a gift shop, offering nostalgic custom-designed t-shirts, retro candy, gift baskets, a few antiques and popular hand-made cards made by community volunteers. It features books on the Tri-C community for sale, covering Cartervile, Cambria, & Crainville.
Harrison/Bruce Historical Village
The Robert L. Mees Village Centre serves as the hub of the Harrison/Bruce Historical Village by providing a venue for College and community events. Historical buildings include: The Purdy School, a one-room public school in Perry County, IL from 1860-1951. The Julia Harrison Bruce House, a replica of the house the house that was built in 1868 by David Ruffin Harrison. The Harrison Storefront, this "double dog trot" style log cabin is a replica of the cabin the David Ruffin Harrison family occupied prior to the construction of the brick, "Harrison House". And The Hunter Cabin, Emmanuel Hunter built the Hunter Log Cabin in 1818; the year Illinois became a state.
Kibbe Hancock Museum
The majority of this large collection of historic artifacts was donated by Dr. Alice Kibbe. The collection now includes Civil War and Indian artifacts, fashion items dating from 1840 to 1920, fossils, rocks, and geodes, and other historic artifacts from around Hancock County.
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.
Kibbe Hancock Heritage Museum
The majority of this large collection of historic artifacts were donated by Dr. Alice Kibbe. The collection now includes Civil War and Indian artifacts, fashion items dating from 1840 to 1920, fossils, rocks, geodes, and other historic artifacts from around Hancock County. Recently acquired was the entire collection of the Illinois Funeral Customs Museum; part of which is on exhibit.
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.
Centralia Area Historical Museum
Artifacts, pictures of coal mining, railroading, business, farming in and around Centralia. A work in progress by the Centralia Area Historical Society to preserve the past of Marion County.
Centralia Historical Society Museum
Centerpieces of the collection are newspapers and memorabilia from the coal mining days with tributes to railroad history.
Sousa Archives and Center for American Music
The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music holds diverse collections of personal papers, archival records, and museum artifacts documenting America’s music heritage from the nineteenth century to the present, as well as scholarship produced by nationally and internationally recognized composers, musicians, conductors, and inventors. The Center is home to the world’s largest concentration of original compositions by John Philip Sousa, one of many significant historical collections that document the American band movement and the early evolution of electronic and avant-garde music. The Sousa Archives strives to provide exceptional service, programming, access, and tours of our collections to all visitors.
William M. Staerkel Planetarium
Discover the universe at the second largest planetarium in Illinois, the William M. Staerkel Planetarium, located on the campus of Parkland College. With a state-of-the-art digital projection system, visitors can learn about the stars, planets and more in this cutting-edge environment. At the planetarium website, you will learn of special programs and features coinciding with the many events in our universe. Public shows are on most Friday and Saturday nights, as well as summer matinees.
John Phillip Sousa Library and Museum
John Phillip Sousa's personal band music library, willed to the University of Illinois, is on display along with period band uniforms and musical instruments. Relive a time forgotten, when the sounds of marching band music filled a town on a lazy Sunday afternoon, when you step into this museum homoring a true "music man." FREE
Orpheum Children's Science Museum
The Orpheum Children's Museum, located in the 1914 Orpheum Theatre, is one of the finest buildings in downstate Illinois. Children of all ages are given the opportunity to learn science at their own pace in an informal setting.
University of Illinois Champaign Urbana
The University of Illinois is a world leader in research, teaching and public engagement. It's distinguished by the breadth of their programs, broad academic excellence and internationally renowned faculty. This Big Ten school offers rich experiences beyond the classroom from the best in performing arts to world-class sports. Discover the scenic campus through tours of the historic buildings and those that are pushing the envelope in technology.
Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion
Located on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus, Krannert Art Museum is the second-largest fine art museum in Illinois—placing it among the top tier of university art museums nationwide. The museum’s diverse permanent collection contains over 10,000 works of art, and represents the cultures of African, Asia, Europe and the Americas. In addition to its permanent collection, the museum features outstanding temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
Champaign County Historical Museum at the Cattle Bank
The museum is located in the oldest commercial building in Champaign County, the beautifully restored Cattle Bank, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Exhibits showcase more than 150 years of Champaign County's people, events, architecture and lifestyles. A feature of the museum is the 19th century dry goods store and businesses. The museum has a gift shop and publishes the Champaign County Historical Quarterly.
An eclectic district filled with dining and multi-cultural attractions, Midtown Champaign, with the beautiful Boneyard Creek flowing, connects Downtown and Campustown Champaign.
Dennis Hanks Gravesite
View the burial site of Abraham Lincoln's tutor in the Old City Cemetery.
Charleston Historic District
Downtown Charleston includes a historic courthouse and many historic homes listed on both the Coles County Register for Significant Places and the National Register of Historic Places.
Historic Charleston Courthouse Square
See the majestic Coles County courthouse and discover historic murals in Charleston's Courthouse Square.
Lincoln Douglas Debate Museum
Charleston's newest heritage tourism attraction. Learn more about the 1858 political debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. This site is a designated, "Looking for Lincoln" site.