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Peoria Historical Society
Our mission is to preserve and celebrate Peoria's story. We own two historic house museums and provide certified guides for the History Trolley and other tours.
Pioneer Gothic Church
Built in 1857, this church is a fine example of Carpenter Gothic Architecture. Pointed arched windows and doors as well as board and batten frame construction characterize this style. King Edward VII worshipped at the church in 1860, while on a hunting expedition in the area. The church was named as one of the “150 Architectural Treasures” in the State of Illinois by the Association of Illinois Architects in 2007, and is listed on the National Historic Register.
Walking Tour of Historic Riverside's North Division
Spend a leisurely Sunday afternoon in Riverside. Learn the history of this National Landmark, experience the beauty of Frederick Law Olmsted's landscape design and admire archtiectural gems by Frank Lloyd Wright, William Le Baron Jenney & many others. For more information visit www.olmstedsociety.org, or e-mail email@example.com. Special group tours by appointment.
Lincoln: History to Hollywood
“Lincoln: History to Hollywood,” an exhibition of sets, costumes and props from the Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award-winning film “Lincoln,” has opened at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum complex, located in downtown Springfield, Illinois. Items of note in the exhibit include Lincoln’s office set, a vignette of Mary Lincoln’s bedroom, Lincoln’s gloves, Tad Lincoln’s tin soldiers, and the rocking chair where President Lincoln sat with Tad. Most of the furniture pieces in the exhibit are antiques from the Civil War era, not reproductions. The exhibits are on long-term loan from Spielberg and DreamWorks Studio. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum features more than 40,000 square feet of galleries, theatres and historic displays that takes visitors on a journey from Lincoln’s humble beginnings through his Presidency. The “Lincoln: History to Hollywood” exhibit will be located in Union Station, across the street from the presidential museum.
Grand Detour Arts Festival
The 66th Grand Detour Arts Festival will be at the John Deere Historic Site. Two-and three-dimensional art is shown and offered for sale to the public at this juried fine arts event. A discounted admission fee of $2 is charged for entry to both the site and the arts festival. Enjoy the quality artwork by Midwest, watch the blacksmith at work and learn how John Deere invented the plow. Food stands on site as well as performances by area musicians.
CITY: Grand Detour
Historic 4th at Clayville
In 1842 the Broadwell family hosted a 4th of July celebration at Clayville with artillery, bands, speeches, food and refreshments. Over 300 people came from Springfield alone! Come and help recreate this historic event. Mr. Lincoln himself may be there!
CITY: Pleasant Plains
Barn Quilts of Dewitt County
Barn quilts of DeWitt County is a project designed to celebrate Clinton and DeWitt County’s rich agricultural history, showcase our rural areas, promote agritourism, the arts, and create a sense of community pride. Throughout the county, vibrant, hand-painted 8’X8’ quilt blocks on ‘wooden canvases’ adorn numerous barns, making a drive through the countryside all the more enjoyable.
Old School Museum
The now renovated Old School Museum offers visitors a view of the history of Scott County and Winchester. This museum preserves and displays artifacts related to local history, agriculture, transportation, communication and public education. Also included is a collection of interesting/unique artifacts from the businesses and society of early Scott County. The Romanesque style building was Winchester’s public elementary school from 1901 through 1958.
Barnacopia is a farm museum, events venue and Bed & Breakfast featuring two fully appointed guest rooms with full bathrooms and hot tubs all located in a silo next to the barn and the top floor of the silo is a library.
Bryant Cottage was built in 1856 by Francis E. Bryant (1818-1889), a friend and political ally of Senator Stephen A. Douglas. According to Bryant family tradition, on the evening of July 29, 1858, Douglas and Abraham Lincoln conferred in the parlor of this house to plan the famous Lincoln-Douglas Debates. The picturesque one-story, four-room wood frame cottage has been “restored” and is interpreted as an example of a middle-class life in mid-nineteenth-century Illinois. The furniture on display is of the Renaissance Revival style, appropriate for a small-town family of the mid-nineteenth century. The cottage is accessible to persons with disabilities. The site hosts portions of a variety of locally sponsored events throughout the year.
Featuring local and Illinois made gifts, foods, and specialties. Enjoy specialty coffees, muffins, desserts and other goodies in their historic building built in 1906 which boasts the original art deco soda fountain from the 30's.
Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven Foundation (FMR. Chess Records Studio)
2120 S. Michigan Ave. is one of the most famous addresses in all of American pop history. Former home of the legendary Chess Records label from 1957 to 1967, 2120 housed the studio and recording company that begat legendary recordings by Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf, Bo Diddley, John Lee Hooker, Etta James, Aretha Franklin and dozens of others.
Clayville Fall Festival
Pioneer artisan and craftsman demonstrations, historic building tours, kids activities, craft vendors, food and refreshments. The 10th Illinois Volunteer Calvary Regiment demonstrations and musical entertainment.
CITY: Pleasant Plains
Prairie Dreams-The Story of Clayville and Its People
This play is set and performed at the 1824 Clayville Stagecoach Stop. Featuring stories of the people who built and traveled through Clayville, includiing Peter Cartwright and Abraham Lincoln.
CITY: Pleasant Plains
Historic 4th at Clayville
In 1842 the Broadwell family hosted a 4th of July celebration at Clayville with artillery, bands, speeches, food and refreshments. Over 300 people came from Springfield alone! Come and help recreate this historic event. You may even see Mr. Lincoln himself!
CITY: Pleasant Plains
Prairie Dreams-The Story of Clayville the Its People
The play is set and performed at the 1824 Clayville Stagecoach Stop. Featuring stories of the people who built and traveled through Clayville, including Peter Cartwright and Abraham Lincoln.
CITY: Pleasant Plains
Joseph F. Glidden Open House / Open Barn
Come and enjoy musical entertainment, working blacksmith shop, house and barn tours at the home of Joseph F. Glidden creator of barbed wire known as "the winner."
Art at Ellwood and Ice Cream Social
Join in on the combination Art Fair and Ice Cream Social on the grounds of the Ellwood House. Featuring over 30 artist booths, tours of the Ellwood Mansion, a concert, ice cream, a Garden Club show and programming provided by the Ellwood House Museum.
Clayville Spring Festival
Imagine it's the 1820's at a stage coach stop and pioneer village. Come see how the early settlers lived, artisan demonstrations, historic tours, crafts & games for kids. Re-enactments throughout the day!
CITY: Pleasant Plains
Pullman Visitor Center
Stop here for exhibits and tours of the historic town of Pullman, built in 1880 by railcar magnate George M. Pullman. Several buildings remain on this landmark site.
The Heart Theatre is located across the street from the Effingham County Courthouse. The theatre is one of the two examples in Effingham of the Art Deco style that was popular from 1920 to 1940.
This turn-of-the-century Victorian house was ordered through the Sears Roebuck catalog and assembled for only several hundred dollars.
Berwyn Route 66 Wayside Exhibits
The City of Berwyn has placed four exhibits on Ogden Avenue to educate travelers, tourists, and residents about Berwyn's heritage as one of the first eastern suburban communities along Historic Route 66. Berwyn's four exhibits feature the origin of the Ogden corridor and its early history, its first auto-oriented "fast food" restaurants, and its automobile-based economy and car culture. Visit our Information Kiosk for more information!
Little White Church on the Hill Celebration Chapel
This restored 1894 country church boasts stained glass, original pews, pine flooring and authentic lighting. The outdoor chapel includes a cobblestone walk and wedding dove benches.
CITY: Scales Mound
Willis Allen House
Civil War hero John A. Logan studied law at this home under Senator Willis Allen. Come visit the oldest house in Williamson County.
Ogle County Historical Society
Step back in time and view memorabilia that traces the history of Northern Illinois.
Carterville Veterans Memorial
The memorial is located next to the Heritage Museum downtown. It features plaques citing the names of WWI and WWII Veterans on one side and other wars featured on the opposite side. In a fitting tribute, the Veterans Memorial in downtown Carterville was dedicated on 11-11-11, Veterans Day.
U.S. Congressman Ken Gray Presidential Museum
Opened in 2010, this 3000 square foot space is located in the Illinois Star Centre Mall. It keeps mall hours and is staffed by volunteers. Admission is free and the museum is stocked with items from Ken Gray's Congressional period as well as items he has collected from other congressmen and women.
The Annex Coffee & Deli
The Annex Building, built in 1912, is at the very heart of Herrin, Illinois’ thriving downtown on Park Avenue. The former Annex Movie Theater was converted into a bakery café and opened on Halloween 2011. The Annex Coffee & Deli is committed to delivering the best coffee house & bakery café experience in a clean and stylish environment which recalls the glory days of the historic building in which it is housed.
Located in the former home of Justus Schlotzhauer, advance man for Ringling Brothers Circus, this museum focuses on local river history.
The origin of Memorial Day can be traced to this cemetery, where in 1866 General John A. Logan organized the first post-Civil War service. More than 60 graves of Civil War soldiers are found here.
This beautiful, historic 1865 mansion was once owned by the Halliday Family, and is now owned by the City of Cairo and open for tours.
Sheldon Peck Homestead
DuPage County, Chicago’s Western Suburbs - This 1840s farmhouse features reproductions of Sheldon Peck's folk paintings, exhibits on the area's first school, the underground railroad, farming and pioneer life. Admission is free.
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.
Nashville Roadside Chapel
One of the smallest country chapels in the world was built in Nashville in the late 1980s. Thousands of travelers from all over the globe have stopped to visit this miniature chapel.
CITY: New Athens
Poplar Grove Vintage Wings & Wheels Museum
The museum was established to preserve history and educate youth about the significant contributions made to our country by winged and wheeled vehicles.
CITY: Poplar Grove
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.
Valley View Model Railroad
Experience the glory days of mainline railroading as you watch model trains in operation on a detailed scenic railroad.
St. Peter's Episcopal Church
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.
Coal Miners Memorial
In the late eighteen hundreds there were many thriving communities that were totally dependent on area coal mines. Now there is a Memorial to honor all miners. Dedicated on October 14th, 2000, the Coal Miners Memorial is a tribute to all Southern Illinois coal miners of the past century. The inscription at the base of the statue reads, “In memory of coal miners who gave so much that future generations may benefit with a better life. They labored, served their country, sacrificed for their families and some lost their lives. We honor and salute them so that they will never be forgotten.”
Union Depot Railroad Museum
Model railroad, locomotive display, railroad memorabilia.
This traditional one-story French Creole residence, built circa 1790, is considered to be one of the oldest surviving residences in Illinois.
CITY: East Carondelet
Stephen Mack Home & Whitman Trading Post
Built in 1834 by fur trader Stephen Mack, one of the area's first settlers. Located at Macktown Forest Preserve, site of archeological dig, and golf course.
Western Illinois Museum
See a regional collection of artifacts, historical documents and memorabilia representing Western Illinois history.
McCoy House Memorial Library
This majestic four-story Victorian home, built in 1884 by banker A.G. Cloud, sits next to the old bank of similar architectural style. The house is now a memorial library and museum decorated with beautiful furnishings and paintings.
Pioneer Sholes School
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.
CITY: St. Charles
The Vault Cafe on the Square
The Vault Café on the Square is located in a 100-yr-old historic 5-story building in downtown Marion, IL. The café is located on the first floor in what used to be a bank. The vault is still there, and we have seating for four inside of it! Seating is first come/first serve, but feel free to request it with the hostess!
Stone Coal Log Cabin Village
Original log buildings in this educational village are from Illinois' early prairie years.
Momence Historical House
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.
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.
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.
Morton Grove Historical Museum Haupt-Yehl House
Located in Harrer Park, this 1888 Victorian farmhouse features period furnishings and a museum on its lower level with rotating displays.
CITY: Morton Grove
Momence Railroad Depot
This privately-owned, 1890'a depot was restored in 2001 and contains photos and artifacts relating to Momence's railroading history.
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.
Mineral Springs Paranormal Research Center
Share evidence and peruse scientific research on the paranormal at one of the most haunted buildings in Alton -- the former Mineral Springs Hotel -- now the home of the Mineral Springs Paranormal Research Center. Overnight paranormal events are held at the site, in addition to meetings with other paranormal experts, investigators and researchers. Ghost hunting equipment is used in every investigation and there are over 140 EVPs obtained over the years at the hotel and at other investigation sites.
Lake County Discovery Museum
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.
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.
Village of Elsah Museum
Discover what life was like in historic Elsah when it was founded in 1853 by James Semple. The museum, housed in the Elsah Village Hall built in 1887, showcases former residents, architectural styles used in constructing buildings, and implements used by residents in the mid-1800s. The museum is open Saturday and Sundays only from 1 - 4 p.m.
Jane Addams Hull House Museum
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.
Wood River Museum and Visitors Center
The Wood River Heritage Council has worked diligently to preserve the town's past at the Wood River Museum and Visitors Center. It is here that you will find exhibits on the Wood River massacre of 1814, Olde Downtown, the Flood of 1915, the World's largest swimming pool, and the impact of Standard Oil on this growing community. Hours Thursday - Saturday, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
CITY: Wood River
Family oriented restaurant. Dine in or carry out. Plate lunches, dinners, and specials every night. Historical building dating back to 1927.
CITY: Johnston City
Visit the museum's beautiful grounds and see a collection of over 10,000 items that include sea shells, primitive furniture and antique glassware.
Village of Elsah
Travel back in time with us to the Village of Elsah. The entire village of Elsah is on the National Registry of Historic Places. This village, with a population of around one hundred people, is often referred to as the "village where time stood still." Visitors to Elsah can escape back to the Americana of the early 1800s with quiet streets and 19th century stone homes. This “picture perfect” village nestled in the valley is a perfect place for photographers – amateur and professional – anxious to capture a glimpse of the past.
Northbrook Historical Society Museum
Enjoy the main floor museum with antiques and a replica of an 1890s home. Open the first Sunday of every month, or by appointment.
Vintage Wings and Wheels Museum
Located at the Poplar Grove Airport, this musuem has a variety of vintage autos, trucks and other equipment including aircraft.
CITY: Poplar Grove
John C. Flanagan House Museum
The John C. Flanagan House Museum was built in 1837 on Peoria’s east bluff by John C. Flanagan and is the oldest standing house in Peoria. This American Federal style house offers a spectacular view of the Illinois River Valley.
Winnetka Historical Museum
The growth and history of Winnetka since 1830 is chronicled in this museum, which includes the Carlton Washburne Library.
Under the Prairie Frontier Archaeological Museum
This museum displays hundreds of authentic items from the frontier period, including artifacts that were excavated from the hilltop site of James Latham's 1819 cabin.
Stephenson County Historical Society Museum
The museum complex consists of five buildings; The Italianate home built by Oscar and Malvina Taylor in 1857. The Taylor home was the social center of Freeport in its time and is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places; The One-Room Schoolhouse from the 1920s; The Industrial Museum featuring products manufactured in Freeport by such companies Henney Motor Company, Stover, W. T. Rawleight and Burgess Battery; The Arcade Toy Museum featuring cast iron toys made in Freeport by Arcade Manufacturing, and stamped-metal toys also made in Freeport by Structo; an authentic Log Cabin which was originally an Irish immigrant homestead. The three plus acres of the museum campus also features an arboretum and butterfly garden. Open: Wednesday thru Sunday: Noon - 4 pm; or by appointment. Adults: $8.00; Children 6 and above: $4.00.
Warren County Historical Museum
This museum features four floors of county-wide historical items and displays.
Chrisman Wall Mural
Artistic talent is showcased on a wall mural that decorates the side of a building on this quaint small town's square. The first mural at Illinois and Madison streeets was completed in the fall of 1998.
Highland Park Historical Society
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.
CITY: Highland Park
Hutson Memorial Village Church Services
Evening services are held in this log cabin church every other Sunday, beginning with the first Sunday in June and running through the last Sunday in September.
St. Louis Air & Space Museum
Learn about the history of aviation in the St. Louis area.
O'Nell Agriculture Museum
This museum features exhibits of local history and antique farm tools.
Quad Cities Railroad Education
Visit this railroad museum that features transportation displays and model railroads.
Sterling-Rock Falls Historical Society Museum
This local museum explores the history of Sterling and Rock Falls.
New River Model Railroad Museum
See model trains in operation, an HO-scale model of the Chesapeake & Ohio RR circa 1950s West Virginia, and running diesel and steam locomotives on a double main line.
William Jennings Bryan Museum
This 160-year old home has three rooms of original furniture, pictures and personal items once owned by politician William Jennings Bryan.
The Patton Cabin was built in June 1829 by John Patton, one of the area's first settlers. The cabin was constructed with the help of Native Americans who lived in the area.
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
Rike House Museum
Built in 1853, the restored house of blacksmith Robert Ingle has undergone extensive restoration, and features antiques, a family bible and the town's first piano. Reservations required.
CITY: Le Roy
Jefferson County Historical Village
Authentic log structures. Historic memorabilia from the area are carefully preserved and displayed at the village. Open from the first weekend in May through the last weekend in October
CITY: Mount Vernon
Lisle Station Park
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.
Grayslake Heritage Center
A state of the art history museum dedicated to collecting and sharing the history of the greater Grayslake area. The Grayslake Heritage Center offers programs, exhibitions and special events all year round and includes two galleries, a community room and classroom.
The Varsity Center for the Arts
What started as a single-screen movie house in 1940 has become a power house for live music and community theater. This gorgeous theater is one of the greatest components to Carbondale's thriving art & culture scene, as it serves as home to the Jackson County Stage Company, which presents several plays during the year, and hosts the weekly Friday Night Film series. The Varsity serves as a venue for live entertainment during the Carbondale Rocks Revival, an annual city-wide music festival in addition to accommodating local and regional musicians during the year to bring the city exceptional entertainment.
Little Toot Railroad
Ride the rails and experience train travel as it was decades ago on a 15-inch-gauge Crown steam locomotive that runs through Charley Brown Park.
Evanston Historical Center
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.
Old Jail and Old School House
See the local Historical Society's authentic preservation of an 1800s school and town jail. Tours by appointment.
Built in 1869, the brick mansion boasts 14 rooms featuring Italianate architecture and local river lore history. Tours offered daily. The Historical Society hosts special events & luncheons.
Silver Creek and Stephenson Railroad Antique Steam Train
All aboard, as a 36-ton, 1912 Heisler steam locomotive pulls three cabooses, including an antique red caboose reported to be the oldest in the state, for a four-mile ride through farmlands. Purchase your ticket at the Silver Creek Depot, a turn-of-the-century replica filled with railroad artifacts, and browse the Freight House Gift Shop and visit the Silvercreek Museum across the street. Open: May thru October on selected holiday and weekends; 1 am - 4 pm. Train departs on the hour.
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.
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.
Erlander Home Museum
The cultural centerpiece of Rockford's Swedish-ancestry community, Erlander Home Museum is located in Rockford's first brick home, built by John and IngaStina Erlander family in 1871. Restored to its original Victorian decor, the twelve-room home features collections that include Rockford-made furniture, a renowned collection of more than 50 dolls created by Charlotte Weibull and many artifacts recalling Swedish immigration to northern Illinois and Rockford's Swedish heritage. Don't miss the Midsommar Dag festival in mid-June, and Lucia Fest in early December.
Shelby County Historical and Genealogical Society
Historical items are displayed throughout this former jail and previous sheriff's residence. Tour the basement where the old jails cells are located, or trace your family tree.
William Tanner House
Built in 1856, this Italianate is home to the Aurora Historical Museum which offers tours of the fully furnished home.