Showing 1-96 of 147 items
Allerton Park & Retreat Center
Allerton Park was the private estate of Robert Henry Allerton, who donated it to the University of Illinois in 1946. It features 1,500 acres of woodlands, formal gardens and more than 100 sculptures. The park is open to the public for hiking, picnicking, cross-country skiing and leisurely garden strolls.
Looking for Lincoln Exhibits
Pontiac’s historic connections to Abraham Lincoln date back to Lincoln’s early days as a young lawyer traveling the 8th Judicial District. Lincoln visited Pontiac many times, represented a number of local citizens in legal actions, and made connections here that helped him to rise to prominence in state and national politics. Nine outdoor story boards help tell the stories associated with Lincoln's many visits to Pontiac. Pick up a map at the Visitor Center.
Peoria Civic Center
Downstate Illinois' largest center is a four-building complex with a 12,000-seat arena. With 110,000 square feet of exhibit space, a 2,200-seat theater, a ball-room seating 1,500 for banquets and 16 meeting rooms this venue can house it all. As the premier entertainment facility in downstate Illinois, the Civic Center plays host to a variety of concerts, family shows, sporting events and Broadway Theater Series each year.
Historic Swinging Bridges
Three bridges which cross the Vermillion River. Built as early as 1898 and one of the most popular attractions in Pontiac. Bridge 1 connects Riverview Drive and Play Park. It was built in July 1898 by Joliet Bridge Company with an iron structure, 190 feet long and 4 feet wide and supported by cables swung from masonry piers. The current bridge is a wooden structure. Bridge 2 connects the Play Park and Chautauqua Park - Eden M. Johnson Memorial circa 1926. Bridge 3 connects the south side and Riverside-Humiston Park. It was built in connection with the adjoining park, circa 1978: Illinois Contractors, Inc.
Springfield & Central Illinois African American History Museum
Gathers, interpretes, and exhibits featuring the history and culture of African Americans living in the Springfield and Central Illinois area durin the 19th and 20th centuries. Open only Saturdays 9am-5pm until February 23, 2012. Tours and lectures available other times by request.
Fort Lamotte is a construction of a civilian style early 19th century American fort, featuring a two story block house and small log cabin. Construction began in spring of 2007 with all volunteer labor, donations of materials by various people and businesses. The block house is mainly constructed of popular logs as is the cabin. Local hickory was used for the cantilever logs, between 1st and 2nd stories with a puncheon 2nd story floor and persimmon trusses. The stockade walls are of locally grown hedge and black locust. This is the third fort to bear the name Lamotte.
Arthur Amish Country Information Center
This visitor's center offers maps and information on the entire Amish area, including the 150 Amish craft shops that dot the countryside surrounding the village of Arthur.
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.
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.
Louis Latzer Homestead
Louis Latzer, the founder of the Pet Milk Company, built this homestead for his wife and family in 1901. The home had many modern features of the day, including running water pumped by hand to a holding tank in the attic, a manufactured gas light system, speaking tubes between many of the rooms and one of the first telephones in the community.
Bishop Hill is a quiet country village where the charm and character of the original colony has survived the test of time. Bishop Hill is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and it is an Illinois State Historic Site. Taste the history of this once-bustling 19th century settlement. Sample our fascinating museums, quaint eateries, unique gift shops, and art galleries. Peek into the past at our seasonal festivals and holiday celebrations. Spend hours or days here with family and friends. Return to the serenity of our 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 restaurants. Renew your spirit in this peaceful prairie retreat. Discover why Bishop Hill remains a utopia on the prairie – then and now
CITY: Bishop Hill
Illinois Executive Mansion
Home of the Illinois Governor, the mansion is the third-oldest, continuously occupied governor's home in the nation. Filled with antiques and historic artifacts. Built in 1855 the mansion contains 16 elegantly appointed rooms open for viewing, including the state dining room, a library and the Lincoln bedroom.
Riverfront Museum Park
Arts and humanities complex housing Discovery Center Museum, Rockford Art Museum, Rockford Dance Company office and studies, Northern Illinois Public Radio offices and Rockford Symphony Orchestra offices.
Route 66 Heritage Wayside Exhibits
Five wayside story boards that highlight the history of Route 66 in Pontiac. Pick up a map at the Route 66 Museum.
Located in the midst of Illinois' Amish country, Rockome Gardens features the Illinois Amish Interpretive Center, a cheese factory, gardens, shops, Amish dinners, special events, and farm and house tours.
Joseph Smith Historic Site
The Joseph Smith Historic Site retells the story of the Latter Day Saint movement in Nauvoo during the early 1840s. Within the Visitor Center, guests will find original paintings of Nauvoo by David Hyrum Smith as well as other artifacts and information about the city and its people. Guided walking tours begin at the Visitors Center, starting with a short film and continuing through the Smith family's homes.
Marion Cultural and Civic Center
The Marion Cultural and Civic Center serves Southern Illinois as an outlet for cultural and artistic opportunities of all types. MCCC is a 1094 seat performing arts center located in the historic town square of Marion, IL. In addition to providing a state-of-the-art theatrical facility at a low rental cost, MCCC also provides a portion of the lobby to display paintings and artwork from Southern Illinois artists.
Korean War National Museum
Treasured artifacts, historial papers, and mementos tell the story of the Korean War through interactive exhibits. The first phase of the museum, The Denis J. Healy Freedom Center, is open to the public. The Center houses 3D-interactive exhibits, the Freedom Hall Theater, a canteen, and a center for Veterans and their families to record their personal experiences.
The Old Blacksmith Shop
Authentic 1897 blacksmith shop with working forges. Original tools/equipment and an on-site historian. Gift shop: Galena-forged items.
Grand Village of the Illinois
In 1673, this was the site of the first Native American contact with Europeans when Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet passed up the Illinois River. Located in the middle of the site is the 1851 Sulphur Springs Hotel, a resort for travelers and visitors.
Livingston County Courthouse
Located on the square in downtown Ponitac, the courthouse was built in 1875 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Abraham Lincoln tried some of his earlier cases here.
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.
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago's architectural showplace for the lively and visual arts. Daily programs and exhibitions covering a wide range of the performing, visual and literary arts are presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affiars. See the world's largest Tiffany stained-glass dome. It was initially built for dual purposes. It was the city's central library and a monument dedicated to the Civil War's Grand Army of the Republic. Since 1977 the building has housed cultural entities that included galleries, an auditorium, and the city's office of cultural affairs. The building architects are Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge.
Colonel Davenport House
Located on the historic Rock Island Arsenal island -- an active military munitions base -- the home offers guided tours that highlight the famous people who have visited this historic home, the history of the island through various wars, and the events that took place when the Davenport family lived in this home. Learn about the river bandits that broke into the home during the 4th of July and what happened to Colonel Davenport. IMPORTANT: Because this is an active U.S. Army facility, a current ID is required for age 16 or older to enter the island. International visitors must register one week ahead by calling 309-782-2686 Monday through Friday between the hours of 6 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Central Time.
CITY: Rock Island
Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War Museum
This museum features a complete set of the "War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies." The records might aid in your search for a missing link in your family history.
First Christian Church
First Christian Church served as the Reagan family church while they lived in Dixon and helped form Ronald Reagan's Christian-based work ethic, which included a short term as a Sunday School teacher.
Dr. Poos Home - Heritage House Museum
Built in 1888, this home was occupied by Dr. Robert Poos, a local practitioner and druggist. Dr. Poos was also the staff physician at the Springs Hotel and Bath House, later known as the Okawville Original Springs Hotel.
Lincoln Christening Site/Watermelon Statue
A life-size statue of a watermelon commemorates the day the City of Lincoln was christened by Abraham Lincoln on August 27, 1853. The town's founders, John D. Gillett, Virgil HIckox and Robert B. Latham, were all personal friends of Lincoln.
Jane Addams International Peace Garden
This peace garden honors Rockford College alumna and Nobel laureate Jane Addams. The garden is located at Fisher Chapel on the grounds of Rockford College.
West Chicago City Museum
DuPage County, Chicago’s Western Suburbs - Housed in historic Turner Town Hall (National Register site), the museum features community history exhibits and a research collection including local history and railroad materials. The Kid Zone Gallery offers changing hands-on displays for all ages.
CITY: West Chicago
The Golden Windmill was built in 1872, and is the only smock mill that still has its original stones and gears in place. Today it is home to the Windmill Museum and gift shop.
Sandwich City Hall and Opera House
On August 20, 1878, 25 years after Sandwich first became a town, a contract was signed for construction of the Sandwich City Hall and Opera House. An allotment of $10,000 was given for the project, with the stipulation that it must be completed by the end of the year. The building was finished on time, but there was a cost overrun of $2,000 After much time, money and energy by volunteers to restore and renovate the City Hall and Opera House, a grand re-opening was held on April 12, 1986. Once again the building functions as a community oriented facility, bringing community theatre, lectures, recitals, style shows, weddings and a wide variety of outstanding performers, ranging from country to classical, to its stage.
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.
Veterans Point Memorial
25 tons of granite memorialize 1300 veterans from at least twenty-seven states with the message, "Freedom is not Free." Fifty Flags of Freedom fly the following holidays: Memorial Day, Flag Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Patriots Day, Veterans Day, and Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
National Shrine of St. Therese
DuPage County, Chicago's Western Suburbs - The National Shrine of St. Therese sits peacefully on a 50-acre estate owned and operated by the Carmelites. The Shrine is home to the most wonderful collection of relics, personal effects and memorabilia of Therese, "the little flower," outside of France. Religious shop/bookstore.
Elkhart Cemetery/John D. Gillette Memorial Arch
The cemetery is the final resting place of several notable figures, including Illinois Governor Richard Oglesby and John D. Gillette (Cattle King of the World). The Memorial Arch replaced the wooden bridge over which Robert Todd Lincoln walked during the Oglesby funeral procession in 1915.
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.
Raue Center for the Arts
A center for visual and performing arts through education, creative expression, guidance, artistic nourishment, insight and inspiration, in an historic venue.
CITY: Crystal Lake
The Doughboy statue was commissioned to honor the men who served in WWI, and is one of 90 that exists in the United States.
Civil War Monument at the Veterans' Memorial
This monument honors generations of soliders who sacrificed their lives for their country.
Deere-Wiman House & Butterworth Center
Two historic homes, built in 1872 and 1892, were occupied by four generations of John Deere's descendants. Guided tours showcase the history of the houses, and are available by reservation only.
Millennium Carillon in Moser Tower
The Millennium Carillon, a unique musical instrument consisting of 72 bells, is one of only four Grand Carillons in the world. Enjoy carillonneurs perform during the summer concert series and climb 253 steps to the observation area to marvel at the views.
Moraine Valley Fine and Performing Arts Center
The FPAC presents quality cultural programs and popular entertainment in the 600-seat Dorothy Menker Theater, 150-seat Oremus Theater and the Robert F DeCaprio art gallery.
CITY: Palos Hills
Ratcliff Inn Museum
1828 Stagecoach Inn -- Abe Lincoln stayed here as he was campaigning. White County artifacts also on display.
African-American Cultural & Genealogical Society of Illinois Museum
AACGS promotes and provides resources and education on the history of the African American. Embracing all cultures, it offers (in part), genealogy workshops, museum displays, storytelling, essay & poetry contests and the promotion of Cultural Arts. Three main annual community events sponsored are Black History Month, Juneteenth National Freedom Day, and Kwanzaa Celebration.
Governor Oglesby Mansion
Built in 1874, this Italianate mansion was the home of Richard J. Oglesby, a U.S. senator and three-time governor of Illinois. Oglesby was also a Union general in the Civil War and a close friend of Abraham Lincoln.
Northern Illinois University
Come tour the Northern Illinois University, catch a show preformed by their Theatre or Dance department, or explore one of their Art Galleries. There is much to do on campus including their new Anthropology Museum, an Observatory, and the Huskies Den. Their Museums are free to visit, some fees may apply for shows or School of Music Concerts. There is never a dull moment on campus!
Hyde Park Hair Salon & Barber Shop
Hyde Park Hair Salon, originally Joe’s Barbershop, was founded in 1927 by young entrepreneur Joe Taylor. The salon began as an entrance to the Hyde Park Theatre but was soon sectioned off and transformed into a unique neighborhood barbershop. Years later, Joe’s Barbershop was sold to a new owner, the name of the shop was later changed, becoming Hyde Park Hair Salon. In 2007, the Hyde Park Theatre building was sold to the University of Chicago. The entire building was vacated which caused Hyde Park Hair Salon to relocate to its current location on Blackstone. The overall atmosphere combined with a trendy service menu has maintained a loyal and successful clientele during the past 83 years including celebrities Spike Lee, Phil Gates, Devon Hester, Bill Veeck, Suge Knight, Muhammad Ali, Harold Washington, and President Barack Obama, a patron of more than 17 years. President Barack Obama’s recent election caused a spike in the number of tourists visiting the barbershop.
Anne Lloyd Gallery - Madden Arts Center
The warm, welcoming and slightly funky Madden Arts Center is a richly renovated hub where the Decatur Area Arts Council makes its home. The building houses galleries, classrooms, an art shop, photo lab and rehearsal spaces. The Anne Lloyd Gallery showcases local exhibits as well as extraordinary traveling collections. The gallery spotlights an International Arts Experience exhibition over an 8-week period each summer. Participating in the downtown Decatur “art walks” the gallery holds a “First Friday” reception on the first Friday evening of each month, showcasing a different artist or artistic medium each time.
Benjamin Godfrey Memorial Chapel
Originally called Monticello, the village of Godfrey was named for a Massachusetts sea captain, Benjamin Godfrey who founded the Monticello Seminary in 1838. One of the more rapidly growing Illinois community colleges, Lewis & Clark Community College, now calls the Monticello campus home. Located on the campus, the Benjamin Godfrey Chapel, built in 1854, has become a landmark in the community. This church has been designated as one of only six churches outside of the northeastern United States that are authentic copies of New England church architecture and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Dedicated on February 12, 2009, Lincoln Landing is Lockport's newest attraction. This park, located on the original Public Landing platted as a dock area by Canal Commissioners in 1836, features a unique bronze statue of a young Abraham Lincoln created by artist David Ostro. Interpretive signage through the park highlights the history of the I&M Canal, its impact on the Lockport community, and Lincoln's connections to both. This open-air museum is self-guiding, but is enhanced by a website with school lesson plans.
James Millikin Homestead
The James Millikin Homestead is the former residence of James and Anna Millikin, founders of Millikin University, Millikin Bank and Millikin Estate Trust.
Fine Line Creative Arts Center
The Fine Line has year-round classes and workshops for adults in weaving, hand and machine knitting plus many more. Yearly events include Raku Day, Uncommon Threads Fashion Show of wearable art and Christmastime at the Fine Line.
CITY: St. Charles
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.
Governor John Wood Mansion
The Governor John Wood Mansion is the restored home of Quincy's founder and 12th governor of Illinois. This building is the first example of historic preservation in the state of Illinois.
This Lower Mississippi-style house was built in the early 1800s, and has been completely restored to reflect life during this period.
CITY: Prairie du Rocher
Situated at the base of the Ohio River bluffs, this two-story log structure, built in 1840, has been continuously occupied by generations of one family for 146 years. It was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1976.
Atwood Park War Memorial
The memorials here are a tribute to veterans of the Vietnam War, Korean War, Gulf War and World War II. The war memorials are the only ones built in the U.S. by youth, constructed by Boy Scouts of Troop 312 Rochelle as Eagle Projects.
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.
Historic Woodstock Square
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.
Lena Water Tower
Built in 1896, the 100-foot-tall tower is believed to be one of only three in Illinois of similar construction, and has become the symbol of the Village of Lena.
African American Civil War Soldiers Monument
This unique artwork is one of only a handful of sculptured tributes to the African American Civil War soldier in the entire United States. Commissioned by the City of Decatur, the work was designed and created by renowned artist, Preston Jackson. Jackson created several concepts for the statue and allowed the citizens of Decatur to vote to select the final design.
Lincoln Highway Seedling Mile and Interpretive Gazebo
Malta is home to the "first seedling mile" on the Lincoln Highway. As one of the 16 Interpretive Gazebos located along the Lincoln Highway, the Malta gazebo offers a unique way for visitors to enjoy stories of the early Lincoln Highway and its Illinois communities.
A.L. Van Den Bergen Statue " Abraham Lincoln"
This bronze statue was originally dedicated in 1931 to commemorate Lincoln's "Fool the People" speech.
Little Red Schoolhouse
Originally called the Mount Airy School, the Little Red Schoolhouse was moved to its present location in 1983. This 1850's school house has been restored and contains period memorabilia and artifacts. (Circa 1853). Open by appointment only.
Christian County Genealogical Society
The Genealogical Society is a research resource where you can find history on your family background, microfilm and microfiche, and books. The Society will also research your family for a donation.
Flood Plain Forge Blacksmith
Blacksmithing, as well as artistic and functional iron work, is performed in this smithy that was erected in 1928.
CITY: Farmer City
Byron Civic Center
Musicals, comedies and mysteries are performed August-May at this civic center located in Byron High School.
Historic Wabash Train Depot
This historic train depot features a preserved facade and a renovated interior that houses specialty shops.
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
Vernon Hills Park District Sullivan Community Center
Overlooking park land, the Community Room, equipped with a stage and kitchen, can serve 260 dinner guests or 400 people theater seating. Smaller meeting rooms with a capacity of 10-140 people including a gymnasium rental are also available.
CITY: Vernon Hills
Joiner History Room
The Joiner History Room is a cooperative effort of the DeKalb County Board, the County Judiciary, the County Clerk’s Office, the County Facilities Management Office, Sycamore Library and DeKalb County Citizens concerned with safeguarding their historical documents. The Joiner History Room is an archives that has many items of museum quality. Our historical materials date back to the hand written minutes of the first session of the County Commissioners in 1837. As there has never been a fire to destroy any of the county valuable historical files, they have been meticulously preserved to meet the needs of today’s researchers. The collection includes Civil War papers, newspaper files, old photographs and numerous boxes of manuscript materials.
Independence Pioneer Village
Visit this log home village from the early 1800s, including a blacksmith shop, church and schoolhouse.
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.
In 1779 George Rogers Clark led his army from Kaskaskia through this area to Vincennes, Indiana, where they captured Ft. Sackville from the British. At the time, this building was named for being near the midpoint of the Vincennes-St. Louis Trail.
Wind Water & Light Gallery
Located in historic Lincoln Square Mall next to the Framer's Market, this store features all sorts of arts from paintings, sculptures, and pottery works. Stop in and just browse, or perhaps purchase one of these fine pieces of art.
International Latino Cultural Center
Most recognized for the production of the Chicago Latino Film Festival, ILCC has screened more than 900 films and videos, including many award-winners that otherwise would have never been shown in Chicago.
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.
Mattoon Welcome Center/Peterson House
The historic Peterson House serves as the Mattoon Welcome Center, offering information about area events and attractions.
Civil War Monument
This monument features a statue of a Civil War soldier.
Illinois Iron Furnace
Step back to Civil War days when "pig iron" was smelted at this, the first coal-fired iron furnace in Illinois, now on the National Register of Historic Places. Restored structure is in a beautiful park with fishing, hiking, and picnicking available.
Woodlawn Cemetery and Civil War Soldiers Plot
The first burial at Woodlawn Cemetery was that of a Union Soldier in 1861. The plot is the resting place for over 80 Civil War Soldiers. An interpretive sign provides history of the plot and a listing of the soldiers buried there. Also located here are Civil War era cannons. Several others buried outside of the Civil War Soldiers plot were contemporaries of Abraham Lincoln.
Historic Charleston Courthouse Square
See the majestic Coles County courthouse and discover historic murals in Charleston's Courthouse Square.
Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra
The Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra features local and national musical talents, and perfoms four concerts each year.
Logan County Genealogical & Historical Society
The genealogical and historical society encourages the preservation of Logan County's history and maintains a research center that treasures and collects Logan County family histories. They're the only research center that includes ALL of Logan County. Their research resources include historical books, maps, obituaries, cemetery records, marriages, births, family surname genealogy and more! Stop by for a visit to see the artifacts, old photographs, museum pieces, veteran's exhibit, as well as the new "Abraham Lincoln Room."
One of the most important archaeological sites in Illinois, Albany Mounds contains evidence of continuous human habitation over the past 10,000 years.
Governor Coles Memorial
This memorial in Valley View Cemetery honors Edward Coles, the second governor of Illinois (1822-1826). A former slaveowner from Virginia, Coles became an abolitionist and won the 1822 gubernatorial election as the candidate of anti-slavery forces.
Fabyan Estate and Forest Preserve
Created by Colonel and Mrs. George Fabyan, who lived on the 600-acre estate from 1905 to the 1930s, the estate includes a restored villa with diverse collections, a Japanese garden and a Dutch windmill.
Conrad Park Pioneer Cabin
Check out this pioneer cabin that gives a glimpse of Illinois' earliest settlers' way of life on the frontier.
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.
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.
Dole Mansion at the Lakeside Legacy Arts Park
Black walnut doors, detailed wood carvings in the Eastlake style, amazing marble fireplaces: there's so much to see on a tour of the historic Dole Mansion and the original Crystal Lake Country Club (now the Creative Arts Center).
CITY: Crystal Lake
Will County Historical Society
Incorporated in 1964, the Will County Historical Society exists to connect people and organizations to the county's rich history. The Society's museum is housed in the original headquarters of the I&M Canal. Built in 1837, the structure played a central role in the design, financing, and construction of the Canal and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. Changing exhibits highlight the history of Will County and the Canal. The Society's extensive collection includes significant county and canal-related records, including maps, plats, land records, obituaries, photographs, newspapers, receipts, and correspondence.
Covering history from Quashquema to present, visitors will see items of Dr. John Weld, pioneer physician. Rooms of this Greek revival style home circa 1837 feature artifacts covering Nauvoo's long rich history. A 900-piece arrow-head collection, a river history display, pioneer artifacts, copies of Joseph and Hyrum's death masks, 1895 wedding garments, old Nauvoo business artifacts and photos spanning over 100 years of Nauvoo history on display.
Best Wedding Chapel
This chapel, once a Catholic church, was purchased by the Best family who now offers it for weddings. Built in the 1870s, the chapel has its original 14-foot stained glass windows that complement the 33-foot cathedral ceiling.
‘Begins the Trail’ Reagan Statue
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.