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Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
This museum is one of the most-visited presidential museums in the nation where visitors can experience the entire Lincoln story under one roof, from Abe's humble beginnings in an Indiana log cabin to his days as president in the White House. Be dazzled by two special effects theaters featuring historical ghosts and a Civil War battlefield, life-like vignettes that depict important moments in the president’s life, and artifacts that range from Lincoln’s stovepipe hat to an original copy of the Gettysburg Address.
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
Illinois' only United Nations World Heritage Site. This 2,200-acre site preserves the central section of the largest prehistoric Indian city north of Mexico. An Interpretive Center presents a coherent account of this sophisticated prehistoric culture. Climb Monk's Mound, see the film and life-size village. Don't miss annual events that focus on Native American culture.
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.
Black Hawk State Historic Site
Wonderful for families, friends for outdoor recreation. Additionally, the Watch Tower Lodge has hosted thousands of wedding receptions and offers a lovely setting in the beautiful historic park. This wooded, steeply rolling 208-acre tract, borders the Rock River in the city of Rock Island. Prehistoric Indians and 19th-Century settlers made homes here, but the area is most closely identified with the Sauk nation and its great warrior, Black Hawk. Voted one of the "7 Wonders of Illinois," this pristine park offers beautiful trails for hiking and walking only. Picnic areas are also available. While at the park be sure to visit the Watch Tower Lodge that houses a large reception area and the John Hauberg Indian Museum. The museum features Sauk and Meskwaki Native American Indian artifacts and displays depicting the four seasons and life of these tribes. A new exhibit tells the story of the Sauk and Meskwaki—how they came to live in the Quad City area, why they no longer live here, and, as the piece de resistance, a four-by-eight-foot scale model of the city of Saukenuk one of the largest Native American Indian settlements in the United States.
CITY: Rock Island
Go on a one of a kind country adventure you'll never forget! Become pioneers for a day on a real 1800s farm and village. Miniature train rides, pony rides, petting zoo, pioneer craft demonstrations, and special events. In the Discovery Barn see chickens, sheep, piglets, baby goats and more.
Consisting of the Robert McCormick Mansion Museum, the First Division Military Museum, ten acres of gardens and parks, 27-hole championship golf course and nine-hole Cantigny Youth Links.
Fort de Chartres State Historic Site
This former French military stronghold has been partially rebuilt and turned into a museum. Regular living history events shed light on colonial life in Illinois, and include 18th-century crafts, food, music, hundreds of historically dressed participants, flintlock rifle and musket contests, cannon and mortar competitions, traders and much more. There are also guided tours of the 1800 Creole House, which was designed in the French-American Transitional Architecture style.
CITY: Prairie du Rocher
Polk-a-Dot Drive In
The Polk-a-Dot Drive In was founded over 50 years ago has become one of the most memorable attractions along Illinois Route 66. Stop in and see the collection of memorabilia and enjoy a great meal.
Chicago Pedway Tour
The Chicago Pedway Tour will lead you through the Pedway, the backdrop for an amusing and enlightening tour of some of the hot-spots (or a least warm-spots) of downtown Chicago. The tour focuses on interesting anecdotes and tales about some of the great buildings downtown, but it’s also a study of the city underneath the city. The Pedway is a strange and wonderful place and adds so much to the city’s personality. These are great tours for Chicagoans who want to learn more about the city and for tourists who want a full Chicago experience without ever going outside. The tour is 90 minutes and is $20. Monday/Thursday/Saturday at 10:30 am. Please note: the start location for the Monday and Thursday tour is at 40 W. Lake St. in the “Gallery of Shops.” The start location for the Saturday tour is at start at Block 37 – 108 N. State St.
Chicago History Museum
The Chicago History Museum is a major museum and research center for Chicago and American history. From permanent galleries to special exhibitions and exciting programs, people of all ages are able to experience the past and better understand the present. Please call for museum hours, pricing and exhibitions.
DeSoto House Hotel
Stay the night at the DeSoto House Hotel on Galena’s Main Street, which dates back to 1855 and is Illinois’ oldest operating hotel. The DeSoto has hosted such notable guests as Abraham Lincoln (who spoke from a hotel balcony to the assembled crowd below) and served as the presidential campaign headquarters for Ulysses S. Grant. The hotel features 55 Victorian-style guest rooms, three restaurants and boutiques.
Midway Village Museum
The museum campus consists of a Victorian village with 26 historical buildings filled with artifacts of the era as well as several beautiful 19th century gardens that depict life in northern Illinois from 1890 to 1910. Interpreters in authentic period dress are available seasonally for guided tours. The main museum building holds large group meeting rooms and exhibit space with a number of permanent exhibits reflecting Rockford's history and culture. Special events throughout the year include a World War II re-enatment, Sock Monkey and Scarecrow Harvest Festivals, and more. Free recreational path located on property.
McLean County Museum of History
Founded in 1904, the museum is housed in a magnificent courthouse that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Located in downtown Bloomington, the museum reveals the lives of the people who shaped McLean County, including those who encountered and knew Abraham Lincoln.
Old State Capitol-Illinois Tourist Information Center
Located in the Old State Capitol where Abraham Lincoln gave his "House Divided" speech. Here you'll find tourism information for the whole state. Many free events and performances throughout the year.
Ruebel Hotel & Restaurant
Located near the convergence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, Grafton, Illinois is a little town steeped in history. In the heart of that history is the Ruebel Hotel. The Ruebel was built in 1884, caught fire in 1912 and was rebuilt and completely renovated in 1997. In 2008, it was upgraded to modern standards - all rooms have new beds and are equipped with hair dryers, refrigerators and 26" flat screen TVs with satellite. To ensure your stay is a pleasant one, we've supplied free wireless internet to the lobby, saloon and all rooms. The Ruebel Hotel has a magnificently restored bar from the 1904 Worlds Fair in St. Louis. The Ruebel Saloon offers excellent food and a great variety of beer and wines.
Chicago Neighborhood Tours
These half-day bus excursions celebrate the history, stories, traditions, and most importantly, the people of our great city. Tours departing weekly from the Chicago Cultural Center. Explore Chicago's neighborhoods with local tour guides. All tours are conducted by motorcoach and by foot, and depart from the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 East Randolph Street. Check in at 9:30 am in the main seating area behind the Randolph Cafe. Unless otherwise specified, tours do not include lunch or refreshments. All tours are $30 for adults and $25 for seniors/students/children, with the exception of Taste of the Neighborhoods ($50/$45). Cash and major credit cards are accepted. Chicago Neighborhood Tours is presented by the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture.
Jeni J's Guest House
Stroll the streets of Grafton with the great rivers at your doorstep. From a stone terrace overlooking the junction of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, Jeni J's offers the choice of 3 cottages with 1, 2 or 3 bedrooms. Built in the early 1800's, the cottages are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Situated between the two cottages, take the time to stop into Jeni J's gift shop for a memento of your trip.
Old Illinois Passenger Depot Railroad 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!
Chanute Air Museum
The Chanute Air Museum celebrates the 76 year legacy of the former Chanute Air Force base and the development Illinois aviation. The Museum showcases over 30 aircraft, including a rare P-51H Mustang and XB-47 Stratojet, while exhibits include "Life at Chanute" and "The 99th Pursuit Squadron: From Rantoul to Ramitelli and Beyond." Bus parking and a gift shop are available.
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.
Rock Island Arsenal Museum
The nation's second-oldest US Army museum features exhibits that highlight the history of the island, items manufactured there, and a display of firearms portraying the history of small arms development.
CITY: Rock Island
John Deere Harvester Works Combine Factory Tours
Tour Deere & Companies largest combine factory and Visitors Center. Minimum age 13, closed toe shoes required, tours subject to availability and factory production schedules. Watch combines made from beginning to end. Watch them dipped in the famous green paint and watch workers and machines create these amazing agricultural machines. To Schedule a tour call 800-765-9588. Tours are Monday through Friday at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. by appointment. Tours are guided and take place aboard motorized vehicles.
CITY: East Moline
Formerly known as the Illinois Asylum for the Incurable Insane. Come take a tour and hear stories of the history of the hospital, employees and the inmates. See how this nationally recognized historic
Route 66 Park & Tourism Center
This small park is right on Route 66, and it's a great place to check out the town of Atlanta. It is a great park, including flat area to run and playground for the kids to climb and run on, you and your family are sure to enjoy.
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.
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.
Ferrel Clydesdale Farms
In operation since 1850, the farm features a blacksmith shop and Clydesdale horses. Chuck wagon cookouts are available.
19th Century Christmas at Deere-Wiman House & Butterworth Center
Don't miss these two beautifully decorated Deere family mansions during the holiday season. The 19th Century Christmas features the interiors of the homes decorated for the holidays; along with living-history volunteers, Choir performances, Santa Claus, music, and make-and-take activities for the children. These homes once belonged to the John Deere family and are now operated by the William Butterworth Memorial Trust. Open noon to 5 p.m. Free admission.
Saline Creek Pioneer Village
This fascinating pioneer village includes the original Saline County Pauper Farm (now a three-story museum), an old jail, an 1859 one-room schoolhouse, the Cain Church, several 1800s log cabins, a barn and country store.
Center For American Archeology
Located in Kampsville, the Center for American Archeology Museum is housed in the historic Kamp Store, offering a variety of exhibits focusing on the 10,000 year pre-history of the lower Illinois River Valley, the archeological history of Illinois and the history of the Kamp Store. Guided tours of the facility and excavation sites are available for groups of ten or more.
Pontiac Visitor's Center
Be sure to stop by and pick up local Pontiac and tourist information for area attractions, dining, coupons and shopping. Located inside the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum building.
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.
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
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.
CITY: Bishop Hill
Two-Cell Jail in Gardner
The historic Two-Cell Jail was built in 1906. It has been restored by the community and holds a strong presence near Gardner's downtown area. Visitors are now encouraged to "go behind bars" and have their own photo taken.
Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame
Sports memorablia; interactive video; photos of all inductees.
CITY: Des Plaines
The 1855 Victorian mansion was the home of Dr. William Fithian, a friend of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln spent two nights here in 1858.
Spring Valley Nature Center/ Volkening Heritage Farm
135 acres, natural history museum, handicapped-accessible trails, 1880's living history farm and pioneer cooking demos. Cost for some programs.
Tour Black Chicago
This city tour travels in luxury coaches and highlights African-American social, cultural and historical events.
Kankakee County Museum
The Kankakee County Museum is the home of the Kankakee County Historical Society. Founded in 1906, it is the oldest incorporated local historical society in Illinois. The Main Museum Building contains seven permanent and temporary exhibit galleries, the Museum Store, the Museum's Archival Research Library, the Museum's offices, and support facilities. The Museum Complex also encompasses the historic 1855 Dr. A. L. Small House, the 1904 Taylor One-Room Schoolhouse, Column Garden and Outdoor Exhibit Area. The museum boasts more than 85,000 artifacts in addition to 20,000 still images in the photo collection.
Jacksonville's Underground Railroad Tour
Visit Underground Railroad sites such as Woodlawn Farm, as well as Jacksonville-area homes that were part of the Railroad.
John Deere Historic Site
John Deere has a presence around the world, but it all started right here in Grand Detour, Illinois. When you step foot on these grounds, it will feel like taking a step back in time. Hear the floorboards creak as you walk inside John Deere's home. Take in the beauty of the picturesque landscape. And feel the heat of fired steel inside the replica blacksmith shop. Whether you're a school group, a John Deere fan or a history buff, it's an experience you just can't miss.
CITY: Grand Detour
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.
Robert Wadlow Statue
In 1918, Alton became the famous birthplace of Robert Wadlow, "The Gentle Giant." Born a normal eight pounds in 1918, Wadlow suffered from a pituitary gland problem. He was almost nine feet tall and 500 pounds when he died of complications from a foot infection at age 22. He is noted in the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest man alive. A life-sized statue on College Avenue lifts visitors' heads in amazement. The Alton Museum of History and Art have devoted an entire room to Wadlow, including his third-grade desk and oversized grade school ring.
Kincaid Mounds Archaeological Site is 4 miles south of Unionville Road on New Cut Road, Brookport, IL Kincaid Mounds State Historic Site is a nationally significant Native-American archaeological treasure. From about 800 AD to 1500 AD it was the ‘capital' of a chiefdom that stretched from Brookport to Hamletsburg along the Ohio River. Large flat-topped mounds were erected on which the houses and temples of civil and religious elite stood. Today, the mounds still exist and a constructed overlook platform and interpretive panels tell the story of the significant contribution and historical value of this Native American culture.
Galesburg Railroad Museum
Museum celebrating the shared histories of Galesburg and the railroad. Tour a real steam locomotive. See the authentic railroad memorabilia. Great for kids and rail fans! Right next door to the Amtrak Depot.
Charnley-Persky House Museum
Designed by Louis Sullivan with assistance from his junior draftsman, Frank Lloyd Wright, the Charnley-Persky House is recognized as a pivotal work of modern American architecture. Docent-led tours of the exterior and interior of the Charnley-Persky House (1891-1892) are offered on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the year. The National Historic Landmark building serves as the headquarters of the Society of Architectural Historians. Photos by David Schalliol.
The Grove National Historic Landmark
The prairie grove, covering 123 acres of ecologically diverse prairie land, is preserved and maintained as former home of the visionary horticulturist and educator Dr. John Kennicott, who brought his family from New Orleans to settle on his land in 1836. The Grove, located in Glenview, is a National Historic Landmark and is on the National Registry of Historic Places. It offers many opportunities for educational, environmental and historical enjoyment including two historic homes, the Kennicott House and the Redfield Estate; the Grove Interpretive Center, a Native American Village, a Log Cabin, a Schoolhouse, a Wetlands Greenhouse and numerous interpretive trails.
Ottawa Scouting Museum
A museum to promote and preserve the colorful and proud traditions of Boy/ Girl Scouting and Campfire.
German Valley Historical Museum
This newly refurbished museum features displays of memorabilia relating to the history of German Valley and the surrounding area, including items from the Ostfriesian area of Germany. A kitchen area, bedroom, dining room, parlor, military room, and children's playroom are furnished with items from the past, and a display room offers a variety of exhibits. A schoolroom contains items of interest from German Valley's Pleasant Prairie Academy and other area schools. Farm and other outdoor exhibits are featured in an outdoor facility. Special events and displays are featured throughout the year.
CITY: German Valley
Belvidere Cemetery and Pettit Memorial Chapel
Established in 1847, this is the burial ground for Belvidere's illustrious pioneers. Want to go right to a Frank Lloyd Wright landmark? Visit the Pettit Memorial Chapel.
J.H. Hawes Elevator
In the heart of our nation's cornbelt, just a block off Historic Rt. 66, you can discover your connection to Illinois' rich grain producing, storing, and shipping history by visiting the J. H. Hawes Grain Elevator Museum.
Union County Musuem
General museum featuring local history, Kirkpatrick Pottery, Native American artifacts, pioneer items and other unique collections.
The 1878 Henry School, located on the Galena Trail, was used as an operating school until 1957. The Polo Historical Society has turned it back into an old country school, which includes displays on the Black Hawk War of 1832.
When just about any native of the Alton area thinks of a haunted house, normally one name comes to mind - the infamous McPike Mansion. Thousands of visitors and paranormal investigators have visited the grounds of the notorious McPike Mansion claiming spirits still roam this property. Some claim the haunts date back to the property before the mansion was even built, with native American ghosts and a residue from a possible Underground Railroad stop. Other mysterious stories include servants of the building, a cook in the kitchen and a strange death of a woman in the bathtub. Some even believe that Eleanor and Henry McPike still roam the corridors of their former home. All total, more than 11 different spirits have been experienced in recent years.
Salt Kettle Rest Area/Pioneer Salt Mines
The Salt Kettle Rest Area is accessible from the westbound lands of I-74, between Danville and Oakwood, and is located near the original pioneer salt mines. A monument stands at the site in honor of the area's first industry.
Alton Hauntings Tours
Based on the book Haunted Alton by Troy Taylor, Alton Hauntings Tours offers an entertaining and spine-tingling trip into the unknown, taking visitors to the most authentic haunted places in Alton. Uncover the eerie folklore, ghostly tales and documented haunted spots on a three-hour walking tour of the city’s most haunted sites. Visitors will see sites that have become nationally known, like the old Alton penitentiary, First Unitarian Church, Enos Sanitarium and many others. The tours have been proven to be popular with ghost enthusiasts and history buffs alike, and nowhere else can you learn as much about the real, haunted history of Alton. Walking tours and bus tours are offered during two touring seasons – Spring & Summer and the Haunted Fall Season. Private tours are also available for groups of 20 or more. Reservations must be made in advance for all tours.
An 1857 Italianate limestone house with ceiling murals, parquet floors, pocket doors, stained glass, curved staircase, carriage house and stables. English garden. Special events. Guided tours for groups on Sundays by appointment.
A World War I memorial stature, “The Spirit of The American Dough Boy” was dedicated on September 6, 1927 following its acquisition through a project sponsored jointly by the local American Legion and VFW Posts. The solider is forever immortalized in statue form, seen is his war apparel and stance. The Dough Boy is a symbol of freedom and remembrance of those who fought for our land.
Effingham County Veteran's Memorial
The Effingham County Veteran's Memorial wall is dedicated to all the men and women who served from all five branches of the armed forces. The names on the walls for from past and present. Every year they add more names to the wall.
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.
Clark County Museum
The Clark County Historical Society is dedicated to the preservation and education of all things pertaining to the people and places of Clark County, Illinois. Learn about the Lincoln-Douglas debates and unique area country architecture here.
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.
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.
World Cowboy Gunspinning Hall of Fame and Museum
This museum was established in 2003 to honor those individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport of gunspinning, made famous on the silver screen and television.
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
Quad Cities Railroad Education
Visit this railroad museum that features transportation displays and model railroads.
Chaplin Creek Historic Village
Chaplin Creek is an evolving, full-scale historical restoration project depicting a prairie settlement typical of the mid-19th century. Several historically significant buildings and artifacts have been relocated here from the surrounding area. Photo courtesy of Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition
CITY: Franklin Grove
Village of Greyslake Heritage Center and Museum
The Grayslake Historical Society was founded in 1976 and is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of the greater Grayslake area. The Historical Society stages regular programs, works with the Executive Director on engaging exhibitions, conducts tours and keeps residents and visitors connected with Grayslake’s rich past. For more information, visit the Grayslake Historical Society's website at www.grayslakehistory.org.
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.
Center for History
Museum and education center highlighting our nation's social heritage through captivating exhibits and programs. Stories of the 1915 Eastland Disaster, and experience life on the run following the Underground Railroad.
Cross at the Crossroads
Soaring nearly 200 feet into the Midwestern sky, the Cross is a landmark for the more than 19 million travelers who pass through Effingham each year along Interstates 57 and 70. Other features of the site include a visitor center, chapel and a 10 Commandments display.
Williamson County Historical Museum
Located in an historic brick building in Marion, the museum features artifacts, antiques, and records of a bygone era. 17 rooms contain exhibits, including an old-fashioned school room. Tours may be arranged through the Marion Chamber of Commerce.
This monument memorializes Elijah P. Lovejoy, whose work and death in Alton gave him a place in history for the abolition of slavery. During the slavery era, Elijah Lovejoy was a pastor who wrote anti-slavery editorials so controversial he became an object of hatred by slaveholders. Despite threats to his life, he continued his anti-slavery writings in the Alton Observer, even after three of his printing presses were thrown into the Mississippi River. It was this persistence that led an angry pro-slavery mob to attack and kill him in 1837.
General John A Logan Museum
General John A Logan (1826-1886) is the most significant nineteenth century native Illinoisian. Creator of Memorial Day, he's named in the state song with Lincoln and Grant. The General John A Logan Museum's mission is designed to interpret the the turbulent life and times of Logan.
Heritage House Museum
Three properties -- Dr. Poos Home & Medical Museum; the Frank Schlosser Home, which includes a turn-of-the-century house, barn, harness shop, and commercial laundry; and the Joseph Schlosser Home -- make up the Museum complex.
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.
The 1840s Lamon House is believed to be the oldest framed residence in the Danville Area. The home was constructed by Joseph Lamon, cousin of Ward Hill Lamon, President Abraham Lincoln's law partner and presidential bodyguard. The Lamon House is open Sundays, 1:30 - 4:30 PM, throughout the summer and by appointment.
Frances Willard House
Frances Willard was one of the most prominent social reformers in the 19th century America. Willard rallied support for temperance as well as many important reform movements including woman’s suffrage, women’s economic and religious rights, prison reforms, education reforms and labor reforms. The Frances Willard Historical Association operates the Frances Willard House, Willard’s home from its construction in 1865 until her death in 1898.
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.
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.
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!
Old Jail and Old School House
See the local Historical Society's authentic preservation of an 1800s school and town jail. Tours by appointment.
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.
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.
Wiley House Museum
The museum contains photos, paintings and artrifacts about Galva and the surrounding area.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Two-Story Outhouse at Gays
Arguably one of the most famous outhouses left on the planet is located in the town of Gays, IL, located just five minutes from Mattoon. The existence of outhouses in general are rare, but certainly a two-story version is a unique oddity that the small rural community of 300 has capitalized on for quite some time. Stop by anytime for this great photo opportunity!