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This CD-based audio tour presents President Lincoln as a returning visitor, talking about the places he visited and their meaning to him. Whether you drive the route or enjoy the tour from your favorite armchair, the audio tour is a special and novel way to learn about the history of Lincoln and the role Bloomington-Normal played in his life. The CD can be purchased at the McLean County Museum of History
Miles Davis was born on in Alton, IL on May 26, 1926 and is noted as one of the most influential jazz muscians of the 20th century. Over his lifetime, Davis won nine Grammy awards and recorded more than 100 albums. In 2006 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Created by sculptor Preston Jackson, the bronze statue stands in the middle of the Miles Davis Memorial Plaza.
The fascinating history of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts comes to life in the Behind the Curtain historic tour program. Led by a group of specially trained docents, you'll not only see the beautiful neo-Classical interior design of the BCPA, but also learn all about the many technical and patron service updates achieved in the building's significant renovation. You won't want to miss this surprising, fascinating, and fun-filled look at one of Bloomington's historic and most thriving buildings. Bring your stories, your questions, and, above all, your curiosity. Behind the Curtain tours are one hour in length and can accommodate a wide variety of group sizes.
Historic museum located inside of a national registered church built during the Civil War. We offer exhibits, tours and the "old stone church" chapel is available for rental of weddings and special occasion ceremonies.
Explore the heart of America! Follow the Mississippi River as it winds its way along Illinois' western border from Galena to Cairo. Experience over 550 miles of small towns, big cities, historic sites, recreational areas, cultural attractions and museums. Follow the green and white paddle wheel signs as they guide your next adventure!
The BVIC is an African-American heritage tourism destination that serves as the main orientation center for those visiting Bronzeville. Here, visitors, residents, students, researchers and entrepreneurs can receive an orientation and information on Bronzeville's rich history and culture.
The main source for information about McLean County’s historic and modern attractions in the Bloomington-Normal area is the "Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66" Visitors Center. Located in Downtown Bloomington, the Visitors Center provides information on all of the wonderful attractions, events, dining and lodging available in McLean County. Their exhibits highlight two types of heritage tourism that is integral to Central Illinois: Historic Route 66 and Abraham Lincoln. The gift shop is filled with local products, memorabilia and more!
Built in 1929, the Villa Park Historical Museum building originally served the community as the Villa Ave stop for the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin electric train line and an appliance store. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. Today, it houses relics and artifacts from Villa Park's past including articles from the Ovaltine Factory which once operated in Villa Park and Sears Catalog Homes in the area.
A must-see attraction in Kewanee is the Woodland Palace at Francis Park, the first “green” home in Illinois. This unusual home was built way ahead of its time and is filled with engineering wonders. Learn about the quirky and eccentric man who built and lived in the home. Fred Francis was an artist, poet, inventor, builder, mathematician, engineer, and a naturist. Francis started to build the home in 1890 and worked on it for the next thirty-six years. It features hand-carved molding, a water purification system, and is the first house in the state of Illinois to have air-conditioning without the aid of electricity. View the sophisticated achievements of disappearing windows, doors, and more. Visit a home where everything seems to work in harmony. Woodland Palace is open seven days a week from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. April through October 1.
Many sites and attractions in historic Springfield will be brimming with free live performances and fun activities that will transport you and your family back in time – to the Springfield Abraham Lincoln knew and loved. From storytelling and interaction with costumed interpreters to visits with Mr. Lincoln, himself, this is a trip to the past you won't want to miss! History Comes Alive will run through August 13th.
A cherished landmark in the heart of downtown Wheaton, The Little Popcorn Shop is perhaps one of the most loved and narrowest stores in the Chicagoland area measuring 49 inches wide by 60 feet long. The store’s small, quaint space is like walking into a Norman Rockwell painting. Popcorn is freshly popped, candy lines the wall, and locals greet each other warmly while welcoming newcomers to this very special place called The Little Popcorn Shop.
The Historical Society is a beautiful building available for rental capable of seating 70-80 people comfortably. With a full kitchen and AC it makes a great venue for any social gathering. Call 815-825-2330 to inquire on a rental date.
Step back in time and view memorabilia that traces the history of Northern Illinois.
Visit the Victorian home where Nobel Prize winning author Ernest Hemingway was born in 1899 and spent his early life.
Celebrate the 169th anniversary of the Bishop Hill Colony and the 119th year of the Old Settler’s Association. Enjoy a traditional chicken dinner, the High Society Band Concert and program featuring Bishop Hill Colony descendants’ speakers. Sunday a reunion of students and teachers from the Bishop Hill Colony School takes place and memories are shared. Hours: 11:30 am to 3 pm.
Built of native yellow limestome from 1839-1841, this was the site where Mormon leader, Joseph Smith Jr. and his brother were killed by an angry mob on June 27, 1844, resulting in the Mormons' famous trek west that led to the founding of Salt Lake City, UT.
This turn-of-the-century Victorian house was ordered through the Sears Roebuck catalog and assembled for only several hundred dollars.
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.
Founded in 1976, the group maintains the Kewanee Historical Society's Robert and Marcella Richards Museum, featuring numerous exhibits highlighting the colorful history of Kewanee. Open, May 1st to October 1st Thursday & Saturday, 1:30PM-4:00PM Open Everyday Labor Day Weekend
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.
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.
Beningo's was established in the early 1970s, the tradition goes on four generations, specializing in homemade dishes from scratch for your dining pleasure. Among restaurants in Bloomington, let Beningo's take the worry and stress out of your busy schedule by simply ordering our famous lasagna, or choose from our wide variety of authentic entrees that are sure to make your family dinner or party unique and delicious, but most importantly, enjoyable! Click through our website to view our menu, read about our history, and learn more about one of the most respected and beloved dining establishments and restaurants in Bloomington IL and in Central Illinois. Come by Beningo's today to try our signature "sweet Sicilian" sauce, true to our Sicilian heritage.
This traditional one-story French Creole residence, built circa 1790, is considered to be one of the oldest surviving residences in Illinois.
See a regional collection of artifacts, historical documents and memorabilia representing Western Illinois history.
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.
This 7,000 lb, 15 ft, 8-sided section of a communnications tower that supported a television broadcasting antenna and a 5lb, 1 ft piece of the antenna were located on World Trade Center Tower One when it was attacked on September 11, 2001. The antenna was designed and manufactured by Harris Corporation at its Quincy plant.
Located on East Broadway in Johnston City, this memorial wall contains the names of local fallen heroes. A Memorial Day celebration is held in this location every year.
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.
DuPage County, Chicago’s Western Suburbs - Victorian, red-bricked house displays collections typical of the 1920s through 1940s in authentic lifestyle settings. Open Wednesdays and Sundays.
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.
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. Barn quilts are on display June through August.
This museum features exhibits of local history and antique farm tools.
Located in Harrer Park, this 1888 Victorian farmhouse features period furnishings and a museum on its lower level with rotating displays.
Located at the Poplar Grove Airport, this musuem has a variety of vintage autos, trucks and other equipment including aircraft.
This 3 story historic building contains artifacts telling the story of this Mississippi River community. Noteworthy displays include over 80 mannequins dressed in authentic Civil War uniforms, native son & famous big-band musician Wayne King memorabilia, railroad artifacts and running model RR layout Savanna Ordnance Depot artifacts and much more.
Original log buildings in this educational village are from Illinois' early prairie years.
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.
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.
This local museum explores the history of Sterling and Rock Falls.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
This 160-year old home has three rooms of original furniture, pictures and personal items once owned by politician William Jennings Bryan.
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.
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.
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. The focus has changed and evolved through the years, but our commitment to preservation remains strong. programs are offered for both local residents and out-of-town visitors. We seek to entertain the eye and stimulate the mind as well as support historical scholarship and collaborate with other preservation organizations. We look to the future with a vision to be the resource and advocate for historical preservation and research on the Peoria area, its organizations and its people. As a collaborative partner of the Peoria Riverfront Museum, we are pleased to have the opportunity to display some of the Society's artifacts and present the history of the Peoria area in the museum.
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.
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.
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.
Visit the museum's beautiful grounds and see a collection of over 10,000 items that include sea shells, primitive furniture and antique glassware.
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.
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.
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.
This privately-owned, 1890'a depot was restored in 2001 and contains photos and artifacts relating to Momence's railroading history.
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.
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.
Dedicated in 1903 in ceremonies that included a speech by Teddy Roosevelt, Memorial Hall is a tribute to Rockford citizens who have served in the Armed Forces. Large wall plaques list names of fallen veterans, and cases in the main lobby, side rooms and the lower level display Armed Services artifacts including memories of the Civil War, the World Wars and Camp Grant. The renovated second floor auditorium is used by cultural groups for shows and presentations and is accessible via the elevator.
The Itasca Historical Museum was the original Itasca Train Depot built in 1873. A 1939 Milwaukee Road Rib-side Caboose numbered 01839 was acquired and restored to its original bright orange appearance with all new doors, windows and wood interior. Kids love the interactive train display in the Depot which looks like Itasca in the late 1800’s with bells and whistles. Open Tuesdays & Thursdays from 11am-4pm and the 1st and 2nd Saturdays each month from 9am-2pm.
The museum gift shop is located at the rear entrance of the Taylor Mansion. It offers unique gifts including reproduction toys and games, pretzel-themed gift items, Rawleigh products, books of historical and local interest and more
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The growth and history of Winnetka since 1830 is chronicled in this museum, which includes the Carlton Washburne Library.
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.
Civil War hero John A. Logan studied law at this home under Senator Willis Allen. Come visit the oldest house in Williamson County.
Return to Rt. 66, circa 1947, when you overnight at The Colaw Rooming House. Where you'll experience travel on the Mother Road before Interstates and motel chains were the norm. Located just 2 blocks from Rt. 66 in quaint Atlanta, Illinois, The Colaw Rooming House offers three bedrooms, two full baths, a charming living room with fireplace, dinning room, curved front porch, and delightful yellow and red 1940's kitchen. To further enhance your step back in time, your stay includes a complimentary breakfast at The Palms Grill Cafe-Atlanta's fully restored, circa 1935 small town diner. For more information please visit our website www.thecolawhouse.com
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.
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.
Enjoy DuPage County's rich history from the 1830s to the present. The Museum exhibits feature hundreds of historic artifacts and photos along with many fun hands-on activities. You'll find something for toddlers to seniors, and everyone in between. Housed in an 1891 Richardsonian Romanesque building, the museum highlights 150 years of DuPage County history with participatory activities, changing exhibits and extensive model railroad display.
Enjoy the main floor museum with antiques and a replica of an 1890s home. Open the first Sunday of every month, or by appointment.
The museum was established to preserve history and educate youth about the significant contributions made to our country by winged and wheeled vehicles.
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
Begin your exploration of historic Nauvoo by examining the 1846 relief map of Nauvoo, viewing an introductory video, and studying historic artifacts and displays. Gather information on over two dozen restored homes, shops, and religious buildings in Nauvoo.
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.
This museum features four floors of county-wide historical items and displays.
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
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.
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.
For more than 50 years, the McHenry County Historical Society has preserved an outstanding collection of educational and entertaining exhibits. Featuring an 1843 log cabin and an 1895 one-room schoolhouse, the museum attracts thousands of students and visitors each year. The museum is open Tuesday-Friday, 1 to 4 p.m. (first weekend in May through first weekend in October) and select Sundays, including every Sunday in May (Look at Local History Month). Located in downtown Union, the museum is also offers special programs throughout the year. Visit GotHistory.org for details.
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.
An authentic, five-story (68 feet) working Dutch windmill located on the Fox River Trail. Built in the 1850's by two German craftsmen and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Volunteer millers serve as docents on the weekends. The Fabyan Windmill is open weekends, May 15 – October 15, from 1-4 p.m. Private tours are also available by appointment.
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.
The story of the Ellwood House reflects the central role of Isaac Ellwood in the development of the barbed wire industry in America. The magnificent estate is also a testimony to three generations of the Ellwood family whose tastes shaped the evolution of the house and grounds. As you visit Ellwood House you will be aware of the comfort and quality of workmanship. At the same time, you also sense the warmth and hospitality of a family home that was lived in for almost one hundred years. The Ellwood House provides historical tours of the grand Victorian and are approximately one hour tour times. Tours are available for teachers, students, groups, and families. Capacity: 80-100
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.
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.”
If motorcycles are your thing, check out Reiman’s Harley Davidson. Roger Reiman, the original proprietor, is a 1998 inductee into the American Motorcycle Association’s Hall of Fame and a three-time winner of the Daytona 200. A top competitor in the AMA’s Grand National Circuit during the 1960s, Reiman cut back on his racing schedule to manage the family Harley Davidson dealership in Kewanee during the 1970s. It was during this time that he became famous as motorcycle stuntman Evel Knievel’s head mechanic. Since Reiman’s death in a racing accident in 1997, the Packee family has owned and operated the dealership. One of the top Harley Davidson dealerships in the Midwest, Reiman’s can meet every motorcycle enthusiast’s needs and desires. Stop by and visit the Racing Museum and check out the history of Roger Reiman and Evel Knievel. Axle will be there to greet you!
This museum, operated by the Stephenson County Antique Engine Club, which also operates the Silver Creek and Stephenson Railroad, offers 20 rooms of early Americana. Exhibts include 500 pieces of crockery, dolls, a recreated schoolroom and kitchen, art exhibits, quilts, tools and agricultural equipment, and many other historical exhibits. Also on the grounds is a display of antique machinery and an exhibit of Henny Motor Company vehicles which were manufactured in Freeport. Plus visitors can view the operating Cooper-Corliss engine, a giant 130-ton steam engine with a 25 foot flywheel which originally operated a rolling mill in a zinc plant. Special exhibits and events are featured throughout the year. Open: May thru October on selected holidays and weekends: 11 am - 4 pm.
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.
Family oriented restaurant. Dine in or carry out. Plate lunches, dinners, and specials every night. Historical building dating back to 1927.