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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.
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.
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.
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.
This Queen Anne-style playhouse was built for Lucy J. Haskell, daughter of Dr. William A. & Florence H. Haskell. The playhouse was an exact replica of the family home. Lucy died at age nine of diphtheria and the Haskell's gave the estate to the City of Alton for educational & recreational purposes. The playhouse is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places and can be visited in Haskell Park.
Hayner Genealogy & Local History Library
The Hayner Public Library District provides a variety of genealogy-related services to support research efforts. Information from various states in addition to Illinois and other countries is available. The digitized newspaper collection is a wonderful resource of The Hayner Public Library District for genealogy research. The collection includes the Alton Telegraph Archives dating as far back as 1836 and access NEWSPAPER ARCHIVE to locate newspaper articles in other parts of the country.
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.
Mineral Springs Paranormal Research Center
Share evidence and peruse scientific research on the paranormal at one of the most haunted buildings in Alton -- the former Mineral Springs Hotel -- now the home of the Mineral Springs Paranormal Research Center. Overnight paranormal events are held at the site, in addition to meetings with other paranormal experts, investigators and researchers. Ghost hunting equipment is used in every investigation and there are over 140 EVPs obtained over the years at the hotel and at other investigation sites.
Arlington Heights Historical Museum
The Coach House, a replica Log Cabin, the 1882 home of F.W. Muller and the 1908 Banta House tell the story of Arlington Heights over the last 150 years. Tour guides introduce you to the life of early residents. Tours: Sat. & Sun. 2pm & 3pm Heritage Gallery & Gift Shop: Fri.-Sun. 1:30pm-4:30pm
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.
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.
The Colaw Rooming House
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
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.
Aurora Regional Fire Museum
The museum features a variety of interactive exhibits designed to educate and entertain children, families, and firefighters. Visitors can pass a leather fire bucket. Marvel at a strange looking firemen’s smoke mask. Explore the differences in fire hose nozzles. See and hear how fire engines clear the streets with sirens, horns, and devices that control traffic lights. Watch vintage firefighting films on five video touch-screens. All this, in addition to 5 pieces of fire apparatus on display in a fully restored fire station built in 1894. Suggested donation $5 adult and $3 child.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Bensenville Park District and the DuPage County Forest Preserve have been working to restore this property and land. Fischer Farm is believed to be one of the oldest remaining homesteads in the county. Explore the buildings, touch the artifacts, and connect with history.
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 Settlers’ Day and Colony School Reunion
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Brussels Historic Village Jail
Once known as the local "calaboose", the Brussels Jail was built around 1876 and centered in the heart of the village. The jail mainly housed men overnight for drinking too much and the last person to stay in the jail was in 1952. The jail is open seven days a week.
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.
St. Louis Air & Space Museum
Learn about the history of aviation in the St. Louis area.
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.
Built in 1869, the brick mansion boasts 14 rooms featuring Italianate architecture and local river lore history. Tours offered daily. The Historical Society hosts special events & luncheons.
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.
Historic Town Square & Downtown Carbondale
Twenty-five historic buildings ring Carbondale's nostalgic Town Square. When Daniel Harmon Brush, Carbondale's founding father, filed the original 56-acre plat of Carbondale in 1852, almost 10 acres were left open in the center of town. Today you can shop charming locally owned boutiques here, ranging from bike shops to furniture stores.
The 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.
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!
Carterville Heritage Museum
Opened in June 2011, the Carterville Heritage Museum is a beautifully renovated building showcasing architectural detail of the former 1924 area high school, hundreds of photo and memorabilia. It also serves as a gift shop, offering nostalgic custom-designed t-shirts, retro candy, gift baskets, a few antiques and popular hand-made cards made by community volunteers. It features books on the Tri-C community for sale, covering Cartervile, Cambria, & Crainville.
Harrison/Bruce Historical Village
The Robert L. Mees Village Centre serves as the hub of the Harrison/Bruce Historical Village by providing a venue for College and community events. Historical buildings include: The Purdy School, a one-room public school in Perry County, IL from 1860-1951. The Julia Harrison Bruce House, a replica of the house the house that was built in 1868 by David Ruffin Harrison. The Harrison Storefront, this "double dog trot" style log cabin is a replica of the cabin the David Ruffin Harrison family occupied prior to the construction of the brick, "Harrison House". And The Hunter Cabin, Emmanuel Hunter built the Hunter Log Cabin in 1818; the year Illinois became a state.
Carterville Veterans Memorial
The memorial is located next to the Heritage Museum downtown. It features plaques citing the names of WWI and WWII Veterans on one side and other wars featured on the opposite side. In a fitting tribute, the Veterans Memorial in downtown Carterville was dedicated on 11-11-11, Veterans Day.
Carthage Jail & Visitor's Center
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.
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.
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.
Jane Addams Hull House Museum
Visit two restored original buildings from Chicago's first settlement house. Exhibits and educational programs depict the life and work of courageous social worker and Illinois native Jane Addams.
Pullman Visitor Center
Stop here for exhibits and tours of the historic town of Pullman, built in 1880 by railcar magnate George M. Pullman. Several buildings remain on this landmark site.
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.
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.
Tour Black Chicago
This city tour travels in luxury coaches and highlights African-American social, cultural and historical events.
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.
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.
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.
Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven Foundation (FMR. Chess Records Studio)
2120 S. Michigan Ave. is one of the most famous addresses in all of American pop history. Former home of the legendary Chess Records label from 1957 to 1967, 2120 housed the studio and recording company that begat legendary recordings by Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf, Bo Diddley, John Lee Hooker, Etta James, Aretha Franklin and dozens of others.
Chrisman Wall Mural
Artistic talent is showcased on a wall mural that decorates the side of a building on this quaint small town's square. The first mural at Illinois and Madison streeets was completed in the fall of 1998.
Barn Quilts of Dewitt County
Barn quilts of DeWitt County is a project designed to celebrate Clinton and DeWitt County’s rich agricultural history, showcase our rural areas, promote agritourism, the arts, and create a sense of community pride. Throughout the county, vibrant, hand-painted 8’X8’ quilt blocks on ‘wooden canvases’ adorn numerous barns, making a drive through the countryside all the more enjoyable. Barn quilts are on display June through August.
Union County Musuem
General museum featuring local history, Kirkpatrick Pottery, Native American artifacts, pioneer items and other unique collections.
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.
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).
The 1855 Victorian mansion was the home of Dr. William Fithian, a friend of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln spent two nights here in 1858.
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.
Joseph F. Glidden Homestead
Joseph Farwell Glidden's invention of one of the most widely-used types of barbed wire in 1873 helped change the history of the American West and had far-reaching impact throughout the world. His Homestead, a Victorian Mansion, in DeKalb, IL, is being preserved and restored by a not-for-profit organization founded in 1995. Both the home and the barn are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. We welcome your visit and encourage your membership!
Ellwood House Museum
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
Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame
Sports memorablia; interactive video; photos of all inductees.
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.
St. Peter's Episcopal Church
The second-oldest Episcopal church in the state of Illinois was built in 1849 of locally quarried limestone, and is a unique combination of Gothic and Greek architecture.
Pioneer Gothic Church
Built in 1857, this church is a fine example of Carpenter Gothic Architecture. Pointed arched windows and doors as well as board and batten frame construction characterize this style. King Edward VII worshipped at the church in 1860, while on a hunting expedition in the area. The church was named as one of the “150 Architectural Treasures” in the State of Illinois by the Association of Illinois Architects in 2007, and is listed on the National Historic Register.
This traditional one-story French Creole residence, built circa 1790, is considered to be one of the oldest surviving residences in Illinois.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Village of Elsah
Travel back in time with us to the Village of Elsah. The entire village of Elsah is on the National Registry of Historic Places. This village, with a population of around one hundred people, is often referred to as the "village where time stood still." Visitors to Elsah can escape back to the Americana of the early 1800s with quiet streets and 19th century stone homes. This “picture perfect” village nestled in the valley is a perfect place for photographers – amateur and professional – anxious to capture a glimpse of the past.
Village of Elsah Museum
Discover what life was like in historic Elsah when it was founded in 1853 by James Semple. The museum, housed in the Elsah Village Hall built in 1887, showcases former residents, architectural styles used in constructing buildings, and implements used by residents in the mid-1800s. The museum is open Saturday and Sundays only from 1 - 4 p.m.
Right in the middle of Energy you will find Bruce Park. A nicely manicured 8 acre park with trees, pavilions, ball diamonds and soccer fields. The park is a great place to take your family on an outing or for your kids to participate in local sports. While you are there, take a look at the military memorial. There is also a monument with the bell from a schoolhouse that stood on the site.
Evanston History 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.
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.
Little Toot Railroad
Ride the rails and experience train travel as it was decades ago on a 15-inch-gauge Crown steam locomotive that runs through Charley Brown Park.
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
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.
Stephenson County Historical Gift Shop
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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. Open May through October, last Sunday of the month, 1 to 4pm or by appointment (815-362-3671).
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.
Ruebel Hotel & Restaurant
Located near the convergence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers is Grafton - 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Coal Miners Memorial
In the late eighteen hundreds there were many thriving communities that were totally dependent on area coal mines. Now there is a Memorial to honor all miners. Dedicated on October 14th, 2000, the Coal Miners Memorial is a tribute to all Southern Illinois coal miners of the past century. The inscription at the base of the statue reads, “In memory of coal miners who gave so much that future generations may benefit with a better life. They labored, served their country, sacrificed for their families and some lost their lives. We honor and salute them so that they will never be forgotten.”
The Annex Coffee & Deli
The Annex Building, built in 1912, is at the very heart of Herrin, Illinois’ thriving downtown on Park Avenue. The former Annex Movie Theater was converted into a bakery café and opened on Halloween 2011. The Annex Coffee & Deli is committed to delivering the best coffee house & bakery café experience in a clean and stylish environment which recalls the glory days of the historic building in which it is housed.