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Civic Center Authority Visitor Center
The Bedford Park Heritage Corridor Visitor Center is full of information and literature of exciting things to do and see throughout the Heritage Corridor. The Visitor Center provides National Heritage Corridor promotional literature and I&M Canal related resources to the public. It is operated by the Civic Center Authority in partnership with Heritage Corridor Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Village of Willow Springs. The Center is staffed by volunteers recruited and managed by the Civic Center Authority. Open Saturday 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM and Sunday 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM.
CITY: Bedford Park
Matthew T. Scott Home
The traditional Victorian home belonged to Matthew T. Scott, a well-known agriculturalist, and his wife Julia Green, one of the founders of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Historic Charleston Courthouse Square
See the majestic Coles County courthouse and discover historic murals in Charleston's Courthouse Square.
Emma Kunz House
Visitors are invited to walk through this home, considered to be the oldest Greek Revival-style home in Illinois.
Edwardsville Children's Museum
The museum focuses on expanding young minds through a variety of educational programs. It is available for birthday parties and field trips.
Ottawa Historical and Scouting Heritage Museum
A museum established to promote and preserve the history of the Ottawa area and the colorful and proud traditions of Boy/Girl Scouting and Camp Fire. Features national traveling exhibits from museums and libraries. Open Thursday-Monday 10:00 AM-4:00 PM, Closed on Holidays.
Challenger Learning Center for Science & Technology
The mission of the center is to honor the memory and spirit of the Space Shuttle Challenger 51L crew by providing hands-on space exploration curriculum and center that enhances thinking skills and inspires those to meet the challenges of 21st Century.
Lena Water Tower
Built in 1896, the 100-foot-tall tower is believed to be one of only three in Illinois of similar construction, and has become the symbol of the Village of Lena.
Bureau County Historical Museum
The Bureau County Historical Society Museum is located behind the Courthouse square at the intersection of beautiful Park Avenue West and Pleasant Street in Princeton, Illinois. The museum consists of two buildings that are next door to each other: the Clark-Norris Home, a handsome Prairie Square mansion built in 1900, and the Newell-Bryant House, a stately Greek Revival house dating back to 1853. The Museum is behind the Courthouse. There is free parking on Park Avenue in front of the Museum.
Frankfort Area Historical Museum
The former two-story brick Logan School is now a museum featuring area mining history, memorabilia from 1802-1976, a genealogy library, and the Red Geranium Tea Room that serves homemade lunch.
CITY: West Frankfort
Charleston Historic District
Downtown Charleston includes a historic courthouse and many historic homes listed on both the Coles County Register for Significant Places and the National Register of Historic Places.
Independence Pioneer Village
Visit this log home village from the early 1800s, including a blacksmith shop, church and schoolhouse.
Bock Sculpture Museum
The museum, located in the original college building on the campus of historic Greenville College, features hundreds of sculptural pieces by Richard Bock, best known for his work with famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Fairbury Echoes Museum
This local museum features a Fairbury Room and exhibits that change periodically. Open Wednesday and Fridays, or by appointment.
The Science Center of Southern Illinois
The Science Center of Southern Illinois is the perfect way for kids to explore the beauty of science in a fun atmosphere. This hands-on children's museum has over 50 exhibits and sees nearly 15,000 annual visitors. Adults are also welcome, as many of the activities can be enjoyed by all.
Evanston Arts Depot
This cultural center is a restored train station in the heart of Evanston. Home of the Piccolo Theatre and Custer’s Last Stand Festival which takes place each June.
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.
Mount Pulaski Township Historical Museum & Research Center
This museum contains numerous artifacts and memorabilia from the Mt. Pulaski area, as well as Abraham Lincoln items and information.
CITY: Mount Pulaski
Challenger Learning Center
The Challenger Learning Center at Heartland Community College offers interactive, simulated space and science experiences through scheduled team missions for students and the public.
A.G. Spalding: From Byron to the Big Leagues Exhibit
Located at the Byron Museum of History, this exhibit features Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Albert Spalding, from his youth in Byron to his league pitching career and the founding of the Spalding Sporting Goods Company.
Roselle Historical Museum
The Sumner home, along with two others, features historical displays and replicas. One of the houses is restored as a 1920's working-class home.
Air Classics Museum of Aviation
Vintage military and training planes, plus displays of aviation uniforms and memorabilia. Open by appointment only.
CITY: Sugar Grove
Begins the Trail Reagan Statue
A bronze statue of Ronald Reagan, astride the likeness of a palomino horse he rode nearly 60 years ago, sits at the head of the Heritage Crossing Riverfront Plaza located on River Street in downtown Dixon. The statue, created by local artist Don Reed, serves as the centerpiece of Heritage Crossing, an open-air plaza that looks out onto the Rock River.
Illinois Citizen Soldier Museum
See military memorabilia from the War of 1812 through Desert Storm.
Menard County Historical Museum
Housed in an 1890 Victorian building, the Menard County Museum contains documents, records, clothing and artifacts related to Menard County.
Rieso Farm Museum & Antiques
There is a large collection of machinery and primitives dating back to the 1800s.
CITY: New Athens
Union School House
Built in 1865, Union School served rural Logan County for over 80 years. More than a museum, Union School is a hands-on learning center. Local history is displayed in old photographs and memorabilia. A year-round interpreter is available to enhance the visitor experience.
Geneva History Center
They offer award winning educational programs and professional exhibits that make the Geneva History Center a source of great community pride.
Dominy Memorial Library
A resource to encourage education and to promote research, the library acts as a cultural center, housing 18,709 books. It is also home to large print books, audio books, newspapers, magazines, music cassettes, videos, bifocal kits, and art prints. Patrons have access to a fax machine, copy machine, microfilm printer-reader, genealogy materials, and the internet through two computers. The library offers a meeting room, outreach programs, children's programs, and a children's library.
Housed in a historic 1890s home, this museum covers everything from the history of the Mississippi River to dinosaurs, Native Americans and NASA.
Woodbine Glass Museum and Gift Shop
Museum displays 4,000 pieces of hand-blown glass, including contemporary and antique work from many countries. Glass blowing video. Gift shop.
International Museum of Surgical Science
Housed in a historic landmark mansion on the Gold Coast, the collections and exhibits portray the mysteries and milestones that have shaped modern surgical science. Of special interest to those in the medical field, our collection appeals to anyone interested in the history of surgery by means of art, surgical instruments, architecture, and books.
The Old Barn Museum
Housed in an original 1840s barn, this museum features thousands of Native American artifacts, including arrows, axes, drills, stone implements, trade beads, beaded garments and natural history items.
Historic Jerseyville Courthouse Square
Built in 1893, this historic masonry courthouse sits at the center of town and serves as the hub of activity for the entire county. The courthouse is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Tours of the courthouse are available for groups with reservations. Hours: Monday - Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m. to noon
Princeville Heritage Museum
The Princeville Heritage Museum opened to the public in 1999. The museum is a part of the Historical Association of Princeville (incorporated in 1987). The 15,000 square foot handicap accessible facility features antique agriculture equipment, steam powered tractors and threshers, area artifacts, a genealogy research area, and much more. In 2004 the Akron Townhouse School was moved to the museum grounds. The townhouse school allows children and adults alike to take a step back in time and participate in a day in the life of a student in the early 1900’s. With seating for 35, the conference facilities are equipped with state of the art audio visual equipment and wireless internet connection. The facility also includes a full kitchen.
Macoupin County Jail
The historic 1869 Macoupin County Jail was designed by E.E. Meyers. It was built using the "cannon ball" method which prevented jail breaks by making it nearly impossible to remove the blocks. This unique medieval-inspired fortress housed many lawbreakers during its 119 years of use, but only one prisoner escaped. He was soon apprehended a few blocks from the jail.
Christian County Genealogical Society
The Genealogical Society is a research resource where you can find history on your family background, microfilm and microfiche, and books. The Society will also research your family for a donation.
Dollhouses Then & Now
Museum that houses over 70 vintage furnished doll houses from the 1920’s- to current. The architectural designs and fashions depict and present the evolution of homes and furnishings from then to now. The Then and Now gift shop is complete with collectable doll house furnishings for sale. Children enjoy playing the scavenger hunt and viewing the 1949 “Disney House” and the 1924 Tootsie Toy house furnished with Tootsie toy pieces. Located inside Taylor’s Furniture Store, along the square in Quincy’s downtown business district.
Dickson Mounds Museum
The premier on-site archaeological museum, located 45 miles southwest of Peoria, interprets the 12,000 year history of American Indian cultures in Illinois through artifacts, interpretive exhibits, major multi-image productions, hands-on activities and a variety of public events in a rural setting.
Windmill Cultural Center
The Windmill Cultural Center houses an extensive collection of 21 European windmills representing ten European countries. Interpretive exhibits provide unique information on the products produced by windmills, country of origin, windmill specifications, and the cultural impact of windmills. The Education Area features video presentations of the windmill countries and an education area contains children's activities including coloring, puzzles, and toys promoting scientific concepts. The gift shop sells fresh stone-ground flour, Delft pottery, and souvenirs of Fulton, the Windmill Cultural Center and the windmill.
Kane County Events and Cultural Center
This 50-acre forest preserve houses the Philip B. Elfstrom Stadium (home of the Kane County Cougars minor league baseball team), the Roberta Campbell Cultural & Conference Center (used for art exhibits and community activities) and a picnic/park area.
Galena & U.S. Grant Museum
Discover Ulysses S. Grant, one of the most celebrated Generals of the Civil War and United States President, in this museum bearing his name. Featuring ‘Ghosts of the Grants’ hologram, Civil War exhibits, 1830s lead mine shaft. Book/gift shop. Galena merchandise.
Joiner History Room
The Joiner History Room is a cooperative effort of the DeKalb County Board, the County Judiciary, the County Clerk’s Office, the County Facilities Management Office, Sycamore Library and DeKalb County Citizens concerned with safeguarding their historical documents. The Joiner History Room is an archives that has many items of museum quality. Our historical materials date back to the hand written minutes of the first session of the County Commissioners in 1837. As there has never been a fire to destroy any of the county valuable historical files, they have been meticulously preserved to meet the needs of today’s researchers. The collection includes Civil War papers, newspaper files, old photographs and numerous boxes of manuscript materials.
Historical Society Museum/Alton Railroad Depot
The restored railroad depot, designed by Henry Ives Cobb, is now the home of the Dwight Historical Society and is still an operating Amtrak train station.
Little Red Schoolhouse
Originally called the Mount Airy School, the Little Red Schoolhouse was moved to its present location in 1983. This 1850's school house has been restored and contains period memorabilia and artifacts. (Circa 1853). Open by appointment only.
The first brick home built in Polo is now a tourist information center and home of the local Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Witness the history of the universe from its fiery birth to the formation of our own solar system on a state-of-the-art digital projector that gives a multimedia and full-dome show. Open year round, there are several shows scheduled during the week.
Henry County Historical Museum
This museum's detailed exhibits include a one-room schoolhouse, doctor's and dentist's offices, the war room, restored ag implements, machinery, an authentic windmill and a hog house.
CITY: Bishop Hill
Civil War Monument
This monument features a statue of a Civil War soldier.
Wonder Works is 6,400 square feet of fun, a place of creative play for kids birth to age eight. Located in Oak Park, Illinois at 6445 West North Avenue, the children's museum helps kids, their parents and caregivers unleash their imaginations through art, performance, design, building and more.
CITY: Oak Park
Sensing Chicago at the Chicago History Museum
Make the new Chicago History Museum your family's number-one destination for fun. There's always something new at the Museum to inspire imagination and satisfy young curiosities. Our exhibition Sensing Chicago invites children of all ages to explore the sights, sounds, and smells of the city. Visit the gallery to: Ride a high-wheel bicycle down a wood-paved street Hear the Great Chicago Fire. Catch a fly ball at Comiskey Park. Discover history through your nose with our Smell Map. Be a Chicago-style hot dog. Create an oversized postcard of your favorite sights to post on the gallery wall or e-mail to a friend. Let your senses guide you to other exciting galleries in the Museum! The Museum makes it fun for families to explore our exhibitions. In addition to our highly acclaimed children’s gallery, families are invited to participate in our History a la Cart interactive gallery stations.
Conrad Park Pioneer Cabin
Check out this pioneer cabin that gives a glimpse of Illinois' earliest settlers' way of life on the frontier. It is located in a majestic park setting along the Kankakee River.
Jane Addams Burial Site
Jane Addams, born and raised in Cedarville, was an internationally famous humanitarian and social work pioneer who founded Chicago's Hull House and won the Nobel Peace Prize. She is buried in this lovely old hillside cemetery.
Brehm Memorial Library
An extensive collection of genealogical materials offers visitors an opportunity to research local Mt. Vernon history.
CITY: Mount Vernon
Alfred Brown Museum
This museum has a large collection of post cards from the 1904 World's Fair, a drum from the civil war, Native American artifacts, old uniforms, and school artifacts.
St. Charles Heritage Center
Rotating exhibits of St. Charles history, including Civil War artifacts, local industry and other fascinating facts. Local history research archives available by appointment. Gift shop too.
CITY: St. Charles
Letourneau Home Museum
The Letourneau Home Museum is the one time home of George R. Letourneau. A contemporary of Abraham Lincoln, George R. Letourneau was the only person to have had the distinction of having been village president and mayor of the city of Kankakee. Today the Letourneau home is a museum that contains many artifacts and is maintained by the Bourbonnais Grove Historical Society. The museum is open on the third Sunday of each month (except January, February and holidays). Call (815) 933-6452 for cancellations or further announcements.
Aurora Historical Society.
This local history research archives houses historic photos, books, documents and maps covering Aurora's history from the 1830s to the present. Open by appointment only.
University Art Gallery
This Western Illinois University gallery is dedicated to the study of culture and the arts.
Franklin County Garage and Auto Museum
Only 5 miles south of Rend Lake, this old 1910 Ford garage has been restored to its original condition and now displays vintage cars, Beatles and Charlie Birger, (the last convicted criminal to be hanged in Illinois) memorabilia.
Jackson County Historical Center
The museum has expanded, adding about 1,000 square feet to its headquarters building for more exhibit area. Included in its displays is a pump organ, a collection of early cameras, a display of Daniel Grocery Store items, and many textile items, military uniforms, 1850-era Chandler Printer Press and county courthouse records containing hundreds of files available for genealogy study.The museum also has an exhibit of women's vintage clothing ranging from 1865-1970s and continues to add exhibits.
Aurora Regional Fire Museum
This museum features vintage firefighting equipment, memorabilia from the 1871 Chicago Fire, photographs and a gift shop.
Pritzker Military Library
"The Pritzker Military Library offers books, audiovisuals, prints, regalia, magazines, speakers and online resources concentrating on military history, specifically the role of the Citizen Soldier.
Depot Veteran's Museum
This restored railroad depot houses memorabilia from all wars. Outside is a Southern Illinois Miners Memorial dedicated to coal miners of the region.
CITY: West Frankfort
Colonel Benjamin Stephenson House
This two-story brick home is a wonderful example of Federal-style architecture from 1820. Col. Stephenson, who was a contemporary of Lewis & Clark, moved there in 1809.
Streatorland Historical Society Museum
Displays include 19th-century clothing, music room, local artifacts, and many photographs depicting Streatorland history.
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.
Schram Memorial Chapel
This historic non-denominational chapel served as a house of worship for thousands of servicemen and women passing through this military base. After the Glenview Naval Air Station closed, the building was moved from its original location and painstakingly restored by the Village of Glenview and Kimball Hill Builders. Now owned by the Park District, it is available for rental by groups, individuals and organizations.
Step back in time in the Loveland Museum and get a glimpse of Dixon and Lee County history. See exhibits from the life of "Father" John Dixon, the Blackhawk War, Civil War and other conflicts, local industry and attractions, the Truesdell Bridge disaster and President Ronald Reagan.
Washington County Historical Museum
Built in 1871 as a private residence, this building now holds hundreds of artifacts from the country including a display of period wedding dresses.
Wiley House Museum
The museum contains photos, paintings and artrifacts about Galva and the surrounding area.
Madison County Historical Society Museum & Archives
The 1836 Weir House is filled with an amazing display of artifacts representing local and county history, in addition to a historic research library.
Durant House Museum
This authentically restored and furnished 1843 prairie farm house features costumed interpreters who involve visitors in mid-19th century farm life.
CITY: St. Charles
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.
Elijah Iles House: Springfield's History Museum
Experience the historic Greek Revial-style house once owned by a founder of Springfield: Elijah Iles. It houses a permanent exhibit, Springfield as Urban Frontier 1818-1836.
Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
Focusing on the art, history and culture of the American Indian. Permanent exhibits are dedicated to the Native cultures of the Woodlands, Plains, Southwest, Northwest Coast and Arctic regions of North America. Each gallery contains a “touching table” where visitors can handle real examples of Indian artifacts, as well as feel the raw materials—including snakeskin, caribou fur, birch bark, turquoise and buffalo skin—that were used by native Americans. Temporary exhibits showcase emerging and established contemporary Native artists. Lectures and performances throughout the year provide a venue for multicultural education.
Simpkins Military History Museum
The personal collection of Gary Simpkins includes artifacts from the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I and II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Cold War and Desert Storm.
Vermilion County War Museum
The Vermilion County War Museum, housed in a former Carnegie Library, contains over 25,000 artifacts and memorabilia ranging from the Revolutionary War to Operation Iraqi Freedom. The museum enjoys a steady stream of both U.S. and foreign visitors who appreciate the ever-increasing collections of artifacts and research materials.
Charles Gates Dawes House Museum
The Dawes House, a magnificent Chateauesque Mansion overlooking Lake Michigan, was the home of the former United States vice president under Calvin Coolidge and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Charles Gates Dawes.
Dillon Home Museum
Built in 1858, this Italian Renaissance-style home displays the history of the Dillon family and Northwestern Steel, as well as fine antiques which belonged to the Dillons.
Midwest Museum of Natural History
The mission of the Midwest Museum of Natural History is to encourage an appreciation of the world's diverse natural environment and human culture through exhibits and interactive learning experiences for children and adults. Offering a kid's play area with hands-on learning fun, a gift shop, national traveling exhibits, and world-renowned celebrities Ruud Kleinpaste, Jack Hanna and Jeff Corwin.
Deskin's Tavern & Postville Well
Abe Lincoln often stayed at Deskin's Tavern when he traveled to Postville. A well where he is said to have quenched his thirst is also located on this site.
Rossville Depot Railroad Museum
The Rossville Depot Railroad Museum features a collection of material from various railroads in East Central Illinois including the C&EI, Wabash, Illinois Terminal and NYC. The depot also includes a HO scale model railroad with over 1,000 feet of total track and 130 switches.
Christian County Coal Mine Museum
Featuring historical items pertaining to coal mining in Christian County, this museum includes coal mining equipment, memorabilia and more. Be sure to visit the coal miner monument on the courthouse lawn. Open Thurs-Sat, 10am-2pm.
Historic Woodstock Square
A Victorian town square, complete with bandstand and gazebo, is the setting for many unique shops, eateries, antiques stores and art galleries. The square is home to many events, and was the film site for the hit movie Groundhog Day.
Greater Saint Louis Air and Space Museum
Learn about the history of aviation in the St. Louis area. The Museum is located at the St. Louis Downtown Parks Airport and has Gus Grissom's flight suit, a collection of TWA artifacts, and a 1941 Meyers O.T.W. Bi-plane on exhibit.
Built in 1830, this is the only stagecoach stop still intact along the 60-mile Kaskaskia-Cahokia trail.
Ronald Reagan Birthplace & Museum
This quaint apartment, featuring the bedroom where the President was born, restored and decorated to its original 1900's style, sits on the second floor at the site of the First National Bank which has also been restored. Next door is a gift store and museum of Reagan memorabilia.
Bond County One Room School Museum
This museum is a living monument to the more than 72 one-story schools throughout the nation that served to educate children and host community gatherings.
Randolph County Museum & Archives
Built in 1864, the museum is a repository for French-Colonial-era records and special exhibits. Next door, the Randolph County Courthouse offers a panoramic view of the Mississippi River Valley from a 5th-floor, glassed-in observation deck, a mini-museum in the Jail lobby, and a flag display in the courtyard.
Ellwood House Museum
Perhaps the most notable of historic gems in DeKalb. This grand Victorian mansion was built by barbed wire millionaire Isaac Ellwood. Looks just as it did when the family lived there.
Clarke House Museum
Built in 1836, Clarke House is Chicago's oldest home.
Byron Natural History Museum
This natural history museum displays prairies, woodlands, wetlands and other interesting exhibits illustrating life as it existed hundreds of years ago in Northern Illinois. Be sure to make a stop at the museum gift shop.
Freeport Art Museum
Explore five permanent galleries: European (19th century paintings, sculpture), Art of the Near and Far East (Egyptian, Chinese, and Southeast Asia), Native American (pots, baskets and Kachina dolls), African and Oceanic Art (masks, ceremonial pieces and textiles), and Contemporary (prints and paintings). Two galleries feature new exhibitions every 8-12 weeks and are devoted to regional art or national exhibitions. A student gallery features aspiring young artists from local schools. The museum also offers educational programs, performances, and special events. Open: Tuesday thru Friday: 10 am - 5 pm; Saturday: Noon - 5 pm. Free admission, but donations are appreciated.
Covering history from Quashquema to present, visitors will see items of Dr. John Weld, pioneer physician. Rooms of this Greek revival style home circa 1837 feature artifacts covering Nauvoo's long rich history. A 900-piece arrow-head collection, a river history display, pioneer artifacts, copies of Joseph and Hyrum's death masks, 1895 wedding garments, old Nauvoo business artifacts and photos spanning over 100 years of Nauvoo history on display.
Macoupin County Courthouse
The Macoupin County Courthouse, built in 1870, used to be the largest county courthouse in the United States, with the possible exception of one in New York City. It was even larger than the Illinois Statehouse. While the courthouse still serves as the seat of county government, it has also become a showplace that attracts tourists, architects and artists from across the country, as well as overseas.