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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.
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.
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.
Historic Wabash Train Depot
This historic train depot features a preserved facade and a renovated interior that houses specialty shops.
Illinois Citizen Soldier Museum
See military memorabilia from the War of 1812 through Desert Storm.
Brehm Memorial Library
An extensive collection of genealogical materials offers visitors an opportunity to research local Mt. Vernon history.
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.
Clarke House Museum
Built in 1836, Clarke House is Chicago's oldest home.
Garnhart's Oliver Museum
Explore the largest Oliver Hart-Parr collection in the Midwest, including farm toys, advertising, and collectibles dating back to 1860, and real antique tractors and machinery. Bus and group tours are available, but should be scheduled in advance.
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.
Will County Historical Society
Incorporated in 1964, the Will County Historical Society exists to connect people and organizations to the county's rich history. The Society's museum is housed in the original headquarters of the I&M Canal. Built in 1837, the structure played a central role in the design, financing, and construction of the Canal and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. Changing exhibits highlight the history of Will County and the Canal. The Society's extensive collection includes significant county and canal-related records, including maps, plats, land records, obituaries, photographs, newspapers, receipts, and correspondence.
Streatorland Historical Society Museum
Displays include 19th-century clothing, music room, local artifacts, and many photographs depicting Streatorland history.
Barnacopia is a farm museum, events venue and Bed & Breakfast featuring two fully appointed guest rooms with full bathrooms and hot tubs all located in a silo next to the barn and the top floor of the silo is a library.
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.
Martin House Museum
The Fulton Historical Society is located in this Civil War-era home donated to the city by Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Martin.
J.T. and E.J. Crumbaugh Museum
This museum is located in the lower level of the Crumbaugh Library in Le Roy.The major displays include an 1890s re-creation of a child's room and a communications exhibit.
Heritage House Museum
Three properties -- Dr. Poos Home & Medical Museum; the Frank Schlosser Home, which includes a turn-of-the-century house, barn, harness shop, and commercial laundry; and the Joseph Schlosser Home -- make up the Museum complex.
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.
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.
Dennis Hanks Gravesite
View the burial site of Abraham Lincoln's tutor in the Old City Cemetery.
Yesterday's Farm Museum
A historic 1800s family farm that is maintained in its original location. Programs depict settlers' lives with period accuracy.
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.
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.
Flood Plain Forge Blacksmith
Blacksmithing, as well as artistic and functional iron work, is performed in this smithy that was erected in 1928.
Emma Kunz House
Visitors are invited to walk through this home, considered to be the oldest Greek Revival-style home in Illinois.
Ernest Hemingway Birthplace
Visit the Victorian home where Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway was born in 1899 and learn about his early family life.
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.
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.
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.
Fabyan Estate and Forest Preserve
Created by Colonel and Mrs. George Fabyan, who lived on the 600-acre estate from 1905 to the 1930s, the estate includes a restored villa with diverse collections, a Japanese garden and a Dutch windmill.
Wyatt Earp Birthplace Home
Deputy U.S. Marshal Wyatt Earp, an American hero who helped tame the Wild West, was born in Monmouth in 1848. Visit his birthplace and see historical documents and artifacts that tell the story of this great American hero. Tours by appointment only.
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 a classroom.
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.
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.
Alderman Exhibitions is a contemporary art gallery featuring emerging and established artists offering photography, painting, sculpture and editions.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Menard County Historical Museum
Housed in an 1890 Victorian building, the Menard County Museum contains documents, records, clothing and artifacts related to Menard County.
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.
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.
Rieso Farm Museum & Antiques
There is a large collection of machinery and primitives dating back to the 1800s.
Elmhurst Art Museum
Exhibiting late 20th Century American Art, Elmhurst Art Museum offers exhibitions ranging from national touring works to local emerging and mid-career Chicago and Illinois artists. The Museum offers public tours, programs, guest lectures and art classes. It's award-winning structure contains a dramatic glass entrance gallery, three museum galleries, an educational pavilion, and the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe-designed McCormick house.
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.
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.
On the Mississippi River in an old 12-acre quarry is where you will find a restored and furnished mid-1800s settlement. Paths through the wooded hillsides lead from one home site to another.
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.
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.
SciTech Hands-On Museum
Aurora's interactive science and technology center offers over 200 hands-on exhibits demonstrating the principles of electricity, weather, astronomy and nuclear energy.
Historic Charleston Courthouse Square
See the majestic Coles County courthouse and discover historic murals in Charleston's Courthouse Square.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fairbury Echoes Museum
This local museum features a Fairbury Room and exhibits that change periodically. Open Wednesday and Fridays, or by appointment.
University Art Gallery
This Western Illinois University gallery is dedicated to the study of culture and the arts.
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.
Illinois Mennonite Heritage Center
Mennonite museum, archives, historical and genealogical library, farm museum, restored barn, and grandfather house. Surrounded by native Illinois trees, prairie grasses, and flowers. Please call for a guided tour.
Illinois School for the Deaf Alumni Association Museum
This museum follows the rich history of the oldest school for the deaf in Illinois, featuring displays in over nine rooms on two floors.
The first brick home built in Polo is now a tourist information center and home of the local Convention and Visitors Bureau.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Block Museum of Art
Northwestern University's Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art is one of the largest fine art museums in the Chicagoland area.
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.
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.
Independence Pioneer Village
Visit this log home village from the early 1800s, including a blacksmith shop, church and schoolhouse.
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.
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.
French Heritage Museum at the Stone Barn
Here you can explore the French involvement in the history of the Kankakee River Valley-the first explorers and missionaries; the coureurs de bois and fur traders and the pioneer settlers from France, French Canada, and Belgium.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Civil War Monument
This monument features a statue of a Civil War soldier.
Best Wedding Chapel
This chapel, once a Catholic church, was purchased by the Best family who now offers it for weddings. Built in the 1870s, the chapel has its original 14-foot stained glass windows that complement the 33-foot cathedral ceiling.
The Nehring Gallery is a space within DeKalb dedicated to promoting arts and culture. It is currently the home of the DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association, an organization dedicated to preserving and sharing the storied history of agriculture in northern Illinois, through exhibits, educational programs and community outreach. Visit their website to see what exhibit is on display today!
Effingham County Courthouse
The courthouse was built in 1871 after Effingham was named the county seat. The courhouse retains a pristine exterior and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It also features a museum inside. The museum displays two rooms devoted to the military, which gets changed throughout the year. It also has a room dedicated to the railroads in Effingham County. The Effingham County Courthouse is open Tuesday and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Carthage Jail was the site of the martyrdom of Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum on June 27, 1844. Joseph and Hyrum with two companions were imprisoned here. A mob broke into the jail and killed them and injured severly one of their companions. Today the restored jail and visitors center and memorial gardens are open to visitors daily.
Lincoln Trail Memorial
This memorial commemorates the crossing of the Lincoln Family from Indiana to Illinois in early March of 1830.
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 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
Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park
Sited outdoors over some 300 acres, the 21-piece collection contains monumental works by many of the 20th century's most important sculptors, including Puryear, Nauman, Disuvero and Hunt.
Lyon Farm & Village
Features 15 historic buildings that trace the history of Kendall County plus an 1819 Chicago Burlington & Quincy caboose, a fully-stocked general store, an 1840s schoolhouse, town hall, a working blacksmith shop, the Plano Train Depot, (c. 1850s) and Yorkville Firehouse (c. 1888).
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.
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.