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The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music holds diverse collections of personal papers, archival records, and museum artifacts documenting America’s music heritage from the nineteenth century to the present, as well as scholarship produced by nationally and internationally recognized composers, musicians, conductors, and inventors. The Center is home to the world’s largest concentration of original compositions by John Philip Sousa, one of many significant historical collections that document the American band movement and the early evolution of electronic and avant-garde music. The Sousa Archives strives to provide exceptional service, programming, access, and tours of our collections to all visitors.
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.
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.
Centerpieces of the collection are newspapers and memorabilia from the coal mining days with tributes to railroad history.
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.
Located 8 miles north of downtown Peoria on Route 40. Wheels O'Time features vintage and classic autos, Early Ford V8 Club rotating monthly, gas engines, fire engines, airplanes, tractors, musical instruments, juke boxes, toys, dolls, animated miniature circus, and many “hands-on” displays. Open May-October, Wednesday-Sunday, Noon-5 p.m. with a new Ford exhibit on display every month.
The Labor & Industry Museum is the only public institution devoted to the history of the labor and industry of Belleville and southwestern Illinois. The centerpiece is Jumbo, a 19th-century steam engine along with coal mining, carpentry, and stove-making exhibits.
The Jack Benny Center for the Arts provides year round classes in art, music, dance and theatre for youth and adults. Waukegan Symphony Orchestra and Concert Chorus performs year round. The Waukegan History Museum offers tours, classes and programs. Special events include Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine Fine Arts Festival the first Saturday in June and the Joseph A. Favero Memorial Do It Yourself Messiah is traditionally held on the third Saturday in December.
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.
This restored 1905 jail museum was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. It is near Rend Lake and features displays on General John A. Logan, The Beatles' George Harrison, actor John Malkovich, baseball star Doug Collins and Charlie Birger, the last convicted criminal to be hanged in Illinois. Only 5 miles of Rend Lake.
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.
A hands-on exploration and discovery museum for children and their families. Tuesday & Thursday are donation afternoons, where after 2 p.m. a suggested donation of $1.00 per person is requested.
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.
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.
Visitors are invited to walk through this home, considered to be the oldest Greek Revival-style home in Illinois.
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.
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.
The museum is located in the oldest commercial building in Champaign County, the beautifully restored Cattle Bank, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Exhibits showcase more than 150 years of Champaign County's people, events, architecture and lifestyles. A feature of the museum is the 19th century dry goods store and businesses. The museum has a gift shop and publishes the Champaign County Historical Quarterly.
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.
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.
See military memorabilia from the War of 1812 through Desert Storm.
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.
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
Visit this log home village from the early 1800s, including a blacksmith shop, church and schoolhouse.
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
Built in the 1850's, this home welcomed Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Among the many connections Pontiac has to Abraham Lincoln, one of the most interesting revolves around Lincoln's friendship with local attorney, Jason W. Strevell. Strevell was born in New York and migrated to Illinois in 1855. He was admitted to the Illinois bar that same year, and began his practice in Pontiac. He was involved in his legal practice here for twenty-four years. He served in the Illinois House of Representatives, and also had one term as a Senator. The house is currently being restored by the Livingston County Historical Society.
Memorabilia celebrating the city's growth from a coal mining town to the present makes this an interesting stop.
Located in the former home of Justus Schlotzhauer, advance man for Ringling Brothers Circus, this museum focuses on local river history.
Housed in an 1890 Victorian building, the Menard County Museum contains documents, records, clothing and artifacts related to Menard County.
The Museum has a collection of over 52,000 objects. It houses an art collection and a collection of prehistoric, historic, and scientific objects. One of the permanent and very popular exhibits is the "W.P.A. Pioneer Dioramas", which were created by local craftsmen employed at the Museum during the Works Progress Administration, 1938-1942. It has six galleries, an archive, Museum Gift Shop, and a 100-seat auditorium.
This local museum features a Fairbury Room and exhibits that change periodically. Open Wednesday and Fridays, or by appointment.
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.
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.
The Block Museum is Northwestern University’s art museum. The Block is a dynamic, imaginative, and innovative teaching and learning resource for Northwestern and its surrounding communities, featuring a global exhibition program that crosses time periods and cultures and serves as a springboard for thought-provoking discussions relevant to our lives today. The museum also commissions new work by artists to foster connections between artists and the public through the creative process. Each year, the Block mounts exhibitions; organizes and hosts lectures, symposia, and workshops involving artists, scholars, curators, and critics; and screens classic and contemporary films at its in-house cinema.
Located on the main campus of Prairie State College, the Christopher Art Gallery hosts six to eight shows annually, featuring local, regional and national artists, as well as student works. Programming varies by media, theme, and artists represented.
This renovated 1872 Romanesque-style structure houses historical artifacts from the surrounding area.
Charleston's newest heritage tourism attraction. Learn more about the 1858 political debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. This site is a designated, "Looking for Lincoln" site.
This restored railroad depot houses memorabilia from all wars. Outside is a Southern Illinois Miners Memorial dedicated to coal miners of the region.
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.
There is a large collection of machinery and primitives dating back to the 1800s.
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.
This two-story brick home, owned by town founder Joseph Blandin, is said to have been visited by Abraham Lincoln during his 1858 campaign against Stephen Douglas. The museum features artifacts from Blandinsville's rich history.
This historic train depot features a preserved facade and a renovated interior that houses specialty shops.
The Illiana Genealogical and Historical Society hosts a library of over 10,000 volumes used for genealogical research in Illinois and Indiana. The library is one of the oldest and largest in Illinois and welcomes guests from all over the United States and around the world.
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.
The oldest farmhouse in Elk Grove Village. Restored to reflect life during the civil war. The home of Heinrich and Maria Schuette. School and scout programs available. Open year-round.
CITY:Elk Grove Village
The National Hellenic Museum is the only major museum in the United States dedicated to telling the story of Greek history, culture and arts from ancient times to today. It's mission is to preserve and explore Hellenism and to chronicle the Greek American journey through exhibitions, oral histories, archival collections and education programs. It's purpose is to inspire in people of all backgrounds a curiosity for their own story through a greater connection to Greek history, culture and the arts.
Home of the largest and best collection of farm equipment and antiquites of yesteryear. Over 700 cast iron implement seats, 50 antique tractors, windmills, windmill weights, and antique washing machines. Wagons, spreaders, cultivators, planters, and the most extensive collection of Rockford, Illinois-made Emerson Brandingham equipment. A model tractor and toy collection is as large as it is unique. Individual tours available. The main building is heated and available all year round for weddings, birthdays, social gatherings, or auctions.
Explore the Allison Research and Demonstration area, which has historically been farmed without the use of pesticides and limited amounts of commercial fertilizer. The university also has a bull and ram test station.
Blacksmithing, as well as artistic and functional iron work, is performed in this smithy that was erected in 1928.
Come to The National Museum of Mexican Art, where you can immerse yourself in the richness of Mexican art and culture right here in Chicago. Whatever your background, you’ll connect to this museum on a very personal level. We showcase 3,000 years of creativity from both sides of the border, connecting museum visitors to the diversity of Mexican culture. You’ll find us in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. Here, in the heart of the city’s Mexican community, our 8,500-piece permanent collection meets the highest museum standards.
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.
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 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 Fulton Historical Society is located in this Civil War-era home donated to the city by Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Martin.
The Early American Museum has an extensive collection interpreting 19th and early 20th century life in east-central Illinois. Two floors of exhibits present architecture, trades and occupations, decorative arts, and childhood and domestic life of the time.
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.
The museum displays rare photos of Hemingway, his childhood diary, letters, early writings and other memorabilia. The Birthplace Home features some original furniture and belongings of the Hemingway family.
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.
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.
Showcasing the largest collection of Toby and Character Jugs in the world including many rare and unique jugs within the complete Royal Doulton collection. On display are over 6,000 pieces illustrating their evolution from inception circa 1765 to the present day. Admission is free.
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 award-winning museum features short-term exhibits about a wide range of topics pertinent to the history of Douglas County and East Central Illinois. The museum’s collections include clothing and textiles, military and medical equipment, decorative arts, archives and more! Plus, it’s also host to the Rural Life Antique Show held in March and November of each year.
Memorabilia celebrating the city's growth from a coal-mining town to the present makes this a fascinating touchstone of local history.
(TEMPORARILY CLOSED beginning 10/08 except for special events.) Pierre Menard, an important political figure in 1818, built this home. It is furnished with many of the Menard family's personal possessions and other period pieces. The surrounding grounds and outbuildings include an herb garden, smokehouse, springhouse, and adjoining kitchen.
The Challenger Learning Center at Heartland Community College offers interactive, simulated space and science experiences through scheduled team missions for students and the public.
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.
The National Road Interpretive Center in Vandalia, Illinois tells the story of the surveyors, laborers and travelers of the National Road, sometimes called the Cumberland Road or National Pike. The Interpretive Center is a museum with hands-on activities for children including a Conestoga wagon that the youngsters can load for its journey. Abraham Lincoln’s connection to Illinois National Road towns is also spotlighted. One of the largest artifacts is an original National Road timber dating to the 1830s. Visitors will develop a better understanding of the importance of this road to Illinois and American history as well as an appreciation for the people that were involved in its construction.
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.
Located on the University of Chicago Campus, the Smart Museum houses a collection of over 7,500 objects, spanning 5,000 years of artistic creation.
For more than 50 years, the McHenry County Historical Society has preserved an outstanding collection of educational and entertaining exhibits. Featuring an 1843 log cabin and an 1895 one-room schoolhouse, the museum attracts thousands of students and visitors each year. The museum is open Tuesday-Friday, 1 to 4 p.m. (first weekend in May through first weekend in October) and select Sundays, including every Sunday in May (Look at Local History Month). Located in downtown Union, the museum is also offers special programs throughout the year. Visit GotHistory.org for details.
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.
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.
This museum is located in an 1889 school building and features a permanent exhibit honoring Jane Addams, who was born and raised in Cedarville. Miss Addams was an internationally famous humanitarian and social work pioneer who founded Chicago's Hull House and won the Nobel Peace Prize. Museum exhibits include personal items and memorabilia from her life and the life of her family. There are also changing exhibits on topics of local historical interest and a research center and a research center. Open: May thru October: Saturday and Sunday: 1 pm - 4 pm; or by appointment.
The museum focuses on the businesses that helped the city grow, particularly milling.
View the burial site of Abraham Lincoln's tutor in the Old City Cemetery.
The National Veterans Art Museum inspires greater understanding of the real impact of war with a focus on Vietnam. The museum collects, preserves and exhibits art inspired by combat and created by veterans.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dating back to 1855, the chapel is Kendall County's oldest church building, adorned with stained glass windows and a restored 1899 pipe organ. The adjacent hall houses local artifacts, including photographs and clothing.
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
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.
This museum preserves Henderson County's rural American heritage, with the primary focus of the exhibits on the first half of the 20th century.
The museum was established to preserve history and educate youth about the significant contributions made to our country by winged and wheeled vehicles.
The subject of intensive historical interest, the Mansion is probably the oldest brick house in the state of Illinois. It was built in 1810 by Nicholas Jarrot, who was a native Frenchman and landowner in Cahokia.
Items on display in this local town museum include a mill stone, ox yoke, McConnell telephone switchboard, and other items relating to the history of McConnell and Waddams Township. There is a large collection of family histories, obituaries, and genealogical materials. Special activities and exhibits are planned for each of the open dates.
Discover the history of Winslow. Featuring displays relating to discovery of cream cheese, which had its beginnings in Winslow and later made famous as Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Also see the history of Doc Carver's Wild West Show. Each open date will also feature a brat stand and a farmers market. Open: April thru October: Second Saturday of each month: 10 am 3 pm.
See the majestic Coles County courthouse and discover historic murals in Charleston's Courthouse Square.
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.
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.
After the Civil War, Confederate shipbuilder Joe Minch was looking for a fresh start. He made his way back to the Rockbridge area and traded his building expertise for a set of tools. That first project of building a barn set into motion a new trend in barn design. Joe placed round windows, now know as portholes, in the barn. Travel through Greene County today to view the highest concentration of Porthole Barns in the country.