The LaSalle County Historical Society’s museum lies on the north side of the historic Illinois and Michigan Canal, itself a historical landmark. The museum building, erected in 1848 during the presidency of Zachary Taylor, is a beautifully restored sandstone building that was originally a granary and warehouse. The two-story building has walls of sandstone blocks between 18 and 32 inches thick, quarried in Utica, and secured with hydraulic cement of the same kind used in the construction of the I&M Canal. James Clark, the man who commissioned the building, came to Utica in 1833, where he became a land squatter. In 1842 he became a contractor on the I&M Canal and in 1845 he bought the local cement mill. He made it a huge commercial success by selling the cement to the canal contractors and the general public. The cement was used in many parts of the canal.