Founded in 1835 by fur trader Stephen Mack, Jr., Macktown is one of the area’s earliest settlements. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Macktown is where Stephen Mack, his Native American wife, Ho-no-ne-gah, their children and inhabitants of the village conducted their daily business.
Visitors may tour the Stephen Mack home, built near the confluence of the Rock and Pecatonica Rivers. They may also see the original limestone Whitman Trading Post and the recently reconstructed two-story Stevens’ Woodworking Shop, which also housed the area’s earliest school. Just outside the historic district is the Education Center, which contains many historic and prehistoric artifacts.
Archaeological excavations and classes are held each summer. Events include the Gathering, an annual re-enactment weekend in April, Frenchman’s Frolic Rendezvous and a frontier Christmas living history event in December. Workshops, guided tours, classes and field trips are also available. The Macktown historic district and Education Center are located in the Macktown Forest Preserve.