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Old Knox County Courthouse, Knoxville, Illinois Historical Photo

1870 Lithograph - Knox Co. Courthouse, Knoxville, IL.   #HABS, ILL,48-KNOV,1-2, American Memory

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Historical Museum Guide for Illinois

A directory of Historical Museums in Illinois, categorized by county.

Taking a trip to Illinois?  A visit to these Illinois history museums and historical sites will allow you to soak up some local history and culture while you are there.  Visit days gone by and learn how early Illinois people lived, worked and played.

Some Illinois history museums have virtual tours, place histories, genealogy data, museum exhibits and historic photos to view online, giving you the chance to visit these historic sites from the comfort of home.

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Illinois History Museums

Adams County Governor John Wood Mansion

[Tours and Events]

Taking 3 years to build and completed in 1838, the beautiful Greek-Revival style mansion is today home to the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County, Illinois.  Visitors may tour the restored mansion.  Located at 425 S. 12th Street in Quincy, IL.

The History Museum

Housed inside the 1885 home to the minister of the English Lutheran Church, the museum is operated by the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County.  The History Museums is focused on the past of Quincy and Adams County.  Visitors will find exhibits about the founders of Quincy, the Civil War, transportation and industry in Adams County along with collections of historical artifacts and objects related to the past of Quincy and Adams County.  Located at 332 Maine Street in Quincy, IL.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate Interpretive Center

Originally started for the celebration of the Lincoln Douglas Debate Sesquicentennial, the Lincoln-Douglas Debate Interpretive Center was designed to share the stories of Lincoln and Douglas' friendships and influences in the Quincy area.  The legacy is planned to continue as a 50 year lease has been signed.  Located at 128 S. Fifth Street in Quincy, IL.

Quincy's Historic Log Cabins (scroll to bottom of page)

One of Illinois' largest collections of original log cabins are being restored in Quincy, Illinois.  Featuring seven log cabin and a stone smokehouse, the log cabin village is located on Quinsippi Island in Quincy, IL.

 

Boone County

Boone County Historical Museum

Focused on the preservation and display of Boone County history, the museum features antique cars, an 1840s log cabin, historical artifacts and documents and other items related to the local history of Boone County, Illinois.  Located at 311 Whitney Blvd. in Belvidere, IL.

Poplar Grove Vintage Wings & Wheels Museum

[Photo Gallery]

The museum campus includes a restored gas station, a restored 1930s garage, two restored hangars for restoration projects. The main museum building is a 1930s-era restored hangar from Waukesha, WI. Visitors will find many unique and fascinating artifacts in the museum collections, ranging from vintage aircraft, bicycles, and automobiles to WWI medals and aviation magazines. Educational programs are offered..... such as outreach programs, field trips, summer camps, and many fun and diverse events, including a Swing Dance, Vintage Wheels of Agriculture day, and Vintage Wheels Show. Located next to the Poplar Grove Airport at 5151 Orth Road in Poplar Grove, IL.

 

Cook County

Chicago History Museum

Operated by the Chicago Historical Society, the museum contains artifacts and exhibits related to the history of Chicago, IL. 

1601 N. Clark Street

Chicago, Illinois

Clarke House Museum

Clarke House Museum on Facebook

[History of the Clarke Family and the Clarke House]

Known as the oldest house in Chicago, it was built in 1836 for Henry and Caroline Clarke who came from New York, the house was originally located at the corner of 16th and Michigan but in 1872, the Clarke family sold it and it was moved to 45th Street and Wabash.  In 1977, the house was purchased by the City and moved yet again to the present location in the Prairie Avenue Museums and Garden District.  The home has been renovated and now depicts homelife in the 1850s.  Located at 1827 S. Indiana Avenue in Chicago, IL. 

Dusable Museum of African American History

Frances Willard House Museum

The Frances Willard Historical Association invites you to visit the Frances Willard House, Willard's home from its construction in 1865 until her death in 1898. Frances Willard lived and worked here during the years of her presidency of the WCTU, and for many of those years the house served not only as her primary workplace, but also as an informal national headquarters for the WCTU and a boarding house for WCTU workers. The Frances Willard House tells the story of Frances Willard's life and work and provides a unique glimpse into the life of one of the most prominent women of her time.  Located at 1730 Chicago Avenue in Evanston, IL.

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum   [History & Photos]

Once the home to Jane Addams, the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, the museum preserves and develops the Hull House located at 800 S. Halsted Street on the campus of the University of Illinois in Chicago, IL.

 

Crawford County

Crawford Co. Historical Society & Museum

Housed in the former Schmidt Clinic, the museum features historic artifacts, documents, photographs, antiques and early belongings of pioneer families in Crawford County, IL.  Located at 408 S. Cross Street in Robinson, IL.

Hutson Cabins and Museum

Operated and maintained by the Hutsonville Historical Society, a group of log cabins (Hutson Memorial Village) are available for tours.  There is log church, country store, barber shop, the Hutson cabin and a barn at the site and more are being moved to the location just 1.5 miles south of Hutsonville, IL on Outer South Rose Street. 

Illinois Oil Field Museum

The museum collection features historical artifacts, films, photos and documents related to the history of the oil industry in Illinois.  Located at 10570 N. 150th Avenue, just off Route 33 at the 4-H fairgrounds in Oblong, IL.

 

DeKalb County The Anthropology Museum

Devoted to the collection, exhibition and preservation of artifacts of human cultures, the museum features exhibits focused on the cultures of the world.  Located on the campus of the Northern Illinois University at DeKalb, IL.

Blackwell Museum

Focusing on the history of American education, the museum holds a collection of over 11,000 textbooks such as hornbooks, battledores, primers and readers, some as old as 400 years.  Other artifacts include items like slates, inkwells, student work, report cards and other historical artifacts and documents related to early education in America.  The Blackwell holds the Milan one-room schoolhouse and provides experiences about early learning to groups and students.  Located on the campus of the Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL.

Ellwood House and Museum

[Ellwood House History]

[Ellwood - Nehring House Photos - A new acquisition!

Sitting in a park right in the heart of DeKalb, this beautiful Victorian mansion was home to the barbed wire millionaire Isaac L. Ellwood IN 1879.  The home has been restored and features many original furnishings.  Guided tours are offered to visitors.  Located at 509 N. First Street in DeKalb, IL.

The Gurler House

Located at 205 Pine Street in DeKalb, IL.

Joiner History Room

Housed inside the public library, the Joiner History Room holds historical documents and photographs in their archives of special interest to researchers of DeKalb County history.  Located at 103 E. State Street in Sycamore, IL.

Joseph F. Glidden Homestead & Historical Center

[Glidden Family History]

Built ca 1861, the homestead was home to Joseph Farwell Glidden, the barbed wire inventor.  Located on the grounds is the old barn where Joseph worked on his barbed wire projects.  It is one of the oldest standing barns in DeKalb County and is built in the German tradition of local bricks.  Located at 921 W. Lincoln Hwy in Dekalb, IL.

Kishwaukee Valley Heritage Museum

The museum features historical artifacts and items related to the history of Genoa and the Kishwaukee Valley.  Items include the oldest horse drawn hearse in DeKalb County, an 1882 railroad depot, an old printing press, a collection of old telephones and the society holds historical documents.  Located at 622 W. Park Avenue in Genoa, IL.

Midwest Museum of Natural History

Located at 425 W. State Street (Route 64) in historic downtown Sycamore, IL.

North Grove School

Built in 1878 by the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church as a parochial school, the school was used as a school until 1952 when it closed and later was used as a neighborhood social center.  The school has been refurbished and furnished with period pieces.  Currently only open for special events.  Located at 26745 Brickville Road in Sycamore, IL.

Olmstead Museum

The museum holds a collection of relics and historical artifacts collected since the late 1800s.  Located on South Depot Street in Somonauk, IL.

Shabbona-Lee-Rollo Historical Museum

Housed in an old bank building, the museum features exhibits, artifacts and other items related to the history of the Shabbona are of Illinois.  The museum also offers a growing research library full of historical documents, photographs and records for the researcher. Located at 119 W. Comanche in Shabbona, IL.

The Stone Mill and Sandwich Historical Society

Sandwich, Illinois Historical Society on Facebook

Built in 1856, this old flour mill was known as Sandwich Steam Mill.  Today it is used as the home to and  museum of the Sandwich Historical Society.  The museum features historical artifacts, antiques, memorabilia and historical documents and photographs.  Located at Railroad and Lafayette in Sandwich, IL.

Sycamore History Museum

The museum features historical artifacts and memorabilia related to the history of Sycamore, IL. Located at the old Engh farm, 1730 N. Main St., Sycamore, IL 60178.

Waterman Area Heritage Society and Museum

Features historical exhibits and artifacts related to the Waterman area history.  Exhibits include John Kitners Barber Shop, memorabilia of basketball players Jack Smiley and Duane Swanson, agricultural artifacts and historical documents and photographs.  Located at 180 W. Lincoln Hwy in Waterman, IL.

 

DuPage County Addison Historical Museum

[Virtual Tour]

Housed inside the 1892 Balzar House, the museum is located in the historical village of Addison at 135 Army Trail Road in Addison, IL.

Bartlett History Museum

Focused on the rich heritage of the Village of Bartlett, the museum features historical artifacts and document archives.  Open daily with the exception of Sunday, it is housed in the Bartlett Village Hall located at 228 S. Main Street in Bartlett, IL.

Downers Grove Park District Museum

Housed inside the historic Blodgett House, the Victorian home was built in 1892 for the Charles Blodgett family, descendants of a pioneer family of Downers Grove.  Visit the museum and take a step back into the rich heritage of the Village of Downers Grove.  Located at 831 Maple Avenue in Downers Grove, IL.

DuPage County Illinois Historical Museum

[Exhibits]  [History]

Housed inside the 1891 Adams Memorial Library which was built by John Quincy Adams in memory of his late wife, the museum was established in 1967 by the DuPage County Historical Society.  The museum is currently being re-established as a thriving cultural hub for the community with help from the Wheaton Park District.  Located at 102 E. Wesley Street in Wheaton, IL.

DuPage Heritage Gallery

Housed inside a three story atrium the gallery features photo panels, memorabilia cases and exhibits focused on the  "GREATS" of DuPage County.  Well known personages such as Billy Graham, Red Grange, John "Bet-A-Million" Gates, Robert McCormick and others are brought to life in these magnificent displays which feature spoken descriptions at the tough of a button.  Located at 421 North County Farm Road in Wheaton, IL.

Elmhurst Historical Museum

[Elmhurst History]

Housed inside the historical Glos Mansion, the museum was originally opened in 1957 on the third floor of the mansion which at that time also housed Elmhurst City Hall.  Today, the museum echoes the history of Elmhurst through historical artifacts, records, photographs and documents.  The museum also manages the restoration and interpretation of the Churchville One-Room Schoolhouse located nearby just north of Grand Avenue on Church Street.  The Elmhurst Historical Museum is located at 120 E. Park Avenue in Elmhurst, IL

First Division Museum

Visitors are presented a glimpse into history through the eyes of the First Infantry Division who fought for our freedom in WWII.  Located inside Cantigny Park at 1 S 151 Winfield Road in Wheaton, IL.

Graue Mill and Museum

[History]  [Virtual Tour]

Graue Mill is the only fully operating waterwheel girstmill in the state of Illinois.  Operating as a living history museum, presentations include milling, spinning and weaving and holds artifacts of the 19th century.  Adjacent to the Graue Mill is the Frederick Graue House, a beautiful Victorian Italianate style home built between 1858 and 1859.  The home has been restored and is available for rentals.  Located at 3824 York Road in Oak Brook, IL.

Gretna Station Museum and Historic Farmhouse

Located inside Armstrong Park, is the Caboose Museum which is a refurbished red caboose.  The historic farmhouse is an Italianate style built home which predates1874.  Inside are displays related to the history of Carol Stream.  Located at 301 Lies Road in Carol Stream, IL.

Hinsdale History Museum

Devoted to the rich history of Hinsdale and the surrounding area, the museum is housed inside an 1874 Italianate-style home and containing period furnishings, the home gives visitors a feel for the Victorian lifestyle of early residents of Hinsdale.  Located at 15S. Clay Street in Hinsdale, IL.

Itasca Historical Depot Museum

Features exhibits and historical artifacts related to the history of Itasca, Illinois.  Exhibits include Dr. Elijah Smith, the founding father, historic photographs of Itasca, children's toys, a ticket agent's office, a general store and other items relevant to the history of Itasca.  Located at 101 N. Catlpa Avenue in Itasca, IL.

Kline Creek Farm

Kline Creek Farm on FaceBook

This living history farm will take visitors back in time to a simpler life and teach them about farming techniques of the past.  At the farmhouse, visitors will learn about baking, canning, quilting and other activities.  Visit the smoke house where sausages are cured, the orchard where fruit is harvested and more.  There is always something to do and learn at Kline Creek Farm.  Located at 1 N 600 County Farm Road in West Chicago, IL.

The Kruse House Museum

Operated by the West Chicago Historical Society, the Kruse House is a four-square home built in 1917 and filled with period furnishings, household items, railroad memorabilia and features a period garden.  Located at 527 Main Street in West Chicago, IL.

McCormick Museum

Focused on the life and times of Robert R. McCormick who was well known as an editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune for 44 years.  Located inside beautiful Cantigny Park at 1 S 151 Winfield Road in Wheaton, IL.

Museums at Lisle Station Park

Composed of several historical structures in a park setting, visitors are invited to experience the heritage and culture of 19th century Northern Illinois.  Explore the roots and early culture of Lisle at the Museums at Lisle Station park.  Structures include:

Lisle Depot Museum

Built in 1874 to replace Lisle's first train depot which was destroyed by fire, the structure today houses many historical exhibits.

Netzley / Yender Farmhouse

Built by Jacob Netzley in the late 1850s, this Greek Revival style home was lived in by the Yenders for 76 years and today serves a reminder of days gone by.

Beaubien Tavern

Built in the 1830s by William Sweet the building was used by Mark Beaubien in 1840 as a tavern.

CB&Q Waycar #14584

This caboose was built in 1881 and served as an employee lounge space for traveling workers on the train.

Blacksmith Shop

This 19th century barn once stood in Wisconsin and was dismantled and shipped to be reassembled on the grounds.  Volunteers teach the art of blacksmithing here throughout the year.

Naper Settlement

This 19th century historic museum village will take you back in time to earlier days.  A living history museum, the village is complete with costumed villagers who bring the days of yesteryear to life through furnishings, historic buildings and exhibits.  Located at 523 S. Webster Street in Naperville, IL

Roselle History Museum at Sumner House

The museum campus features several historical structures: The Sumner House which was built ca 1874 for Henry A. Sumner, train master at the Village of Roselle.  The Richter House built in 1878 and relocated to the museum campus in 1996 and The Coach House which serves as the home to the Foundation Office.  Visitors to the property will find historical artifacts, documents, photographs and other items related to the history of Roselle.  Located at 102 S. Prospect Street in Roselle, IL.

Sheldon Peck Homestead

The oldest house in Lombard has been designated as a local landmark.  Sheldon Peck is a nationally recognized portrait painter and artist.  The home today features the history of Sheldon Peck as a farmer and painter.  Exhibits include portraits, paintings and original sketches by the artist along with some history of the Underground Railroad in Babcock's Grove.  Located at 355 E. Parkside in Lombard, IL.

Stacy's Tavern Museum

Located just west of Main Street at 557 Geneva Road in Glen Ellyn, IL.

Victorian Cottage Museum  [Lombard History]

This 1870s cottage style house is furnished with Victorian artifacts and furnishings and features a Lombard history exhibit upstairs.  Located at 23 West Maple Street in Lombard, IL.

Villa Park Historical Society Museum

Housed inside a historic train station, the museum features railroad memorabilia, historical artifacts depicting early life in Villa Park and keepsakes from the closed Ovaltine Factory.  Located at 220 S. Villa Avenue in Villa Park, IL.

Warrenville Historical Museum

The museum makes it's home in the 1850s Albright Building which has served previously as a Methodist Church, a school, art gallery, and many others until becoming the Warrenville Historical Museum.  Inside the museum you will find an 1850s school room, an art gallery, Native American artifacts, railroad artifacts and many other historic artifacts related to the history of Warrenville.  Located at 3 S 530 Second Street in Warrenville, IL.

West Chicago City Museum

Featuring exhibits and artifacts related to the history of West  Chicago, the museum is housed in the 1884 Turner Town Hall.  The museum has a large collection of reference materials especially on railroad history.  If research is desired, please schedule an appointment.  Located at 132 Main Street in West Chicago, IL.

Wheaton Center for History at Front Street

[Wheaton Historic Landmarks]

The Center for History features programs and exhibits which actively involves visitors in hands-on activities, role-playing and participatory methods to experience history.  Located on the second floor at 315 W. Front Street in Wheaton, IL.

Wheaton Center for History on Main Street

The Center for History features programs and exhibits which actively involves visitors in hands-on activities, role-playing and participatory methods to experience history.  Located at 606 N. Main  Street in Wheaton, IL.

William L. Gregg House Museum

The 1872 Victorian home was built by William L. Gregg, a brick maker who created the Excelsior bricks from local clay.  The house contains period furnishings and pieces.  Located at 117 S. Linden Avenue in  Westmont, IL.

York Theatre and The Museum & Archives of the Theatre Historical Society of America

The York Theatre was built in 1924 and featured an ornate theatre marquee in the grand old style.  Today the theatre has been refurbished and expanded allowing movie-goers to revel in this old style theatre again.  The museum and archives of the Theatre Historical Society of America are located on the second floor of the historic York Theatre and features exhibits and artifacts from the golden age of American Movie Palaces to delight any theatre history buff.  Located at 150 N. York Street in Elmhurst, IL.

 

Fulton County Dickson Mounds Museum   [Exhibits]   [History]

Artifacts and data about the Illinois River Valley.  This museum explores the history of this area from the ice age to the Tribal period of which 3 early Indian buildings can be viewed.

 

Grundy County Carbon Hill School Museum

Housing the Carbon Hill Historical Society, the 1893 schoolhouse holds hundreds of original artifacts related to the history of the area including coal mining items.  Located at 875 North Second Street in Carbon Hill, IL.

 

Hancock County

Hancock Historical Museum

Offered by the Hancodk County Historical Society, exhibits are focused on the history of the area.  Along with the primary Exhibit Center, they have docent-led tours of the 1881 Hull / Flater House, the Crawford Cabin, Little Red Schoolhouse and you can take a train ride on the 1930 Riverside Train.

The Kibbe Museum

Located at 306 Walnut Street in Carthage, IL.

 

Jefferson County Jefferson County Historical Village

Several buildings comprising a small village reminds one of earlier times in Jefferson County, Illinois.  Buildings include Mount Olive Church, a blacksmith, smokehouse, general store, medical building and other cabins.  Some old tombstones have been salvaged and rest along the wall of Mount Olive Church.

 

Jersey County Flautt Museum & Cheney Mansion

[Life in a log cabin in Jersey County (McAdams Cabin)]

Featuring on of the largest and finest collections of Indian artifacts in the state of Illinois along with a research center, the museum is located on the grounds of the Cheney Mansion. Call 918-498-3514 for a guided tour of the Cheney Mansion and Flautt Museum.

 

Jo Daviess County Galena and U.S. Grant Museum

Operated by the Galena-Jo Daviess County Historical Society, the museum is housed in the 1858 Daniel A. Barrows house.  The historical home is filled with over 6000 square feet of museum exhibits.  The exhibits include a room dedicated to Ulysses S. Grant, who once lived in Galena, a Civil War exhibit, lead mining tools and a mine shaft which can be viewed by visitors, transportation exhibits and how the growth of Galena was influenced by it, and other historical artifacts related to the history of Galena, Illinois.  Located at 211 S. Bench Street in Galena, IL.

Old Blacksmith Shop

Filled with blacksmithing tools and equipment, blacksmiths work the operable forges seasonally from May to October.  The gift shop is filled with things made by the blacksmiths and the local foundry.  Located at 245  North Commerce Street in Galena, IL.

 

Johnson County Paul Powell House & Research Center

Memorabilia, genealogy and history of Johnson County, Illinois along with information about statesman Paul Powell, are housed in this lovely old home located at 404 West Vine Street in Vienna, Illinois.

 

Kane County

Aurora Historical Society  [Museums]

The Aurora Historical Society features the following historical museums in Aurora, Illinois.

1. The William Tanner House - built in 1857, it features period furnishings.  Located at the corner of Oak and Cedar in Aurora, IL.

2. The Pierce Art and History Center is operated by the City of Aurora and features art galleries of the Historical Society.  Located at 20 E. Downer in Downtown Aurora on the Island.

3. The Aurora History Center

The center features historical documents and photographs related to the rich history of Aurora, Illinois.  Open to researchers by appointment.  Call (630) 897-9029.  Located at 305 Cedar Street, next door to the William Tanner House.

Batavia Historical Society & Museum

 

Kendall County Farnsworth House  [History]  [Tours]

Located in Plano, Illinois, this modern marvel is a steel house with glass walls built in 1951 by German architect Miles van der Rohe.  Located at 14520 River Road in Plano, IL.

 

Little White School Museum  [Photo]

 

LaSalle County LaSalle County Historical Society and Museum

The La Salle County Historical Society maintains a Museum complex.  The main museum building was built in 1848 as a granary and warehouse. Constructed of local sandstone blocks, the building walls are between 18 and 32 inches thick!  In 1849, the building became Utica's first post office and served a variety of purposes over the years such as a livery stable, a shuttle service business, a auto garage and even a car wash.  In 1963, the building was slated to be torn down but instead it was awarded to the La Salle Historical Society who has restored it and now operates a museum inside.  Today, the award winning museum features extensive collections of Native American artifacts, early pioneer items and other historical objects related to the cultural heritage and history of the LaSalle County area. Featured exhibits are about the Canal, Lincoln, and industry of the area.  Researchers of family history will find a research library with vast holdings of genealogical materials and historical documents. The library also offers research for a fee.  Other buildings in this historical complex include: an 1875 barn with agricultural exhibits, the 1892 Kidd Blacksmith Shop, and the 1865 Aitken Schoolhouse.  The LaSalle County Historical Society also sponsors the Burgoo Festival and a craft festival featuring pioneer stew.  Located at 101 E. Canal Street in Utica, Illinois.

 

Lake County

Bonner Heritage Farm

Bonner Farm on Facebook

The historical farm was originally homesteaded in 1842 by Scottish immigrant William Bonner.  Focused on the preservation and display of the agricultural past of Lake County, visitors will experience the rural past of early Illinois.  Located off Sand Lake Road just west of Route 45.  Turn north from Sand Lake onto Country Place and you will see this old farm just past the bend on the right.

Cuneo Museum & Gardens  [History]

Originally built in 1914 by architect Benjamin Marshall (Drake and Blackstone Hotels) for Samuel Insull, the electricity tycoon, the mansion was purchased in 1937 by John Cuneo Sr. and remained in the possession of the Cuneo family until 1990.  Today it is a living history museum.  The house and gardens have been preserved to allow visitors to experience an era of times past.  This lovely Venetian style home is filled with antique furnishings, paintings, tapestries, and other artworks.  The home is surrounded by beautiful grounds and gardens reminiscent of the early 20th century.  Located at 1350 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Vernon Hills, IL.

Deerfield Historic Village  [Deerfield History]

Step back in time in this 19th century prairie village where you will find the oldest in Lake County, Illinois.  Visitors will experience a 19th century prairie village. Operated by the Deerfield Area Historical Society, the Deerfield Historic Village includes five buildings - the Caspar Ott log house, Lake County's oldest surviving building (1837), an 1854 farmhouse, a one-room schoolhouse, carriage house and museum center. Located at Deerfield Road and Kipling Place in Deerfield, IL.

Highland Park Historical Society Museums

Housed inside the 1871 Jean Butz James Italianate Victorian mansion, the museum and research facility hosts changing exhibits about local history.  Scheduled special events include: lectures, a House Tour, Historic Car Show and an Antique Train Show.  Tours are conducted at the museum and the 1849 Francis Stupey Log Cabin, both national landmarks.  Admission is free to the museum and the cabin.  Check the website for hours.  Handicap accessible.  Located at 326 Central Avenue in Highland Park, IL.

Lake County Discovery Museum

Focusing on the history of Lake County, the museum features interactive hands-on exhibits.  A local artist art gallery is part of the museum.  Located at 27277 North Forest Preserve Road in Wauconda, IL.

Lake Forest / Lake Bluff Historical Society and Museum

[History of the Building]  [Lake Forest History Timeline]

Housed inside an 1870s coach house, the Lake Forest / Lake Bluff Historical Society has collected and preserved the history of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff for the last 40 years.  The museum features rotating exhibit galleries and a Resource Center with books, archives, maps, local records and databases that are available to the public for research.  Check the website for hours and details.  Located at 361 E. Westminster in Lake Forest, IL.

Russell Military Museum

Exhibits of Military arms, tanks, vehicles and equipment are on display both inside and outside of the museum.  Located at 43363 Old Highway 41 in Russell, IL.

Ryerson Woods Visitor Center

Featuring "green architecture", the building is environmentally friendly in design and construction.  Serving the educational needs for public school programs, the focus is on learning how to be friendly to the environment.  Located at 21950 N. Riverwoods Road in Riverwoods, IL.

 

Logan County Lincoln Heritage Museum

The museum exhibits a significant collection of Abraham Lincoln and Civil War related artifacts. Some of the notable Lincoln artifacts include an original 1860s campaign banner, several of Lincolnís law books, several of his desk tools, one of Lincoln's volumes of Shakespeare, a lock of Lincoln's hair, Mary Lincoln's mourning clothes, some of her china from her home in Springfield, one of Tad Lincoln's chairs with his name carved into it, and more personal artifacts related to the family.  Located at 300 Keokuk Street in Lincoln, IL.

 

Macon County The Birks Museum
The museum is devoted to the preservation and sharing of timeless works of art and crafts.

Millikin University
1184 W. Main Street
Decatur, IL 62522
(217) 424-6337

Hieronymous Mueller Museum

The museum is devoted to the history of the Mueller family and their many inventions such as spark plugs.
420 W. Eldorado
Decatur, IL 62523
(217) 423-6161

Macon County Museum Complex

Operated by the Macon County Historical Society, the Macon County Historical Museum and Prairie Village is housed in the Excelsior South School.  There is a research library within the museum where visitors may learn more about the history of Decatur, Macon County and Abraham Lincoln.
5580 North Fork Road
Decatur, IL 62521
(217) 422-4919

Madison County Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site   [Interpretive Center]

Learn about the historic city of Cahokia.  Archaeological finds date this ancient city about 700-1400 A.D.

 

McHenry County

Illinois Railway Museum   [Tour]  [History]

Featured as America's largest railway museum, visitors will enjoy the fruits of decades of work and effort to build and create this enormous collection of buildings, track, locomotives and cars.  Located at 7000 Olson Road in Union, IL.

McHenry Historical Museum

The focus of the museum is McHenry County history through themed exhibits that are often interactive.  On site is an 1843 log cabin, an 1895 school house which is used for one room school experiences and a 20th century modern tourist cabin.  Off site is the preserved 1885 town hall and 1867 limestone school house.  A research library and the mobile history museum called "The James" are additional features of the McHenry Historical Society.  Located at 6422 Main Street in Union, IL.

 

McLean County McLean County Museum of History

Learn about the past history of Central Illinois.  The museum collects and preserves artifacts, documents and other items related to the history of the McLean County area.  Their collection also includes the Archives.  Located at 200 N. Main Street in Bloomington, IL.

 

Menard County

Abraham Lincoln's Long Nine Museum

Edgar Lee Masters Museum on Facebook

Focused on the life and times of Edgar Lee Masters, author of The Spoon River Anthology.  Housed in his boyhood home, the museum features memorabilia and his works.  Located at the corner of Eighth & Jackson in Petersburg, IL.

Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site   [Virtual Tour]

Visit a forgotten time when Abraham Lincoln was a young man living in New Salem and experience living history.  Located at 15588 History Lane in Petersburg, IL.

 

Mercer County Essley Noble Museum

The museum features a one-room schoolhouse, historical artifacts, antique farm machinery and other items related to the history of Mercer County, Illinois.  Located at  SE 2nd Avenue in Aledo, IL.

 

Montgomery County

Solomon Harkey House

The house was built in 1834 by Solomon Harkey.  Nine Harkey children were raised in the Federal style home, however the house was in disrepair and being used as a warehouse in 1968 when the Historical Society of Montgomery County saved it.  the house was moved and restored.  Harkey House is the oldest structure in Hillsboro,  It has been furnished with pieces from Montgomery County homes which reflect the middle and late 19th century time period.  Open by appointment and on special occasions.  Located at the corner of Broad and Water Streets in Hillsboro, IL. 

 

Randolph County

Fort Dechartres State Historic Site

An 18th century stone fort erected by France and located near the Mississippi River.  It has been partially restored and offers  visitors insight into the French control over Illinois.  Located at 1350 State Rte. 155 in Prarie du Rocher, IL.

 

Richland County Richland Heritage Museum

 

Rock Island County

Colonel Davenport House   [History]

The house was built in 1833 and was home to Colonel Davenport.  Today the home is a museum, revealing 19th century treasures. Located on the north side of Arsenal Island in Rock Island, IL.

Rock Island Arsenal Museum   [History]

 

Sangamon County

 

Illinois State Capitol Historic Photo

Illinois Old State Capitol

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Learn more about the life and times of the great president Abraham Lincoln.  Located at 212 North Sixth Street in Springfield, IL.

FREE! New York Times, April 15th 1865 - Read the actual newspaper article about President Lincoln's assassination!

Illinois Governors Mansion

Illinois Old State Capitol   [Virtual Tour]

A magnificent reconstructed statehouse built in the 1960s.  Located in Springfield, IL.

Illinois State Archives   [Online Databases]

Illinois State Museum

Museum of Funeral Customs

A unique museum where visitors can learn about funeral customs and mourning customs among various cultures.  Located at 1440 Monument Avenue in Springfield, IL. This museum collection has been moved to The Kibbe Museum in Carthage, IL.

 

Schuyler County Schuyler County Historical Jail Museum

The museum features historical artifacts, documents and photos related to the history of Schuyler County.  The Genealogical Center has materials to help researchers in their quest for ancestors.  Located at 200 S. Congress in Rushville, IL.

 

Stephenson County Lena Area Historical Museum and Society

 

Tazewell County

Tazewell County Museum

Focus is on the preservation and protection of historical sites, buildings and artifacts related to the history of Tazewell County, Virginia.  Located n the Sunset Plaza Shopping Center at 2950 Court Street in Pekin, IL.

 

Vermilion County Catlin Heritage Museum

Housed in the historical 1827 house of Amos Woodin, a cooper in Catlin, the museum is devoted to the preservation and display of Catlin, Indiana history.  Located at 210 North Paris in Catlin, IL.

Vermilion County Museum

The museum building was designed to look like the old 1833 Vermilion County Courthouse.  Located in front of this building in the museum complex is the house museum of William Fithian, a pioneer doctor, Civil War surgeon and friend to Abraham Lincoln.  Visit at 116 N. Gilbert Street in Danville, IL.

 

Wabash County

Beall Woods State Park

The park is an Illinois Nature Preserve as well as a National Landmark.  

A Visitor's Center is located in side the park revealing historical and educational exhibits.  Located at 9825 Beall Woods Avenue in Mount Carmel, IL.

Wabash County Museum

Dedicated to the collection, preservation and conservation of historical artifacts and memorabilia related to the early history of Wabash County, the museum is housed in Cowling-Witsman furniture store in the business district. Researchers will be rewarded with a research library inside the museum.  Located at 320 N. Market Street in Mt. Carmel, IL.

 

Whiteside County Lyndon Historical Society and Museum

Operated by the Lyndon Historical Society and housed in the Congregational Church building, the museum offers a glimpse into the past of Lyndon through historic artifacts, photos and materials.  Located at 405 4th Street West in Lyndon, IL.

Ronald Reagan Birthplace and Museum

[Tampico Regan Statue Project]  [Photos]

[The Ronald Reagan Story (Lee County Style)]

Ronald Regan was born in this five room apartment.  Today it is a museum in honor of him.  Located at 111 S. Main Street in Tampico, IL.

Sterling Rock Falls Historical Society Museum

Operated by the Sterling-Rock Falls Historical Society and located in the Carriage House on the Dillon Home grounds, the museum was established to interpret and preserve the historical heritage of the twin cities. Location is at 1005 E. Third Street, Sterling, Illinois. (815) 622-6215.

Tampico Area Historical Society & Museum

Devoted to the preservation of the history of Tampico and the surrounding areas in Whiteside County, Illinois, the museum features many historical documents and genealogical materials of great interest to researchers.  Located at 119 S. Main Street in Tampico, IL.

 

Will County Joliet Area Historical Museum

Housed inside the historic Ottawa Street Methodist Church, the museum holds exhibits, presentations and artifacts related to the history of the Joliet area of Illinois and how it's past has shaped the present day city of Joliet.  Currently, the museum has a special exhibit about scouting: On My Honor: Celebrating 100 Years of Scouting in America. Located at 204 Ottawa Street in Joliet, IL.

 

Winnebago County Veterans Memorial Hall

President Theodore Roosevelt dedicated Veterans Memorial Hall on June 3, 1903 in honor of all Veterans.  Today, it's purpose remains the same and serves as a museum of military collections honoring our U.S. Veterans.  Located at 211 N. Main Street in Rockford, IL.

 

Woodford County Illinois Mennonite Heritage Center

The Mennonite Heritage Center features a museum complex, the Illinois Mennonite Archives and a Historical and Genealogical Research Library of the Mennonite Historical and Genealogical Society.  Visitors will learn about the history and faith of the Mennonites in Illinois through the museums and exhibits.  The Museum Gallery holds exhibits of personal, household, school and congregational items.  The Agricultural Museums holds historical farm tools, woodworking tools and machinery as used by early Mennonites in Illinois while the Prairie Arboretum features native Illinois grasses, flowers and trees.  The research library and Archives holds research materials for those researching family history.  Located on at 675 State Route 116 about midway between Germantown Hills and Metamora, IL.

 

Museum Index for Other States

Illinois Census Records

 

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