Boone County Museum of History

Boone County Museum of History The Mission of the Boone County Historical Museum is to stimulate interest in Boone County History through education, research, and preservation of artifacts and archival materials
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Admission to the Museum is on a free will donation basis.

We are honored to share this 5K Walk/Run Against Cancer that is happening in memory of one of our best volunteers - Bill...
05/15/2019
Bill's 5K Walk/Run Against Pancreatic Cancer

We are honored to share this 5K Walk/Run Against Cancer that is happening in memory of one of our best volunteers - Bill Zuromski. Bill was an amazing husband, father, grandfather and friend that impacted every person's life he met. His wife, Pam, volunteers with the museum every week and we consider the Zuromski's a big part of our museum family.

Come out and enjoy the sunshine for a wonderful cause! Kid friendly event with face painter, bounce house, food trucks, raffle and more!

Come out and enjoy the sunshine for a wonderful cause! Kid friendly event with face painter, bounce house, food trucks, raffle and more!

We want to give a huge shoutout to The Flaming Monkeys (Boone County's Robotics Club) for helping us to create an intera...
05/07/2019

We want to give a huge shoutout to The Flaming Monkeys (Boone County's Robotics Club) for helping us to create an interactive juke box for our 1950's Diner Exhibit! We received these photos of the monkeys working hard on the project, and we are over the moon! We love collaborating with our community and having the opportunity to witness such great talent in our county!

Our community is the absolute BEST!!! Thank you to everyone who came out to our 2019 Easter Party! We expected 150-200 p...
04/20/2019

Our community is the absolute BEST!!! Thank you to everyone who came out to our 2019 Easter Party! We expected 150-200 people, and ended up with almost 600!! A big shoutout and thanks to The Tuttles with Boone County 4H, Lutheran Christian Services Comfort Dog Program, the Women's Garden Club and our rockstar volunteer group! We had an amazing day and it wouldn't have been possible without each person that helped out and gave their time! We wish our community a Happy Easter!!

Tomorrow is the big day! Join us between 11AM-2PM for a fun-filled, FREE Easter Party for the community! We will have th...
04/19/2019

Tomorrow is the big day! Join us between 11AM-2PM for a fun-filled, FREE Easter Party for the community! We will have the Easter Bunny, face painting, baby chicks and turkeys, comfort dogs, easter games and a chance to plant a flower and take it home! We will also have both English and Spanish speaking volunteers on hand and hope everyone can join us for a day full of excitement!

Look who stopped by the museum today! It was a mini Esquires reunion with Brad Palmer and Dana Buck! We are dedicating a...
04/17/2019

Look who stopped by the museum today! It was a mini Esquires reunion with Brad Palmer and Dana Buck! We are dedicating a section of our 1960's room to The Esquires and they were kind enough to stop by with scrapbooks and tons of wonderful memories! Check back soon as we share more awesome 1960's Boone County memories!

Ida Public Library in Belvidere, Illinois
04/06/2019

Ida Public Library in Belvidere, Illinois

Our Adult Day Trips kick off next week! Tuesday, April 9th at 10:30 AM we will be visiting the Boone County Museum of History! We will tour the museum and get a look at the new interactive children's area! FREE. Please call 815.544.3838 or stop into the library to register.

04/05/2019

Hi, Everyone! We are currently working on creating exhibit signs for our new 50's and 60's diner exhibit. We have looked in our archives and the fbook group, "You knew you grew up in Illinois when" page and found some great photos, but we are still on the hunt for certain pictures. Several of our volunteers said it might be a good idea to post here and see if anyone has photos of:

-The Rumpus Room
-Inside or Out of Doc Knapps
-Any photos from the B-Hive Dances in the old YMCA
-Photos of The Esquires
-Dog N Suds
-The Smack

If anyone has photos, it would be great if you could post them below, email Leah at [email protected], or you can bring them by the museum and we can make a copy of them. Thank you all for your time and your memories!

We love Coach's Corner!! Thank you so much for this wonderful treat!!
03/15/2019

We love Coach's Corner!! Thank you so much for this wonderful treat!!

Where's Coach's Chili Pot this week???
Why at the Museum of course! Stop by for some nostalgia and Texas Chili! Big Daddy & The Dman out again on a surprise Friday visit.
ENJOY!

Planning a wedding or special event? Consider the beautiful Grand Gallery at the Boone County Museum of History! Our 201...
03/14/2019

Planning a wedding or special event? Consider the beautiful Grand Gallery at the Boone County Museum of History! Our 2019 calendar still has openings! Call Anna at 815.544.8391 for more information.

We still have spots available for our new school room exhibit! Contact us today to reserve your spot and honor a family ...
02/01/2019

We still have spots available for our new school room exhibit! Contact us today to reserve your spot and honor a family member!

Remember and immortalize a family member in our new school exhibit! We are in the final stages of our new exhibit, "1850-1950: 100 Years of Boone County Schools" and we need your help! We have reconstructed a space in our museum that is split down the middle to show different eras. One side features a reconstructed one room country school house from the late 1800's/early 1900's, and the other side features a 1940/1950's classroom. We are offering the community a chance to dedicate a desk in each room to a relative or ancestor that will feature a photo and a small history on their school days and life afterwards. Help us add to the history of our community by remembering a family member today!

*Edited to add that there are two spots available for teachers if you have a family member that served the community schools and our children!

Remember and immortalize a family member in our new school exhibit! We are in the final stages of our new exhibit, "1850...
12/29/2018

Remember and immortalize a family member in our new school exhibit! We are in the final stages of our new exhibit, "1850-1950: 100 Years of Boone County Schools" and we need your help! We have reconstructed a space in our museum that is split down the middle to show different eras. One side features a reconstructed one room country school house from the late 1800's/early 1900's, and the other side features a 1940/1950's classroom. We are offering the community a chance to dedicate a desk in each room to a relative or ancestor that will feature a photo and a small history on their school days and life afterwards. Help us add to the history of our community by remembering a family member today!

*Edited to add that there are two spots available for teachers if you have a family member that served the community schools and our children!

Thank you Boone County Community Foundation for the wonderful gifts you give to our community!
11/17/2018

Thank you Boone County Community Foundation for the wonderful gifts you give to our community!

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Foundation’s annual grant breakfast. Including distributions made this morning, the Foundation has distributed more than $1,005,543.00 in grants and scholarships, since 2011.

It’s great to love where you live, and we are honored to be a part of it. We appreciate and value these great organizations that contribute and offer so much to our community.

Congratulations to our 2018 recipients!

#FlashbackFriday Who remembers this mixer?! A huge thank you to Bill Blietz and family for donating the malt mixer that ...
11/16/2018

#FlashbackFriday

Who remembers this mixer?! A huge thank you to Bill Blietz and family for donating the malt mixer that sat in Doc Knapp's for so many years and has been signed by Doc himself! They also donated many hats, glasses and ice cream cups from Doc's! They are beautiful and we can't wait to put it in our 1950's Diner display that we are having so much fun creating! Does anyone have any memories from Doc Knapp's? We've heard from at least one person that they remember drinking many Green River Soda's there!

Edit: We previously had Bob Blietz as the donor, please note that it was Bill Blietz who donated these items.

As we continue on our exciting journey of giving the museum a facelift, we are excited to announce we are recreating a 1...
11/14/2018

As we continue on our exciting journey of giving the museum a facelift, we are excited to announce we are recreating a 1950's diner within the museum! We are asking the community for donations that can go towards our diner such as old coke or pepsi glasses, diner utensils/appliances, signs, posters, or anything that would have gone into a 50's diner or Boone County restaurant in the 50's! Below are some photos for inspiration. We are so excited for you all to see this and thank you in advance for any items that you can contribute! We plan to feature businesses such as Bennett's Sandwich Shop, The Huddle, Doc Knapp's, Geri's Hamburgers, and more!

#FlashbackFriday Staff are in the final steps of giving our Blacksmith Shop a new location and facelift within the museu...
11/09/2018

#FlashbackFriday

Staff are in the final steps of giving our Blacksmith Shop a new location and facelift within the museum. We can't wait for you all to see it! We have had so much fun researching our county's blacksmith history - this picture is one of our favorites. Taken about 1900, it shows A.J. Humphry's Blacksmith and Wagon Shop. It was located at 208 N State Street.

Reminder: Cemetery Tour tomorrow! Costumed interpreters will be portraying some of Boone County's most influential resid...
09/14/2018

Reminder: Cemetery Tour tomorrow! Costumed interpreters will be portraying some of Boone County's most influential residents!

Reminder: cemetery tour this Saturday!

Join us this Saturday, September 8th, at 1PM, as we open our new exhibit: "Helping Hands: A Brief History of Charities i...
09/04/2018

Join us this Saturday, September 8th, at 1PM, as we open our new exhibit: "Helping Hands: A Brief History of Charities in Boone County". The exhibit opening will feature an inspiring speech by Belvidere based charity "The Child Initiative International" with a chance to learn more about their message and how you can help those in need. There will be light refreshments and a chance to speak to the charities involved in our new exhibit. We hope to see you there!

Join us this Tuesday, September 4th at 6PM for our General Membership Meeting and Potluck! Anna and Leah will be showcas...
08/31/2018
General Membership Meeting!

Join us this Tuesday, September 4th at 6PM for our General Membership Meeting and Potluck! Anna and Leah will be showcasing some recent finds from our archives that are sure to surprise you. We can't wait to see you then!

Join us Tuesday, September 4th at 6PM for our General Membership Meeting!

We are so looking forward to this! Mark your calendars!
08/23/2018

We are so looking forward to this! Mark your calendars!

Have you marked you calendars yet for our cemetery tour with the Boone County Museum of History?

A big THANK YOU to everyone who came to our Annual Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social! We are so appreciative of our communi...
08/23/2018

A big THANK YOU to everyone who came to our Annual Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social! We are so appreciative of our community and museum members who make this event possible each year.

We were featured this weekend on WIFR as we celebrated 50 years since Judi Ford Nash won the Miss America title! A huge ...
06/26/2018
New exhibit honors Miss America 1969

We were featured this weekend on WIFR as we celebrated 50 years since Judi Ford Nash won the Miss America title! A huge thank you to Judi for giving a wonderful speech and answering questions and another huge thank you to everyone that came out to see our new exhibit!

Miss America 1969 is from Belvidere and was visiting today to celebrate the 50th anniversary of when she won.

06/23/2018
Judi Ford Exhibit Preview

Here is a sneak peek of our new Judi Ford Exhibit! We are so excited to see you all tomorrow when Judi will be visiting the Museum! Doors open at Noon and Judi will be speaking at 1PM and answering questions shortly after that. We'll see you all there!

06/15/2018
Boone County Museum of History

We are so thrilled at the outpouring of support and excitement for June 24th, where Judi Ford will be at the Museum making a speech, answering questions and taking pictures. We have been overwhelmed with the reception and have decided to make tickets FREE but with a suggested donation to the museum of $10. This way, everyone can be included in this amazing event in Belvidere's history! If you have previously purchased tickets, please get a hold of us and ask for Anna or Leah. We are so excited to see you all here!

Here is an added bonus from our archives. Judi's talent and crowning moment.

Hello, Friends! We are putting out a donation request to the public for any mid century/1960's home decor items. We are ...
06/05/2018

Hello, Friends! We are putting out a donation request to the public for any mid century/1960's home decor items. We are looking for carpet, furniture, and accessories such as clocks, mirrors, wall decor or even wallpaper! These items will go into our brand new Judi Ford exhibit where we are recreating a 1960's living room. We have already received a generous donation from Jenny Shue Anderson for a 1950/1960's television, now we need to complete the room. We have included inspiration pictures below and appreciate any interest in our new exhibit!

02/16/2018
Boone County Museum of History

We are currently working on redesigning our Judi Ford exhibit for the 50th Anniversary of her win and would love for you to post your Judi Ford memories in the comments below! We will be using some of the comments in a portion of our exhibit to show visitors how many great memories there are of her win and how much Judi means to our community. We can't wait to hear from you all!

Here is an added bonus from our archives. Judi's talent and crowning moment.

Hello Everyone! We are reaching out to the community to see if anyone has a 1960's television set they would be willing ...
02/14/2018

Hello Everyone! We are reaching out to the community to see if anyone has a 1960's television set they would be willing to part with and donate to the museum. We are redesigning and expanding our Judi Ford Exhibit for the 50th anniversary of her win (can you believe its been 50 years?) and the television set will be part of the new exhibit design. We've included several photos of televisions from that era to show the 'look' we are going for in our new design plans. We can't wait for you all to see this new exhibit!

"The 'stars' in this photo are myself and one Clarence (Red) Maulton. I believe this was taken the Monday following Rock...
01/09/2018

"The 'stars' in this photo are myself and one Clarence (Red) Maulton. I believe this was taken the Monday following Rockford's defeat in Basket Ball and I believe the year was 1916. I remember Red borrowed my lady's car and I believe there were two or more besides myself that accompanied him to Rockford. We drove by the Rockford High School several times (doing a lot of hollering) until several RHS students came out of the school and then we high-tailed it back to Belvidere. I am pretty sure Jimmy Knott took the picture. This was the first time we had won over Rockford while I was in High School.
Sincerely, Art Gieurton"

We found this photo/story in our archives and couldn't wait to share it with you all. Belvidere school spirit has always run deep!

We wanted to share a photo from our archives of the Julien House! This picture was taken in 1885 with the Julien's bus t...
12/28/2017

We wanted to share a photo from our archives of the Julien House! This picture was taken in 1885 with the Julien's bus team waiting for passengers out front. The hotel was located on the corner of Logan and Whitney in Belvidere. The Julien was said to be one of the most extravagant hotels in the area during the 1800's and had over 75 rooms, including a dining hall and kitchen!

Thank you to everyone that came out to meet Santa on Saturday! We had so much fun and it was wonderful to see so many sm...
12/13/2017

Thank you to everyone that came out to meet Santa on Saturday! We had so much fun and it was wonderful to see so many smiling faces!

Thank you to everyone who attended our 'Ghostly Encounters' Lecture last night - and a very special thank you to Kathi K...
11/16/2017

Thank you to everyone who attended our 'Ghostly Encounters' Lecture last night - and a very special thank you to Kathi Kresol! We had almost 100 people attend the talk and learn more about hauntings in the area.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Natural History Open House this past Saturday! Over 150 people went home with the...
11/14/2017

Thank you to everyone who attended the Natural History Open House this past Saturday! Over 150 people went home with their own geodes, got to see live owls, snakes and reptiles, made their very own owls to take home and were the very first to experience our new Melvin and Mildred Banks Gallery of Boone County Conservation! We had such a blast and invite everyone to come see the new Gallery!

If you've visited our museum, you've seen our exhibit on Albert Cashier's life in our Civil War display. They had an ama...
10/20/2017
Chicago musical based on life of trans solider from Belvidere

If you've visited our museum, you've seen our exhibit on Albert Cashier's life in our Civil War display. They had an amazing journey and it is an honor to be able to educate the community on their life. While we have no affiliation with the musical, we are excited to share this article from the Rockford Register Star that highlight's Albert's story through the new musical, "The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier". It's wonderful to see this local historical figure being highlighted in the Chicago Arts Scene!

A Chicago musical based on the true story of a trans soldier who settled in Belvidere is getting buzz from critics."The CiviliTy of Albert

08/01/2017
Maurice Bruce Ernst's Obituary on Rockford Register Star

We would like to share our condolences for the Ernest family in this difficult time. Maurice dedicated countless hours to the Museum and we will never forget how much of an impact he made for Boone County history.

Read the Obituary and view the Guest Book, leave condolences or send flowers. | Maurice Bruce Ernst 1940—2017 Maurice Bruce Ernest, 76, passed away peacefully Sunday July 30th, surrounded by his family. He was born November 6th, 1940 in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, son of

Hello Friends! If you had viewed our previous post about the mysterious grey brick we had found in our archives, we'd li...
07/26/2017

Hello Friends! If you had viewed our previous post about the mysterious grey brick we had found in our archives, we'd like to let you know the mystery has been solved! It was a brick that was used as a gavel stone for the Union Club in Belvidere in the early 1900's, hence the 'U.C.' carved on both sides. They would call their meetings to order using a gavel and the stone. What a great piece of Boone County history! We've included a picture of the early members of the Union Club having fun at the campgrounds known as Red Horse Bend in the 1920's!

As a reminder, we will be closed on Tuesday, July 4th. As we celebrate the 4th of July, we would like to share an Indepe...
07/01/2017

As a reminder, we will be closed on Tuesday, July 4th. As we celebrate the 4th of July, we would like to share an Independence Day photo of Belvidere from 152 years ago. This photo was taken on July 4th, 1865 and shows residents celebrating the end of the Civil War in downtown Belvidere. Have a happy and safe 4th, everyone!

Boone County Residents! We would love your help in figuring out what this object is. It is far heavier than it looks but...
06/02/2017

Boone County Residents! We would love your help in figuring out what this object is. It is far heavier than it looks but none of our long time volunteers have a clue what it could be or what CU/UC stands for. Anyone with any information, please comment below!

Address

314 S State St
Belvidere, IL
61008

Opening Hours

Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 15:00

Telephone

(815) 544-8391

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