Elgin History Museum

Elgin History Museum The Elgin History Museum operates in a 1856 landmark building located in Elgin, IL. The museum is also home to the vibrant Elgin Area Historical Society.
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The Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Through permanent and changing exhibits, the museum brings to life Elgin's rich heritage. The first floor is dedicated to the telling of Elgin's history from its founding to its role into the 20th century. Various exhibit rooms explore Elgin's pioneer past, the importance of the Fox River, the railroads and the Elgin National Watch Company. Various hands on activities for all ages can help children and adults alike make a link with Elgin's past. The second floor is dedicated on its east wing to the Elgin National Watch factory room which is a permanent exhibit that speaks to the history of an important industry that put Elgin on the map. While walking the second floor check out our rotating exhibits that highlight special features noted on the first floor. Two great examples are Elgin architecture and the important Hiawatha Pagent that entranced generations of Elginites. The main portion of the west wing of the second floor is meeting hall and exhibit space. This space is deticated to dual purposes and is home for various programs and at times meeting space for the historical society. The third floor is home to the Carl Reber Research Library and houses a vast object and photograph archive collection. This is also the offices of the museum with a dedicated and passionate core made up of staff and volunteers. If you are interested in doing research related to Elgin this is the place you can come after making an appointment with the staff so they can have everything ready you need at your fingertips.

Did you see the cover of BRAVO magazine this month? If you love it, you can have it as a poster! We love it - especially...
05/03/2019

Did you see the cover of BRAVO magazine this month? If you love it, you can have it as a poster! We love it - especially because some of the proceeds benefit our Nancy Kimball Cobblestone House Project!! Available in our gift shop (and at the other fine retailers listed below) and on the website shortly. Thanks BRAVO Magazine!

The "Historic Homes of Elgin, Illinois" poster has arrived! Photography and design by James Zorn, published by Marquee Media, printed in Germany (only the finest!), individually serial numbered, 18 x 24" on heavy weight paper, hand rolled and packaged in a sturdy tube, available for $18.35 (plus tax) at one of the following retailers, and 40% of the purchase price benefits the Nancy Kimball Cobblestone House Project of Elgin History Museum.
Soulful Sparrow
elgin books
State Street Market Shops
Whatnots & Whimsies
Elgin Antiques & Uniques
Elgin History Museum gift shop

We are ALWAYS excited when the new issue of BRAVO Magazine gets dropped off, but we are really LOVING this cover. What a...
05/01/2019

We are ALWAYS excited when the new issue of BRAVO Magazine gets dropped off, but we are really LOVING this cover. What a great idea to celebrate Preservation Month!!

The first thing you see is a photo collage by James Zorn Photography showing the front doors of homes recognized by the Elgin Heritage Commission; inside you'll find: an article on the pianists of Gail Borden Public Library by Tracy Altheide; the latest on public art by Elgin Cultural Arts Commission; all about local bicycling as you Explore Elgin Area; a new column by Mary Ellen Goodwill; another chapter of "The Marvelous Mary Alice" by Debbie Kollar; a new section of #TileArt by Barbara Broeske; an extensive #BIllingsSummary for May; another #ElginDollar to spend; a bombshell article on the #giffordTapes in the #FaqueNews; two pages of events for Preservation Month; an interview with Jess Godwin (Godwin Muses) coming to the Elgin Community College Arts Center May 18th; a new/old ad from the collection of Jennifer Fukala in #OfferNeverExpires; another clue in the #ExploreElgin Geocache conte$t; hundreds of detailed local event listings; and our NEW SECTION full of local artist development opportunities, called #Mpulse. This should keep you busy!

We welcomed actress and scholar Leslie Goddard to the Museum today for her portrayal of suffragist Alice Paul. It was in...
04/28/2019

We welcomed actress and scholar Leslie Goddard to the Museum today for her portrayal of suffragist Alice Paul. It was informative, thought provoking and an overall wonderful performance. Thank you Leslie Goddard Presents!

We hope you can join us for a great performance tomorrow (4/28)! Leslie Goddard will portray suffragist Alice Paul,one o...
04/27/2019

We hope you can join us for a great performance tomorrow (4/28)! Leslie Goddard will portray suffragist Alice Paul,
one of the most dynamic leaders in the fight to win votes for women. Alice Paul arranged parades, organized the first picketing demonstrations outside the White House, and was imprisoned fighting for a women’s right to vote.
Because of her determination, women can vote today. Thanks, Ms. Paul.
FREE for Members / $3 for Guests. 2pm at the Elgin History Museum.

Please register for this event on our website: https://bit.ly/2v7zCuc

Come visit us at the Museum today for Open Elgin! We can't believe the weather forecast either - wear your boots - we wi...
04/27/2019

Come visit us at the Museum today for Open Elgin! We can't believe the weather forecast either - wear your boots - we will keep the walk shoveled. Marge Rowe set up a great exhibit on the history of Lords Park and the Lords Park Zoo - did you know the zoo used to house a lion, snakes, and bears? OH MY! FREE admission to the Museum. Donations accepted.

Tonight is the second meeting of the Cemetery Walk committee at 6:30pm at the Elgin History Museum. Everyone is invited ...
04/17/2019

Tonight is the second meeting of the Cemetery Walk committee at 6:30pm at the Elgin History Museum. Everyone is invited to attend - we would love more people to volunteer and / or head up a committee. Help us plan this amazing event!

Over the weekend, we said goodbye to Elgin historian, Steve Stroud. Steve began volunteering at the Elgin History Museum...
04/16/2019

Over the weekend, we said goodbye to Elgin historian, Steve Stroud.
Steve began volunteering at the Elgin History Museum at the end of 2003. He was interested in helping with photos. Steve spent months going through each photo file, album, postcard and stereoview in the collection. What came out of that process was the first 'There Used To Be' book in 2005. He joined the board in 2006 and continued to write two more volumes of 'There Used to Be' books doing extensive research on the homes he included.
Steve was thoughtful and often came up with great ideas for the Museum. Steve and Laura Stroud took over as co-chairs of the Cemetery Walk in 2008 continuing the tradition of evolving the event a little each year.
Steve never got tired of teaching people how to find out more about Elgin. His work will live on through his books and websites, but he will be truly missed. Thank you, Steve.

We are having so much fun with the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra and their Instrument Petting Zoo! They will be here un...
04/13/2019

We are having so much fun with the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra and their Instrument Petting Zoo! They will be here until 4pm as part of the Fox River Arts Ramble.

Dairies to Prairies is still on view at the West Chicago City Museum for about 2 more weeks! Find out more about West Ch...
04/13/2019

Dairies to Prairies is still on view at the West Chicago City Museum for about 2 more weeks! Find out more about West Chicago's dairy and prairie past. Pay them a visit and support another local history museum!
Friends of the West Chicago City Museum

Have you been in to see the Dairies to Prairies exhibit on loan from the Elgin History Museum yet? Stop in soon! Just two more weeks in West Chicago!

Steve will be missed. His spirit will live on in the wonderful books he created to spotlight Elgin's historic homes and ...
04/12/2019
Elgin historian Steve Stroud remembered as tenacious, caring man

Steve will be missed. His spirit will live on in the wonderful books he created to spotlight Elgin's historic homes and memories he created at the Cemetery Walk for the citizens of Elgin and beyond.
Visitation: Friday, April 12th from 4-7pm with services from 7-7:30pm at Symonds-Madison Funeral Home, 305 Park St., Elgin, Il. 60130
Immediately after services guests will be invited across the street to the Elgin History Museum for a reception to celebrate his life.

Elgin historian Steve Stroud, well-known for his passion for research into old homes and cemeteries, is remembered by loved ones as a tenacious and caring man.

04/09/2019

11:45am TODAY - Armchair Generals at the Main Branch of the Gail Borden Library

Today's presentation will be Civil War-era collections, by GBPLD librarian Melissa Bernasek.

The Armchair Generals are a Civil War and Lincoln Interest Group. Open to all. Commemorate events, share insights, and talk about books or experiences.

Daniel Brewbaker was an incredible musical talent. Come to the museum and listen to his music in our Education for All: ...
04/06/2019
Kane County History: Remembering Elgin High Grad, Renowned Composer Daniel Brewbaker, 1951 – 2017

Daniel Brewbaker was an incredible musical talent. Come to the museum and listen to his music in our Education for All: 150 Years of Elgin High School exhibit.
#elginproud
http://kanecountyconnects.com/2019/04/kane-county-history-remembering-elgin-high-grad-renowned-composer-daniel-brewbaker-1951-2017/

Editor’s Note: This article is part of a weekly series on Kane County’s amazing history. Today’s article was contributed by Elizabeth Marston, director of the Elgin History Museum. Daniel Brewbaker…

Our exhibit Dairies to Prairies is on view at the Friends of the West Chicago City Museum through April 27th. Look at th...
03/27/2019

Our exhibit Dairies to Prairies is on view at the Friends of the West Chicago City Museum through April 27th. Look at the amazing kids area they created to go along with the exhibit!!! Like Old Main, their building is on the National Register of Historic Places and dates to 1884.

2019 Historic Architectural Rehabilitation Grant applications are available! The deadline to submit applications and sup...
03/27/2019

2019 Historic Architectural Rehabilitation Grant applications are available! The deadline to submit applications and supporting documentation is Friday, April 26, 2019. Please take a look at the application - it's pretty extensive, but it could really help you improve your historic home!

Download from cityofelgin.org/historicgrants or pick up at the Community Development Department at City Hall.

The Historic Architectural Rehabilitation Grant Program provides residential property owners of structures in designated historic districts with reimbursement grants of up to $20,000 for the restoration of exterior architectural features.
Eligible grant application properties are those that are either located within Elgin’s five historic districts or have been designated as individual landmarks.

Coming up - April 13th! It's going to be a fun day - bring the kids!
03/27/2019

Coming up - April 13th! It's going to be a fun day - bring the kids!

During the Ramble, experience a selection of string, wood, and brass instruments at an instrument petting zoo! Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra (EYSO) and Elgin History Museum are teaming up for a fun and interactive day of music. No experience necessary! Student volunteers will be there to assist. Open to all ages. Stop by between 11 am – 4 pm. No museum entry fee for those attending the instrument petting zoo. Did we mention giveaways? Yes, free stuff too!

Calling EHS 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation students! Your memories are needed. 😀 Contact history teacher John Devine by ...
03/23/2019

Calling EHS 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation students! Your memories are needed. 😀 Contact history teacher John Devine by email [email protected]. #WeareU46

Are you a legacy student? Did your parents attend EHS? Your grandparents? We'd like to interview you if you are a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th generation EHS student! See or email Mr. Devine if you are interested.

Cool story!! Remember to always take care when remodeling an old home - you never know what you might find. We have our ...
03/23/2019
Found: A Historic Trolley Hidden Inside a House

Cool story!! Remember to always take care when remodeling an old home - you never know what you might find.
We have our own discovery story right here in Elgin! Remember when All Around Home Improvements shared the story of the sukkah they found at 278 Douglas?
https://www.facebook.com/pg/allaroundhomeimprovements/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1928042933940716

When Trenton's streetcars came to a halt in the 1930s, one literally found a home.

Look at this great kids area to accompany the Dairies to Prairies exhibit on view at the West Chicago City Museum!! The ...
03/22/2019

Look at this great kids area to accompany the Dairies to Prairies exhibit on view at the West Chicago City Museum!! The exhibit is on view through April 27th. Take a ride down to West Chicago and take a look!
http://www.wegohistory.com/

Come check out our updated kids' area on the first floor! We have a barn and some prairie flowers to go along with our Dairies to Prairies exhibit, through April 27. Look how tall that Compass Plant is!

Tomorrow night at the U-46 Planetarium!! There are 2 programs - one at 4:30pm and another at 6:30pm. Learn about the upc...
03/14/2019

Tomorrow night at the U-46 Planetarium!! There are 2 programs - one at 4:30pm and another at 6:30pm. Learn about the upcoming supermoon and vernal equinox. This building is so important to the history of the Elgin National Watch Company. How do you think they kept the watches accurate to one-hundredth of a second? Find out!!

Coming up April 13th! Mark your calendar for this great event at Elgin High School.
03/13/2019

Coming up April 13th! Mark your calendar for this great event at Elgin High School.

We are only ONE MONTH away from our All Class Reunion! Please join us on April 13th to celebrate 150 years of Maroon Pride! Share this digital poster and get the word out!

John Devine and Norma! Even if you couldn’t make it for John’s talk, be sure to visit our new Elgin High School 150 ...
03/10/2019

John Devine and Norma! Even if you couldn’t make it for John’s talk, be sure to visit our new Elgin High School 150 Anniversy exhibit. You can leave your favorite memories on our chalkboard!! #WeAreU46 #loveelginhistory

We are getting close to finishing our new exhibit on the 150th Anniversary of Elgin High School! One of the fun parts is...
03/08/2019

We are getting close to finishing our new exhibit on the 150th Anniversary of Elgin High School! One of the fun parts is looking through the many interesting artifacts we have and deciding what to display. Will you see everything in these photos? You will have to come to the museum on SUNDAY, March 10th at 2pm to hear EHS History Teacher John Devine honor the history, achievements and pride of the 150 year old Maroon family. The new exhibit will be OPEN! (No fee for members, $3 for guests) #WeAreU46

Just a little taste of our upcoming Elgin High School 150th Anniversary exhibit! SUNDAY, March 10th at 2pm, history teac...
03/06/2019

Just a little taste of our upcoming Elgin High School 150th Anniversary exhibit! SUNDAY, March 10th at 2pm, history teacher John Devine will be speaking about the history, achievements, and pride of the 150 year old Maroon family. Yes, there will be a (fun trivia) quiz. 😟 But there will be cake. 😀

2019 Historic Architectural Rehabilitation Grant applications are available! The deadline to submit applications and sup...
03/05/2019

2019 Historic Architectural Rehabilitation Grant applications are available! The deadline to submit applications and supporting documentation is Friday, April 26, 2019. Please take a look at the application - it's pretty extensive, but it could really help you improve your historic home!

Download from cityofelgin.org/historicgrants or pick up at the Community Development Department at City Hall.

The Historic Architectural Rehabilitation Grant Program provides residential property owners of structures in designated historic districts with reimbursement grants of up to $20,000 for the restoration of exterior architectural features.
Eligible grant application properties are those that are either located within Elgin’s five historic districts or have been designated as individual landmarks.

We are getting excited about our upcoming new exhibit to celebrate Elgin High School's 150th Anniversary! It will be ope...
03/01/2019
‘Education For All’: Elgin High School Celebrates 150-Year History — 1869-2019

We are getting excited about our upcoming new exhibit to celebrate Elgin High School's 150th Anniversary! It will be open for John Devine's talk at the Museum on March 10th. In the meantime, check out our blog post on Kane County Connects. It's a great overview of the history of Elgin High School. #WeAreU46 #U46Proud
http://kanecountyconnects.com/2019/03/education-for-all-elgin-high-school-celebrates-150-year-history-1869-2019/

Editor’s Note: This article is part of a weekly series on Kane County’s amazing history. Today’s article was written by Elizabeth Marston, director of the Elgin History Museum. Elgin High School is…

{heavy sigh} Some of the buildings on this list are magnificent - and every single building/landmark has remarkable hist...
02/28/2019
These 9 landmarks are in danger, preservation group warns

{heavy sigh} Some of the buildings on this list are magnificent - and every single building/landmark has remarkable history. Preservation is SUCH important work.

Threats to the city's landmarks are "so extensive," Preservation Chicago announced, that it expanded its annual list of endangered places to nine from the usual seven.

Happy Birthday to the Champion Buiding! Join the Museum at Soulful Sparrow on Friday and Saturday giving tours of the re...
02/26/2019

Happy Birthday to the Champion Buiding! Join the Museum at Soulful Sparrow on Friday and Saturday giving tours of the residential loft upstairs. Plus, don't miss the Oddball Art Labs vending machine. Where else can you get an original piece of art for $5? See you this weekend!

Vintage Shop Hop • Birthday Event for the Champion Building - https://mailchi.mp/51b02e3f0605/vintage-shop-hop-birthday-event-for-the-champion-building
Join us for the #VintageShopHop
March 1st and 2nd.
We are celebrating the 140th birthday of the Champion Bldg. We are serving refreshments for your road trip & handing out a party favor with a discount offer. The upstairs residential loft will be open for guided tours for a $5 suggested donation. In addition we are the hosting Vintage Mobile Art Machine. For a $5 token it dispenses a fun piece of original local art.

We had such a fun week at the Museum - schools visiting for educational programs for the last 3 days!! Today we welcomed...
02/22/2019

We had such a fun week at the Museum - schools visiting for educational programs for the last 3 days!! Today we welcomed Howard B. Thomas grade school to learn what it was like to work at the watch factory. @CentralSchoolDistrict301
Please contact us if you want to book an educational program for your group! We have many programs to choose from, or we can work with you to customize something that matches with your needs.

Whoa.
02/22/2019
Virginia Genealogical Society

Whoa.

"In an uh-oh episode of historic proportions, hand grenades from the last major battle of the Revolutionary War recently and repeatedly scrambled bomb squads in Virginia’s capital city....Wait – they had hand grenades in the Revolutionary War? Indeed. Hollow iron balls, filled with black powder, outfitted with a fuse, then lit and thrown...And more than two dozen have been sitting in cardboard boxes at the Department of Historic Resources, undetected for 30 years...
"https://www.dailypress.com/features/history/dp-nws-revolutionary-war-shots-richmond-20190220-story.html

Project 231
02/22/2019

Project 231

Mark your calendars for Thursday, February 28th when we release the final act of Project 2-3-1 entitled "One City" on our YouTube channel. In the meantime, enjoy these photos of Green's Fried Chicken float in the 1950 Labor Day parade, where it won a $100 prize.
Green's Fried Chicken was opened by Arthur Green and his wife Adellia at the corner of Hickory St. and Dundee Ave. It was a popular take out restaurant from 1947-1957. The Green's were also very active in the Fremont Center and had carnivals in their yard to raise money for the youth organization.

Address

360 Park St
Elgin, IL
60120

Metra stops at National Street and Elgin (on Chicago Ave.) stop on the Milwaukee District West Line. To plan out your trip on Metra click this link: http://metrarail.com/content/metra/en/home/maps_schedules/metra_system_map.html

General information

The facility is handicapped-accessible with an elevator to all three floors and bathrooms on the second floor. Adult admission: $3.00 Children under 5: FREE Students: $1.00 Members:FREE

Opening Hours

Wednesday 11:00 - 16:00
Thursday 11:00 - 16:00
Friday 11:00 - 16:00
Saturday 11:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(847) 742-4248

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