Joliet Area Historical Museum

Joliet Area Historical Museum Located at America's historic crossroads, Route 66 and Lincoln Highway, the Joliet Area Historical Mu
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Located at the historic intersection of Route 66 and Lincoln Highway, the Joliet Area Historical Museum occupies the space formerly known as the Ottawa Street Methodist Church at the intersection of Cass and Ottawa Streets in downtown Joliet. Since its opening in the fall of 2002, the museum's main exhibition gallery serves as an introduction to the many stories of the Joliet area and its people.

Exhibits are enhanced by state-of-the-art audio-visual presentations, life-size models, award-winning touch screen visuals, and even a step-in Lunar Lander Simulator for your interaction as you explore how the past shaped the world you now enjoy. Temporary exhibits and targeted educational programming provide additional interpretive opportunities. The Joliet Area Historical Museum has come into existence from efforts of the City of Joliet, the Joliet Area Historical Society, Joliet Junior College and Joliet citizens. The city purchased the church, and the Joliet Area Historical Museum was incorporated into a 501(c) non-profit organization in 1999.

Have you seen this item in the museum? *Hint it is not located in the main galleries! The Brownie Tractor, Model B Serie...
01/08/2024

Have you seen this item in the museum? *Hint it is not located in the main galleries!

The Brownie Tractor, Model B Series #124 was produced by the U.S. Brownie Co. in Joliet in the 1950s. The tractor was originally used for children's amusement rides at St. Joe's Park in the 1950s and 60s.

Looking north down Chicago St. at the corner of Chicago and Clinton Streets taken in 1959.
01/07/2024

Looking north down Chicago St. at the corner of Chicago and Clinton Streets taken in 1959.

Over the past year the Vocational building located next to the West Gate inside the walls of the Old Joliet Prison has b...
01/06/2024

Over the past year the Vocational building located next to the West Gate inside the walls of the Old Joliet Prison has been cleaned out and set up as a collection space to house objects and artifacts recovered from within the Prison. The shelving and cabinets being utilized for catalogued items have also been recovered from various buildings throughout the Prison.

Don’t miss out!  The Joliet Area Historical Museum is proud to host “38 Miles North and South of Chicago: A Comparative ...
01/04/2024

Don’t miss out! The Joliet Area Historical Museum is proud to host “38 Miles North and South of Chicago: A Comparative Look at African American History in Joliet and Lake Forest" this exhibit is the result of a collaboration between The History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff (HCLFLB) and the Lewis University History Center.
The museum will re-open for the season with FREE admission on Martin Luther King Day, January 15th. Advanced tickets available online at jolietmuseum.org.

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Mark your calendars for January 15th, 2024! We will be open and have a FREE day at the museum in honor of Martin Luther ...
01/04/2024

Mark your calendars for January 15th, 2024! We will be open and have a FREE day at the museum in honor of Martin Luther King, JR. Day. We will be open from 10am to 4pm.

Children ice skating on Hickory Creek in Highland Park in 1906. Photograph taken by Frederick W. Huverstuhl of Joliet.
01/03/2024

Children ice skating on Hickory Creek in Highland Park in 1906. Photograph taken by Frederick W. Huverstuhl of Joliet.

Come see us in the heart of the Downtown historic district!
01/02/2024

Come see us in the heart of the Downtown historic district!

Happy New Year!
01/01/2024

Happy New Year!

See you in the new year! We’re taking a short break for the holidays and some annual deep cleaning of the museum exhibit...
12/31/2023

See you in the new year! We’re taking a short break for the holidays and some annual deep cleaning of the museum exhibits. We will reopen on January 13th,2024.

Looking for a family adventure? Stop by the museum and get out of the cold weather! We are open from 10am to 5pm today.
12/30/2023

Looking for a family adventure? Stop by the museum and get out of the cold weather! We are open from 10am to 5pm today.

Join us for our first Second Sunday Lecture to kick off 2024 with a bang! Our speaker will be Cean Magosky who is a loca...
12/29/2023

Join us for our first Second Sunday Lecture to kick off 2024 with a bang! Our speaker will be Cean Magosky who is a local history buff who learned from his brother, Seth, and has been researching the career of famed Joliet school architect, F. S. Allen. Trained as a surgical nurse, his focus and attention to detail have lead him to unearth extraordinary details of the life of Mr. Allen. Having grown up in the Allen home in Joliet, he has communicated with members of the Allen family and followed Allen’s story across the country and across the ‘pond’. Join us as Cean details the life of this innovator from his birth in Knox, Illinois, through his work in Ottawa, Streator and Chicago prior to settling in Joliet, then being recruited to help develop the Pasadena and Altadena areas. Learn how his innovations in school design shaped the way students learn to this day and his influence on education and design in the Gilded Age.

Cean has published Historic Impressions Volume II, the second year of articles from Seth’s popular Herald News series of the same name. He is also working on republishing an advertising book of Mr. Allen’s from 1904 and a history of Joliet schools. Cean is an active member of Write On Joliet and the Downer’s Grove Writer’s Workshop and has contributed to the Write On Joliet Anthology, Write Where We Are, for the past three years.

Sunday, February, 11th at 2pm in the Joliet Area Historical Museum lower level auditorium.
$5 General Public Tickets
Free for Museum Members With Valid ID

https://fareharbor.com/embeds/book/jolietmuseum/items/512326/?full-items=yes&flow=1091612

Chicago Street in downtown Joliet decorated for the holidays in 1973.
12/25/2023

Chicago Street in downtown Joliet decorated for the holidays in 1973.

Happy Holidays! We will be closed December 24th and 25th, 2023. We will reopen Tuesday December 26th, 2023 at 10am.
12/24/2023

Happy Holidays!

We will be closed December 24th and 25th, 2023. We will reopen Tuesday December 26th, 2023 at 10am.

Hillcrest Shopping Center decorated for Christmas, circa 1960s.
12/18/2023

Hillcrest Shopping Center decorated for Christmas, circa 1960s.

12/17/2023

Have you ever wondered how you can support our work?
Members play an important part in helping us to preserve historic buildings and artifacts and share stories about the history of the Joliet area.
As a “thank you” members can visit all three our museums free of charge for an entire year!

https://www.jolietmuseum.org/become-a-member.html

12/15/2023

Today and tomorrow are the last 2 days to visit in 2023! We are decorated for Christmas here at the Planinsek Grocery and Meat Market Museum preserves, shares and interprets the Slovenian immigrant experience in Joliet, the role of the neighborhood store in community development, and the lasting cultural impact on the city through the lens of the Planinsek family. Stop by Friday and Saturday from 10am to 4pm at 1314 Elizabeth Street to see it for yourself. Admission is $5 and free for members of the JAHM museum. https://www.jolietmuseum.org/martin--emma-planinsek-grocery-and-meat-market-museum.html

Did you know that the Joliet Area Historical Museum is located in the Ottawa Street Methodist Church building, construct...
12/14/2023

Did you know that the Joliet Area Historical Museum is located in the Ottawa Street Methodist Church building, constructed in 1909? Large elements of the interior of the building still remain intact, most notably the stain glass windows seen in the second floor galleries. There are 4 dates hidden inside of each window. Can you find them all?

Christmas postcard designed by H. Bouquet for the Y.M.C.A. during WWI. The Y.M.C.A. provided soldiers with free stationa...
12/13/2023

Christmas postcard designed by H. Bouquet for the Y.M.C.A. during WWI. The Y.M.C.A. provided soldiers with free stationary, envelopes, and postcards during the war. Postcard is from Joliet resident, Private Bertie Wellman, stationed in France in 1918 in the 68th Artillery, Battery B regiment of the United States Army Coast Artillery Corps.

It's been a busy year! With help from our friends, members, and community supporters, we've grown our organization to no...
12/12/2023

It's been a busy year! With help from our friends, members, and community supporters, we've grown our organization to now include:
The Joliet Area Historical Museum
The Old Joliet Prison historic site
The Planinsek Grocery and Meat Market Museum
and the newly acquired Original Dairy Queen!
Our plans for 2024 are not slowing down, with the anticipated opening of the Union Depot Tower Museum, and several newly stabilized Old Joliet Prison buildings.

https://www.jolietmuseum.org/annual-giving.html

12 Days of Joliet: Day 12 - The gift guide you've been waiting for! We've got something for everyone on your list.1. A P...
12/12/2023

12 Days of Joliet: Day 12 - The gift guide you've been waiting for! We've got something for everyone on your list.

1. A Patriots Promise
2. Illinois State Penitentiary Bar Key
3. Greetings from Joliet - postcard book
4. Christmas ornaments - featuring the Old Joliet Prison
5. Old Joliet Prison Maroon and Black hoodies
6. Tie-dye Route 66 shirts
7. Images of Joliet
8. Route 66 socks
9. It's never too late to Mend - T-Shirt
10. Made in IL Coasters
11. Historic impressions Joliet the first thirtyfive years by Patrick Magosky
12. Gray Old Joliet Prison T-Shirt

All items feature FREE shipping on our website!

https://jolietmuseum.shopsettings.com/?ownerid=40141560&noProxyRedirect=true

12 Days of Joliet: Day 11 - The gift guide you've been waiting for! We've got something for everyone on your list.1. A P...
12/11/2023

12 Days of Joliet: Day 11 - The gift guide you've been waiting for! We've got something for everyone on your list.

1. A Patriots Promise
2. Illinois State Penitentiary Bar Key
3. Greetings from Joliet - postcard book
4. Christmas ornaments - featuring the Old Joliet Prison
5. Old Joliet Prison Maroon and Black hoodies
6. Tie-dye Route 66 shirts
7. Images of Joliet
8. Route 66 socks
9. It's never too late to Mend - T-Shirt
10. Made in IL Coasters
11. Historic impressions Joliet the first thirtyfive years by Patrick Magosky
12. Gray Old Joliet Prison T-Shirt

All items feature FREE shipping on our website!

https://jolietmuseum.shopsettings.com/?ownerid=40141560&noProxyRedirect=true

12 Days of Joliet: Day 10 - The gift guide you've been waiting for! We've got something for everyone on your list.1. A P...
12/10/2023

12 Days of Joliet: Day 10 - The gift guide you've been waiting for! We've got something for everyone on your list.

1. A Patriots Promise
2. Illinois State Penitentiary Bar Key
3. Greetings from Joliet - postcard book
4. Christmas ornaments - featuring the Old Joliet Prison
5. Old Joliet Prison Maroon and Black hoodies
6. Tie-dye Route 66 shirts
7. Images of Joliet
8. Route 66 socks
9. It's never too late to Mend - T-Shirt
10. Made in IL Coasters
11. Historic impressions Joliet the first thirtyfive years by Patrick Magosky
12. Gray Old Joliet Prison T-Shirt

All items feature FREE shipping on our website!

https://jolietmuseum.shopsettings.com/?ownerid=40141560&noProxyRedirect=true

12 Days of Joliet: Day 9 - The gift guide you've been waiting for! We've got something for everyone on your list.1. A Pa...
12/09/2023

12 Days of Joliet: Day 9 - The gift guide you've been waiting for! We've got something for everyone on your list.

1. A Patriots Promise
2. Illinois State Penitentiary Bar Key
3. Greetings from Joliet - postcard book
4. Christmas ornaments - featuring the Old Joliet Prison
5. Old Joliet Prison Maroon and Black hoodies
6. Tie-dye Route 66 shirts
7. Images of Joliet
8. Route 66 socks
9. It's never too late to Mend - T-Shirt
10. Made in IL Coasters
11. Historic impressions Joliet the first thirtyfive years by Patrick Magosky
12. Gray Old Joliet Prison T-Shirt

All items feature FREE shipping on our website!

https://jolietmuseum.shopsettings.com/?ownerid=40141560&noProxyRedirect=true

12 Days of Joliet: Day 8 - The gift guide you've been waiting for! We've got something for everyone on your list.1. A Pa...
12/08/2023

12 Days of Joliet: Day 8 - The gift guide you've been waiting for! We've got something for everyone on your list.

1. A Patriots Promise
2. Illinois State Penitentiary Bar Key
3. Greetings from Joliet - postcard book
4. Christmas ornaments - featuring the Old Joliet Prison
5. Old Joliet Prison Maroon and Black hoodies
6. Tie-dye Route 66 shirts
7. Images of Joliet
8. Route 66 socks
9. It's never too late to Mend - T-Shirt
10. Made in IL Coasters
11. Historic impressions Joliet the first thirtyfive years by Patrick Magosky
12. Gray Old Joliet Prison T-Shirt

All items feature FREE shipping on our website!

https://jolietmuseum.shopsettings.com/?ownerid=40141560&noProxyRedirect=true

12 Days of Joliet: Day 7 - The gift guide you've been waiting for! We've got something for everyone on your list.1. A Pa...
12/07/2023

12 Days of Joliet: Day 7 - The gift guide you've been waiting for! We've got something for everyone on your list.

1. A Patriots Promise
2. Illinois State Penitentiary Bar Key
3. Greetings from Joliet - postcard book
4. Christmas ornaments - featuring the Old Joliet Prison
5. Old Joliet Prison Maroon and Black hoodies
6. Tie-dye Route 66 shirts
7. Images of Joliet
8. Route 66 socks
9. It's never too late to Mend - T-Shirt
10. Made in IL Coasters
11. Historic impressions Joliet the first thirtyfive years by Patrick Magosky
12. Gray Old Joliet Prison T-Shirt

All items feature FREE shipping on our website!

https://jolietmuseum.shopsettings.com/?ownerid=40141560&noProxyRedirect=true

12 Days of Joliet: Day 6 - The gift guide you've been waiting for! We've got something for everyone on your list.1. A Pa...
12/06/2023

12 Days of Joliet: Day 6 - The gift guide you've been waiting for! We've got something for everyone on your list.

1. A Patriots Promise
2. Illinois State Penitentiary Bar Key
3. Greetings from Joliet - postcard book
4. Christmas ornaments - featuring the Old Joliet Prison
5. Old Joliet Prison Maroon and Black hoodies
6. Tie-dye Route 66 shirts
7. Images of Joliet
8. Route 66 socks
9. It's never too late to Mend - T-Shirt
10. Made in IL Coasters
11. Historic impressions Joliet the first thirtyfive years by Patrick Magosky
12. Gray Old Joliet Prison T-Shirt

All items feature FREE shipping on our website!

https://jolietmuseum.shopsettings.com/?ownerid=40141560&noProxyRedirect=true

12 Days of Joliet: Day 5 - The gift guide you've been waiting for! From A Patriots Promise to Route 66 socks, we've got ...
12/05/2023

12 Days of Joliet: Day 5 - The gift guide you've been waiting for! From A Patriots Promise to Route 66 socks, we've got something for everyone on your list.

1. A Patriots Promise
2. Illinois State Penitentiary Bar Key
3. Greetings from Joliet - postcard book
4. Christmas ornaments - featuring the Old Joliet Prison
5. Old Joliet Prison Maroon and Black hoodies
6. Tie-dye Route 66 shirts
7. Images of Joliet
8. Route 66 socks
9. It's never too late to Mend - T-Shirt
10. Made in IL Coasters
11. Historic impressions Joliet the first thirtyfive years by Patrick Magosky
12. Gray Old Joliet Prison T-Shirt

All items feature FREE shipping on our website!

https://jolietmuseum.shopsettings.com/?ownerid=40141560&noProxyRedirect=true

12/05/2023

Happy National Sock Day!! Everyone loves a new pair of socks! Check out these original Route 66 socks on Joliet Area Historical Museum website! Local classics like the Old Joliet Prison, Rialto Square Theatre, and Gemini Giant all make appearances on these fun accessories!

www.visitjoliet.com

Address

204 N Ottawa Street
Joliet, IL
60432

Opening Hours

Monday 10am - 5pm
Tuesday 10am - 5pm
Wednesday 10am - 5pm
Thursday 10am - 5pm
Friday 10am - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 10am - 5pm

Telephone

(815) 723-5201

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