Ethnic Heritage Museum

Ethnic Heritage Museum Open Sundays and other days prearranged tours by calling 815-962-7402
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Join us as local history lives on in a quaint home built in 1850's. Known today as The Ethnic Heritage Museum it is here that you will find six fascinating galleries devoted to the primary immigrant groups that settled in southwest Rockford, IL. African-American, Hispanic, Irish, Italian, Lithuanian and Polish. Through displays of early Rockford area maps, everyday artifacts, vintage clothing and more, visitors of all ages can learn about Old World customs and traditions. Historical photographs tell the stories of the earliest settlers who established factories near the old "waterpower district" and built their homes nearby. By comparing early with current lifestyles, the museum strives to bridge the gap between yesterday and today ... encouraging visitors to relive the past with a clear focus on Rockford's bright future. Tours may be scheduled during the week. If you would like more information on membership or request a private tour please call us at (815) 962-7402!

This gorgeous lilac bush is full of blooms on the north side of The Graham-Ginestra House!!At Heritage Museum Park--at S...
06/03/2020

This gorgeous lilac bush is full of blooms on the north side of The Graham-Ginestra House!!
At Heritage Museum Park--at South Main & Morgan Streets

05/30/2020

Greenwood Cemetery - Graham Family Plot

Mulch day at Ethnic Heritage Museum and Graham Ginestra House! Our AMAZING volunteers moved 5 yds of mulch. Thanks to th...
05/20/2020

Mulch day at Ethnic Heritage Museum and Graham Ginestra House! Our AMAZING volunteers moved 5 yds of mulch. Thanks to the hard work of Sandra Colbert, Leonard Cassaro, John Jepsen and the Garden Committee (Carol Fiorenza Folkerts and Pat Jepsen). A snake even came by to... lend a hand. This historic corridor is filled with beautiful gardens!! 🌷💐🌼

05/16/2020

Basement at the Graham-Ginestras House

The Polio Epidemics of 1945 and 1950 infected over 500 people in Winnebago County. Read Lynell Cannell's article on "The...
05/11/2020
Ethnic Heritage Museum | Rockford Ethnic Heritage Museum

The Polio Epidemics of 1945 and 1950 infected over 500 people in Winnebago County. Read Lynell Cannell's article on "The Polio Vaccine Comes to Winnebago County" and Joanne Baylis' Personal Memories of Polio.
http://ethnicheritagemuseum.org/page/1055/irish

Come see why everyone is raving about the Rockford Ethnic Heritage Museum! Learn about your ancestry and other ancestries today! Contact our volunteers at the Ethnic Heritage Museum today for more information about upcoming events that are held.

Illinois Humanities
05/09/2020

Illinois Humanities

THEY INSPIRE COLLECTIVE ACTION AND HOPE, Recipients of Illinois Humanities COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grants from throughout IL: 1820 Col. Benjamin Stephenson House Aurora Historical Society Bishop Hill Heritage Association David Davis Mansion DeKalb County History Center Ethnic Heritage Museum Gallatin County Historical Society General John A. Logan Museum J. F. Glidden Homestead & Historical Center The HUB - Arts and Cultural Center Katherine Dunham Centers for the Arts and Humanities ( K.D.C.A.H. )
LaSalle County Historical Society Museum Livingston County Historical Society Midwest Writing Center Mitchell Museum of the American Indian Old School Museum Winchester P.A.S.T. (Promoting Appreciation of Structural Treasures) of Union County, Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home Shabbona Lee Rollo Historical Museum St. Clair County Historical Society Uc-Imc Washington County Historical Society Western Illinois Museum Williamson County Illinois Historical Society #ILHumanitiesAtHome

Flowers at Graham Ginestra HouseThe Fraxinella also called the gas plant because during humid weather emits a strong vap...
05/01/2020

Flowers at Graham Ginestra House
The Fraxinella also called the gas plant because during humid weather emits a strong vapor that can be ignited. Soon it will have small white flowers. These plants have a long history with the house dating back to 1857!

The Garden Committee stays hard at work when it’s nice out. 💖💐🌷We can’t wait for you to tour the museums and stroll thro...
04/25/2020

The Garden Committee stays hard at work when it’s nice out. 💖💐🌷We can’t wait for you to tour the museums and stroll through the grounds to see the beautiful flowers and plants... some are even original to 1857! Until then, stay home and stay safe!

04/21/2020

GGH privy

04/19/2020

The exterior of the Graham Ginestra House

Meet one of our board members, Addie Ford! She is the director of the Graham-Ginestra House, owner of the Grant View Dis...
04/04/2020

Meet one of our board members, Addie Ford! She is the director of the Graham-Ginestra House, owner of the Grant View Distillery, and one of the sweetest people we know! Instead of distilling spirit, they have been distilling hand sanitizer!!

Thank you to Grant View Distillery of Rockford for delivering five cases of single use sanitizer to City of Freeport first responders!

The Irish Gallery: Saint Patrick and the Legend of the Shamrock! As he traveled through Ireland, spreading Christianity,...
03/31/2020

The Irish Gallery: Saint Patrick and the Legend of the Shamrock! As he traveled through Ireland, spreading Christianity, Saint Patrick "plucked a shamrock from the earth"...a symbol of the Trinity.

03/01/2020

Victorian Mourning customs

03/01/2020

House in Morning at the Graham Ginestra House

Thank you to all for joining us for a special viewing of the Graham-Ginestra House and a House in Mourning last night.  ...
02/12/2020

Thank you to all for joining us for a special viewing of the Graham-Ginestra House and a House in Mourning last night. Luminaries, history, home made authentic funeral biscuits, tea and best of all... new friends!!!

Volunteers (aka our superhero’s that give of their time and talents)...  Meet Kay, former Director & Docent (tour guide)...
01/22/2020

Volunteers (aka our superhero’s that give of their time and talents)... Meet Kay, former Director & Docent (tour guide), for the Graham-Ginestra House. Volunteers like herself help to keep our rich Rockford history alive.

Standing in front of one of the unique features of the house, a stain glass widow, which depicts a winter scene similar to a Currier & Ives painted lithograph. Currier & Ives were among the most popular wall hangings in 19th-century America which typically depict the history and customs of the American people. They also provided a valuable historical record of a time when news photography was still unknown.

Come and learn more about Rockford’s historic home, built in 1857, along with all the Ethnic Heritage Museum’s galleries. Open every Sunday beginning February, 9th from 2:00pm to 4:00pm.

Please DM us if you are interested in joining our amazing volunteer team.

Ethnic Heritage Museum
01/17/2020

Ethnic Heritage Museum

Freeman Graham, builder & first resident of the Graham-Ginestra House, owned and operated the first legal distillery in Rockford, IL. The Graham Bros. Distillery was one of the few distillers in the country allowed to continue to distill to make “medicinal” alcohol. Come tour the home and learn more about the two families that occupied this historic home.
Open every Sunday, 2:00-4:00, starting February 9th.

Freeman Graham, builder & first resident of the Graham-Ginestra House, owned and operated the first legal distillery in ...
01/15/2020

Freeman Graham, builder & first resident of the Graham-Ginestra House, owned and operated the first legal distillery in Rockford, IL. The Graham Bros. Distillery was one of the few distillers in the country allowed to continue to distill to make “medicinal” alcohol. Come tour the home and learn more about the two families that occupied this historic home.
Open every Sunday, 2:00-4:00, starting February 9th.

12/26/2019
12/15/2019

The Rockford Readers performing for the Black Nativity. Celebrating Kwanzaa and Christmas!

12/08/2019
12/08/2019
Next weekend is our Day in the Gardens event! We need your help with this fall cleanup project. See you there!
10/05/2019
🌻🌺Volunteer Event! 🌺🌻

Next weekend is our Day in the Gardens event! We need your help with this fall cleanup project. See you there!

As you know, the museum is maintained 100% by volunteers. Every year, volunteers spend hundreds of hours ensuring the Ethnic Heritage Museum and Graham-Ginestra House are well cared for and preserved, so the entire community can enjoy these treasures. We need your help! Please join us for our annual...

Thanks to Uncrated for stopping by the Culture Crawl in collaboration with Midway Village!
09/27/2019
Uncrated

Thanks to Uncrated for stopping by the Culture Crawl in collaboration with Midway Village!

Happy Autumn, everybody! We chopped our eventful Culture Crawl into separate videos for each location. Check out the playlist below, and stay tuned because more new adventures are on the way!

Thank you to the staff and volunteers of Midway Village Museum, Anderson Japanese Gardens, Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens - Rockford Park District, Discovery Center Museum, Rockford Art Museum, Burpee Museum of Natural History, Ethnic Heritage Museum, and Highland Community College Mass Communication Department for making this event possible!

Great interview by Samantha Hochmann, Executive Director of Tinker Swiss Cottage. We love working with her and Tinker!!
09/17/2019
Treasure Trove of Local History

Great interview by Samantha Hochmann, Executive Director of Tinker Swiss Cottage. We love working with her and Tinker!!

Tinker Swiss Cottage is a historic house museum located in the heart of Rockford. The complex contains the historic house museum, barn, & carriage house & boasts a collection of over 10,000 objects. There are also paranormal tours & barn rentals.

Ethnic Heritage Museum
08/26/2019

Ethnic Heritage Museum

Meet our Board President, Jocelyn Kit Hare. She was recently featured in the RRStar’s NEXTED UP series! #GoRockford #Gra...
07/01/2019
Dive into business community revealed life's path

Meet our Board President, Jocelyn Kit Hare. She was recently featured in the RRStar’s NEXTED UP series! #GoRockford #GrahamGinestra

This article is part of Next Up, a special section published June 30 about the future leaders of the Rock River Valley

The Graham Bros Distillery opened in 1873. They used local heritage grains to make their recipes. We can’t wait to try t...
06/19/2019

The Graham Bros Distillery opened in 1873. They used local heritage grains to make their recipes. We can’t wait to try this inspired Heritage Bourbon! Take a tour through our Graham-Ginestra House to learn more about the original distillery and the Graham family! #GrantViewDistillery #GoRockford #SourMash #buylocal #HeritageMuseumPark

This week we will begin producing a Heritage Bourbon...
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inspired by The Graham Bros. Distillery (RD#2, 1st District of Winnebago County, IL) which was the first sour mash producer in Illinois right here in Rockford over 100 years ago!!!
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A little fun fact... these grains were grown in the United States before World War II and now thanks to our regenerative local farmer, who’s crops are only a few miles from us, are available again.
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We are proud to be producing the Spirit of Rockford!!!!
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#spiritofrockford #regenerativeagriculture #regenerativefarming #sustainable #spirits #buylocal #grantviewdistillery @beargrains @gustafsonfarms #Graham-GinestraHouse #ethnicheritagemuseum #gorockford #rockfordhistory #farmlife #bourbon #whiskey #rye #heritagegrains #rockfordproud #craftspirits @craftspiritsus #illinoiscraftdistillers @womenofthevineandspirits

We hope you can join us Sunday, June 23 for this unique entertaining experience.
06/17/2019

We hope you can join us Sunday, June 23 for this unique entertaining experience.

05/03/2019
Rockford Buzz

We are proud to be able to collaborate with Midway Village for their Culture Crawl in July! Great segment by Rockford Buzz! #GoRockford #MidwayVillage #RockfordBuzz #GrahamGinestraHouse

There's a really exciting event coming to Rockford this summer. With all of the history we have here, the museums have joined forces to bring you the Rockford Culture Crawl! Family activities during the day and 21+ activities at night in the Victorian Village at Midway Village Museum. Check out the details below. This is gonna be a good one!

Stop by our Volunteer Open House to learn about the many ways we could use your help and talent!
04/28/2019

Stop by our Volunteer Open House to learn about the many ways we could use your help and talent!

04/28/2019

Heritage Museum Park Volunteer Open House!

We have amazing volunteers! Meet Pat & John Jepsen whom we chose to honor and recognize at this year’s AFP “Honor Your O...
04/24/2019

We have amazing volunteers! Meet Pat & John Jepsen whom we chose to honor and recognize at this year’s AFP “Honor Your Own” event. Through gardening, maintenance, special programming and fundraising this dynamic duo is committed to making the Heritage Museum Park a success. Thank you both and all of our dedicated volunteers who go Above & Beyond! #GoRockford #AFP #RockfordProud #HeritageMuseumPark

04/20/2019

We are closed tomorrow. We wish all of you a wonderful Easter with friends and family!

Good luck to all of the participating artists during the Art Battle at the Rockford Art Museum! #GoRockford #RAM
04/02/2019

Good luck to all of the participating artists during the Art Battle at the Rockford Art Museum! #GoRockford #RAM

Just announced! Our first Paint Wars will feature these twelve artists:

Address

1129 S Main St
Rockford, IL
61101

Opening Hours

Sunday 14:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(815) 962-7402

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Our Story

Join us as local history lives on in a quaint home built in 1850's. Known today as The Ethnic Heritage Museum it is here that you will find six fascinating galleries devoted to the primary immigrant groups that settled in southwest Rockford, IL. African-American, Hispanic, Irish, Italian, Lithuanian and Polish. Through displays of early Rockford area maps, everyday artifacts, vintage clothing and more, visitors of all ages can learn about Old World customs and traditions. Historical photographs tell the stories of the earliest settlers who established factories near the old "waterpower district" and built their homes nearby. By comparing early with current lifestyles, the museum strives to bridge the gap between yesterday and today ... encouraging visitors to relive the past with a clear focus on Rockford's bright future.

In 2016, the Ethnic Heritage Museum completed the Heritage Museum Park by purchasing the Graham-Ginestra House, built in 1857. The addition of this historical home ties in perfectly with the early settlers of southwest Rockford.

Guided tours are available on Sundays from 2-4pm. Additional tours may be scheduled during the week. If you would like more information on membership, room rentals, or request a private tour please call us at (815) 962-7402!

Nearby museums


Comments

Flyleaf Press has published ‘Tracing your Tipperary Ancestors’ by Noreen Higgins-McHugh, a comprehensive guide to research on Tipperary families. It sets out the records available, where to access them (both on-line and in archives) and how they can be used to best effect in your research. It is fully indexed, richly illustrated with examples of records, and contains links to a wide range of on-line resources. Available from the link below.
This painting is beautiful! And Carlos Bueno has beautiful artwork. I wish I would have gotten the name of this painting when I had visited the museum. Can anyone tell me the name?
Still time to vote! Our Saturday Morning Stateline show on @1440WROK was nominated for What Rocks 2017. Voting ends Friday https://t.co/zVu6k9Jy0W https://t.co/SzTwyquI4U https://t.co/KsSuV8oOtK
Will you be posting an event for july 7th's ribbon cutting?