2022 Exhibit
Art of the Past
Viewing History through
McHenry County Artists
A permanent collection of 150
paintings, drawings and portraits,
this exhibit features landscapes and
still lifes painted by local artists.
Bridge web-1.jpg
2022 Exhibit
This Place Matters
Historic Structures and
Landscapes of
McHenry County
Artists used their creativity and ingenuity
to paint or draw historically significant
buildings, structures and landscapes
in McHenry County.
2022 Exhibit
McEachren Annex
Five New Exhibits
• Rural Schools of McHenry County
• Waterways & Getaways in McHenry County
• Pickles Wanted!
• Number, Please?
• Batter Up!

Visit our Facebook page for up to date announcements.

Support MCHS through your Annual Membership and shopping at the Museum Store.

McHenry County Historical Society

Educating and Preserving History since 1963.

Since the mid-1960s, the McHenry County Historical Society has provided the methods and means of presenting McHenry County History to enrich life. Please join us in celebrating over 50 years!

Besides operating the museum, the Society plaques historic sites and structures, holds adult workshops and classes, makes available traveling exhibits and arranges a wide variety of school and other group programs.

Funding for the Society comes from membership dues, admission fees, donations and a trust fund. For many years, we have published a comprehensive quarterly newsletter, The Tracer. To receive this valuable resource, join our organization.  For more information visit The Museum. We very much appreciate your interest and invite you to participate.

Museum is Open May - October in Union IL.

On July 4, 1976, the Society's museum in Union, Ill. officially opened to the public. The Museum is open May through October, 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and most Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum is closed for major holidays. Please call or check our calendar if you are unsure. Admission charge for nonmembers. Adults - $5, Seniors (60+) and Students - $3, and Family (Includes 2 family member adults and 2 or more children) - $12. The museum is occasionally open during special programs in the evenings or weekends.

Our comprehensive collection includes several preserved buildings: The 1843 Gannon Log Cabin, an 1885 town hall, now known as Perkins Hall; a 20th century modern tourist cabin, restored and housed inside the Museum. In 1982, a local history research library was added to the museum. In 1988, we acquired the West Harmony School, an 1895 one-room schoolhouse now used for circa.1900 school programs at our Museum location in Union. In 2009, we acquired the 1898 Riley Methodist Church.

Call 815-923-2267 for Library Appointment

The McHenry County Historical Society also collects local history. Our Research Library has as its purpose the acquisition, cataloguing and preservation of documentary materials that relate to the history of McHenry County and its people. When consistent with the mission of the Society, these materials may be made available to the public for research, study and promotional purposes.

The library hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. year round. There is a fee for use by non-members.The Research Library is accessible by appointment only. Walk-ins cannot be accommodated no matter what the circumstances or the distance traveled since supervision is required. Materials must be retrieved by staff for security and archival reasons. Also, please understand that we are a nonprofit organization with a small staff trying to do many things, often simultaneously. Call our office at 815-923-2267 to make your library appointment.

Recent News

What is Going On at MCHS? Make your way to our News & Event Section

Art of the Past Auction

Online auction ends Oct. 2

45th Annual Cider Fest

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 2

Research Library's 40th Anniversary

Library celebrates 40 years of connecting people to their past

Cider Fest Mum Sale

Starts Aug. 26

Harrison Resort cabin plaqued

Big crowd shows up at Pistakee Bay

New exhibits part of 2022 season

Expanded Saturday hours

COVID-19 questionnaire

How is McHenry County responding?

Digital Newspaper Collections of McHenry County
Newspaper Collections

McHenry County

Schools of McHenry County

The "Historic Country Schools of McHenry County, Illinois" Written by Robert Frenz

What The Society Does for McHenry County

Journey with us as we discover our history in McHenry County, Illinois


We focus on local culture, organizational and family history. We collect and care for notable local artifacts.  Learn More


Individuals who are aware of their environment make better citizens. Better citizens vote, participate in community life & teach their children by example.


Preserving one’s community provides its citizenry with a visual collective memory. We encourage the appreciation of our environment both natural and built.



We provide a family-oriented entertainment and educational destination spot that uniquely and interactively helps tell the story of this county and its people.


We are a destination for family-oriented entertainment and education. Visit our Museum events in Union to experience learning more about local history.


We create learning experiences and events. We focus on local culture, organizational and family history. We collect and care for notable artifacts.





The McHenry County Historical Society has a wide array of volunteer opportunities available for those who are interested.

  Museum Store

The McHenry County Historical Society has a number of unique local history items available online and at our museum in Union, Illinois. Museum Store

  How to Support

We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Your donations are appreciated. We are NOT supported by tax dollars. How to Support Us