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 various 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.
The Museum is open from May - October in Union, IL.
On July 4, 1976, the Society's Museum in Union, IL, officially opened to the public. The Museum is open May through October, from 1 to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and 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 - $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 mid-20th-century modern tourist cabin, restored and housed inside the Museum. In 1982, the Museum added a local history research library. In 1988, we acquired the West Harmony School, an 1895 one-room schoolhouse, now used to recreate early1900-era 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, cataloging, and preservation of documentary materials that relate to the history of McHenry County and its people. When consistent with the Society's mission, these materials may be made available to the public for research, study, and promotional purposes.
The Research Library is accessible by appointment only. There is a fee for use by nonmembers. Because we are a nonprofit organization with a small team trying to do many things, we cannot accommodate walk-ins, no matter the circumstances or distance traveled. During your visit, staff will retrieve materials and supervise the handling for security and archival reasons. Call our office at 815-923-2267 to make your library appointment.
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