Visit us at the Consumer Showcase - March 23 in Sun City Huntley

The Museum is currently closed for exhibition changeover. Administrative office is open M-F, 9 am - 4:30 pm. 

Get Your Copy of our 2023 Program Guide, and join us on June 2 at 5 pm for our Exhibition Opening party!

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

How to make a Research Library Request

McHenry County Historical Society | P.O. Box 434 | Union, IL 60180

Step 1

By Appointment Only. No Drop-ins. Minimum 3 weeks wait.

Step 2

Submit All Requests: By Mail or Online. Learn How

Step 3

Payment Required: Become a member or Pay $30 fee.

McHenry County Historical Society

Educating and Preserving History since 1963.

Since 1963, the McHenry County Historical Society has provided the methods and means of presenting McHenry County History to enrich life. 

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 magazine, 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 non-members. Adults - $5, Seniors (60+) and Students - $3, and Families - $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 early 1900s-era school programs at our Museum location in Union. Finally, in 2009, we acquired the 1898 Riley Methodist Church.


The McHenry County Historical Society collects and preserves 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.

Unlike a public library, the McHenry County Historical Society's Research Library is accessible by appointment only after completing a research request. Because volunteers staff the library on limited days/hours, we cannot accommodate walk-ins, no matter the circumstances or distance traveled. Once your research request is submitted, we will begin the research, contact you about what we've found, and then schedule an appointment for you to come in if needed. Visit our Research Library page to pay your fee and complete a research request

**Research Request fees are waived for MCHS Members, but copying and image fees apply. There is a $30 research request fee for submissions made by non-members. If you are not a member and want to join, click here**

Annual Fund 2023

Help us forge a new path.


Recent News

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

Nancy Fike Scholarship 2023

DEADLINE is April 10, 2023

Mt. Thabor Cemetery Walk

9 a.m. May 20

Unknown objects shot down reminiscent of ‘War of the Worlds’ reaction

East Palestine, Ohio, derailment shows lessons from past crashes not being learned fast enough

Road papers hit the road

Public access to digitized records

Quilt Cutting Day 2023

Newest quilt has gals in stitches

Quilt Exhibit After Hours Open House

Open House provides thread to past

Digital Newspaper Collections of McHenry County
Newspaper Collections

McHenry County

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 collective visual 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 many volunteer opportunities for those interested.

  Museum Store

The McHenry County Historical Society has many 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. Tax dollars do NOT support us. How to Support Us