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 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.

Upcoming Events

Recent News

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

Holiday Open House 2022

Holiday Open House Returns Dec. 3

McHenry Area 2023 calendar

Historic calendar available

34th Annual Autumn Drive

Autumn Drive navigates chilly temps with aplomb

Annual Cider Fest im-press-ive

Weather cooperates for Oct. 2 event

Research Library's 40th Anniversary

Library celebrates 40 years of connecting people to their past

Apple Bake-off, bake sale return to Cider Fest

Congratulations to Judy Link!

Christmas Tree Walk

Christmas Tree Walk ends Jan. 2

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 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 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. We are NOT supported by tax dollars. How to Support Us