PRESERVING HISTORY Since 1963
VISIT OUR MUSEUM
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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 - December 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 December, Tuesday through Friday, and each third Saturday, from 1 p.m. until 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


42nd annual Cider Fest

10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 6


Joint Council takes to the water

History lovers visit Island Lake on Sept. 18


Historic Halloween, Return of the Dead

Actors depict mysterious deaths from our past on Oct. 9


Fred A. Walters House plaqed

MCHS plaques 90th structure


"Ghost Towns of McHenry County"

Popular tour reprised next year


Autumn Drive

Oct. 18-20


1858 Base Ball

McHenry County edges Grayslake


2019 Schedule of Events

Museum open for the season!


Exhibit chronicles our pioneering past

"Ghost" communities featured


2019 Quilt Raffle

Drawing Nov. 6

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

  Preservation

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

  Awareness

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

  Community

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

 

  Education

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

  Events

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

  Legacy

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

 

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP US TO PRESERVE HISTORY

  Volunteers

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