The Museum is open Tuesday - Friday, 1 - 4 PM, and Saturdays, 11 AM - 4 PM. The business office is open year-round, M-F, 9 AM - 4:30 PM, by appointment only 

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

Travel the Historic Artifact Trail A special event commemorating our 60th anniversary, visit all ten participating businesses to learn about their artifacts.

How to Submit a Research Request

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

Step 1

Submit All Requests: By Mail or Online. Learn How

Step 2

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

McHenry County Historical Society

Educating and Preserving History since 1963.

The McHenry County Historical Society has been enhancing lives by preserving the history of McHenry County for over 60 years.

In addition to operating the Museum, the Society plaques historic sites and structures, conducts adult educational programs and welcomes school and adult group tours.

The Society's funding sources include membership dues, business sponsorships, admission fees, private donations, and a trust fund. In addition, for many years, we have published an extensive quarterly magazine, The Tracer. To gain access to this valuable resource, please consider joining our organization. For further details, please visit The Museum. We very much appreciate your interest and invite you to participate.

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. The Museum is occasionally open during special programs in the evenings or weekends.

In addition to our expansive collection of artifacts, the Society owns several historic 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 center. 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 Center 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

We're Hiring a Research Library Collections Assistant
We're Hiring!

We're Hiring a Research Library Collections Assistant

External Event: Farm four showcases Latino/Latine agriculture in McHenry County

June 8, 5:30 to 7 p.m.  6710 S. Oak Grove Road, Harvard.

 2023 Quilt Raffle
60th Anniversary Quilt Raffle

This signature quilt could be yours! Tickets are on sale NOW through November 9, 2023

Annual Meeting 2023

Tuesday, July 18, from 6:00-9:00 PM

Genealogical Society logo
External Event: Genealogical Society Summer Conference

July 8, 2023 9 AM - 4 PM at McHenry County College

Museum Front Desk
Museum Open for 2023 Season

Open May 2 through November 3, Tuesday - Friday 1 - 4 PM, and Saturdays 11 AM - 4 PM

Discover what The Society is doing to Preserve McHenry County's History

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