History

History

Andover Historical Museum & Grounds
418 Locust Street
61233

This home of August Rehnstrom was built in 1861 by Eric Berglof, and served as a temporary haven for Swedish immigrants in the 1860s. It now contains memorabilia of early life in Andover. Showcased is a historic marker denoting the first post office in Henry County was located in the Andover Colony, May of 1837. Call ahead for individual or group tour appointment.

Andover
Call for scheduled appointment for individuals or group.
Antique Engine Tractor Association Show Grounds
13451 IL Hwy 92
61254

Experience a fall harvest with mid-1900’s equipment demonstrating daily field farm activities on this 50-acre working show grounds. The three-day show offers agricultural history and how the agricultural life has evolved.

 

The event features the historical value of collection and exhibition of gasoline and steam tractors, power driven farm machinery and other equipment through field demonstrations, displays of gas engines, garden tractors, farm tractors, and equipment. Watch daily demonstrations of wheat and oat threshing, working sawmill, blacksmithing, horse field plowing, corn pickers and sheller’s and more! A weekend full of social activities including daily women’s and children’s events, train rides, Thresherman’s Dinner and a pie auction is just plain family fun! Food is available on grounds and free parking.
Geneseo
Bishop Hill Gallery Inn
109 West Main Street
61419

Enjoy the peace and comfort of Bishop Hill Gallery Inn, just steps from Bishop Hill’s restaurants, shops, and museums. Beautiful guest rooms with private baths, offering in-room coffee and complimentary snacks.

Stay for a night, a weekend, or longer in the peaceful beauty of historic Bishop Hill, IL. The Gallery Inn, located on the 2nd floor of the original 1856 Bishop Hill Colony Administration Building, offers three tranquil guest rooms, each with a queen bed and private bath, and a large shared sitting room overlooking the village park. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy Bishop Hill’s festivals and special events.

We look forward to your stay with us!

Bishop Hill
Bishop Hill Steeple Building
103 North Bishop Hill Street
61419

Immigration History at the Bishop Hill Steeple Building

The Bishop Hill Steeple building provides a glimpse back in history to 1854. Architecturally intriguing, this three-story stucco Greek Revival structure with a two-story tower and 66 six-over-six windows was recently restored with a Save America Treasures grant. It was built to be used as a hotel, but instead was used as a dwelling, school, administration building, and later housed a bank, telephone switchboard and apartments.

The museum is home to the Bishop Hill Heritage Association offices. The rooms and exhibit showcase historic artifacts and photos of early Colony days and take visitors back through time to a quaint prairie village.

A plaque at the Pioneer Monument at Bishop Hill reads: ‰”Dedicated to the memory of the hardy pioneers who in order to secure religious liberty left Sweden their native land with all the endearments of home and kindred and found Bishop Hill Colony on the uninhabited prairies of Illinois.‰”

Group tours by appointment, small fee.

Bishop Hill
April to December, Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. January through March Daily 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Henry County Historical Museum
202 South Park Street
61419

Henry County Historical Museum is the best kept secret. It is treasure trove of yesteryear artifacts that invite visitors to experience Henry County history. The agricultural collection features everything ag related, machinery, tools, a farm kitchen and country store exhibits, and one will even find a barbed wire collection. Military enthusiasts will enjoy the exhibit which features antique guns dating back to the civil war, and many military fashions and memorabilia.

Bishop Hill
Open May 1 through October 31, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Groups are welcome please call ahead.
Ryan’s Round Barn
28616 Sauk Trail Rd.
61443

Ryan’s Round Barn . . . See What’s ‘Round the Bend!

This is a must-see site at the entrance to the Johnson-Sauk Trail Park, located on Route 78, near Kewanee. Ryan’s Round Barn, one of the nation’s largest round barns, measuring eighty feet high and eighty-five feet in diameter, and one of forty-two remaining in the State of Illinois, is an architectural marvel. One outstanding feature of Ryan’s barn is its sixteen-feet-wide silo with a moisture-resistant plastered interior located directly in the building’s center. Modern efficiencies from the past include centrally located waste drains and a dual track and trolley system used for delivering feed and for removing waste. The barn’s main floor houses an extensive collection of agricultural antiques.

 

Kewanee
Tours are available May through October, the first and third Saturday of each month. 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Group Tours of 10 or More by Appointment.
Sweet Annie’s Primitives
106 South Bishop Hill Street
61419

Red marks the spot in Bishop Hill to encounter warm and spirited antiques and primitives. Favorites include cupboards, buckets, folk art, early country in old paint & original surface, barrels & quilts, tables and bowls. Peruse through garden accents, textiles, pottery, yellowware, treenware, handmades and dried everlastings to accent your home decor. Visit the patio and wash house featuring seasonal gardens and gardenware.

 

Bishop Hill
Wednesday to Friday, 10 am to 3 pm, Saturda, 10 am to 4 pm, Sunday, 11 am to 4 pm
The Old Red Farm Shed
1107 SE 2nd Street
61434

Vintage farm equipment, autos and locally made museum featuring antique farm equipment, autos and implements made locally by past businesses and more, are featured in the Old Red Farm Shed. The community of Galva built a reputation on agriculture production and ingenuity. Features, International Harvester, Hayes check-row planter, Wistrand blue pumps and Morgan/Galva seed bags. A collection of days gone by will put a sparkle in your eye! Tour groups are welcome please call ahead for appointments. Saturday hours are by chance from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Galva
Call for appointment
Twinflower Inn
110 Olson Street
61419

Step away from the everyday and travel the back roads to Twinflower Inn, the ultimate retreat.

The Twinflower Inn features four suites and two guest rooms. Built as the original Colony Hospital in 1855, the Inn is one of 10 original buildings lovingly restored in the village of Bishop Hill a national historic landmark. It’s your home base for a couple or family gathering adventure weekend.

Bishop Hill
Vintage Farm Equipment Museum
Bridge Park

Learn about the agricultural heritage of the area by visiting the Vintage Farm Equipment Museum.  The museum houses the many items of vintage farm equipment belonging to the Vintage Farm Equipment Association.  Browse through the different sections showcasing different aspects of farm life – from dairy, seed, grain, hay, tools, horses and saws to domestic items used in the home.

Larger items such as plows, harvesting tools and equipment, wagons, cord saws, seed spreaders and pony carts are also on display.  Check out the new equipment, including lawn and garden tractors, hit n’ miss engines, wagon lifts – and an antique fire engine from the Atkinson Fire Protection District.

The Association hosts a Vintage Farm Equipment Show every year in September.  Besides the museum displays, visitors have a chance to see specialty items such as Coleman stoves, lamps and lanterns, camping stoves of other nations, blacksmiths, millwrights, handcrafts and horse powered equipment.

The Museum is open by appointment or during special events.

 

Atkinson
by appointment