Places of the Past

Places of the Past

Central Region


Early American Museum. Rte. 47 North, P.O. Box 1040 Mahomet, IL 61853 Jun-Aug: Daily 10AM-5PM; Apr-Dec. weekends 10AM-5PM 217-586-2612 Museum has an emphasis on local history and early settlement with extensive blacksmithing and interactive exhibits. The new Prairie Stories exhibit includes a Native American diorama that incorporates locally collected artifacts. www.earlyamericanmuseum.org

Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum. 1011 Pacesetter Dr. Rantoul, IL 61866 Mo-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 12-5PM 217-893-1613 The largest aerospace museum in Illinois has over 40 aircraft and missiles on display; in contrast, they also have prehistoric stone tools found on the former Air Force base property, and private artifact collections on display. www.aeromuseum.org


Christian County Historical Society & Museum. Rts. 29 & 48 E, P.O. Box 254 Taylorville, IL 61568 Apr-Nov: We-Sa 10AM-4PM, Su 1-4PM Dec-Mar: Sa 10AM-4PM 217-824-6922 Permanent exhibits include some locally collected Native American artifacts.


Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site. 8 miles south of Charleston, P.O. Box 175 Lerna, IL 62440 We-Su 9AM-5PM 217-345-6489 86-acre site includes reconstructed Lincoln cabin and 1840s living history farm; Sargent Farm and Reuben Moore Home are nearby sites. Visitor center at Lincoln Log Cabin includes an exhibit "Reconstructing the Past," about excavations prior to reconstruction at the historic site. http://www.state.il.us/hpa/hs/Log.htm


Historic Vandalia, Inc. Fayette County Museum. 301 W. Main, P.O. Box 224 Vandalia, IL 62471 Mo-Sa 9AM-4PM; Jun 1-Sep 1, also Su 1-4PM 618-283-4866 Museum includes American Indian exhibit.


Ford County Courthouse. 200 W. State St. Paxton, IL 60957 Mo-Fr 8:30AM-4:30PM 217-379-3723 The second floor of the courthouse has a case with prehistoric chipped stone and ground stone tools collected from the area.


Under the Prairie Museum. 109 Governor Oglesby St., P.O. Box 199 Elkhart, IL 62634 We-Su 10AM-4PM 217-947-2522 This new frontier archaeological museum, operated by the Sangamo Archaeological Center, has on display a large collection of artifacts from late 18th to early 19th century sites in Illinois and the Midwest, allowing the visitor an immersion in the material culture of the prairie frontier. www.undertheprairie.com


Rock Springs Nature Center. Macon County Conservation District 3939 Nearing Lane Decatur, IL 62521 Mo-Sa 9AM-4:30PM; Su 1-4:30PM 217-423-7708 Natural history displays include an exhibit on Illinois archaeology. www.maconcountyconservation.org


Rockwell Mound. N. Orange and Franklin Sts. Havana, IL 309-543-6240 You can imagine Indian life as it was 2,000 years ago at the largest and best-preserved Middle Woodland Indian mound in the Midwest. Located within the Havana Park District, the park is also the site of speeches by both Lincoln and Douglas.


Comlara Park. RR 1, Box 73 Hudson, IL 61746 Mo-Fr 8:30AM-4:30PM 309-726-2022 The park visitor center, part of the Evergreen Lake public recreation complex operated by the McLean County Parks and Recreation Department, includes a display about the area's American Indian inhabitants. The park is also the location of a summer knap-in, where the public can view enthusiasts making chipped stone tools. www.mclean.gov/parks

Grand Village of the Kickapoo Park. County Rtes. 750N & 3100 E R.R. 2, Box 94A LeRoy, IL 61752 309-962-2700 The park has an historical marker with information about the Kickapoo village occupied during the late 18th to early 19th centuries. Excavations were conducted by Illinois State University at the site in the 1970s and 1980s. The park hosts an annual pow-wow the first weekend in June and a "buffalo shoot" (photographs only!) in the fall. www.grandvillage.org/

McLean County Museum of History. Old Courthouse 200 N. Main St. Bloomington, IL 61761 Mo-Sa 10AM-5PM (Tu, until 9PM), Su 1-5PM 309-827-0428 Museum includes local history exhibits and a library and archives, as well as traveling exhibits and educational programs. The permanent exhibits include some material from the Grand Village of the Kickapoo, and also some prehistoric artifacts from the region. www.mchistory.org


Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site. RR 1, Box 244A Petersburg, IL 62575 We-Su Mar.-Oct.:9AM-5PM; Nov.-Feb.:8AM-4PM 217-632-4000 Abraham Lincoln lived in New Salem from 1831 to 1837. While the cooper shop is the only original building still standing, numerous buildings including a carding mill, gristmill, tavern, shops, a school, sawmill and cabins have been reconstructed to their 1830s appearance. The historic site includes a visitor center and outdoor theatre with summer performances. Signs for an "archaeology walk" show places excavated during archaeological investigations. www.lincolnsnewsalem.com


Illinois State Museum. 502 S. Spring St. Springfield, IL 62706 Mo-Sa 8:30AM-5PM; Su 12-5PM 217-782-7386 The Illinois State Museum has been telling the story of Illinois—its land, life, people, and art—since 1877 through research, educational programs and exhibits. Exhibits on archaeology feature life-sized dioramas depicting the prehistoric and historic period Native Americans of Illinois. The museum web site features extensive material for those wishing to learn more about the natural history, archaeology and art of Illinois. www.museum.state.il.us

Lincoln Home National Historic Site. 426 S. 7th St. (Visitor Center) Springfield, IL 62701 Daily, Apr-Oct 8AM-6PM; Nov-Mar 8:30AM-5PM 217-492-4241 In the four-block neighborhood of Abraham Lincoln's family home, the Dean House and Arnold House have exhibits that include information from excavations at the National Historic Site. www.nps.gov/liho


Lake Shelbyville Visitor Center. Rte. 4, Box 128B Shelbyville, IL 62565 May, Sep-Oct: Sa-Su 10AM-4PM Jun-Aug: daily, 9AM-4PM 217-774-3951 (Visitor Center is at the dam, just east of Shelbyville) The visitor center has displays with Native American artifacts from the Lake Shelbyville area, including one that shows prehistoric artifacts and their modern-day equivalents. www.mvs.usace.army.mil/shelbyville


Fort Creve Coeur. 301 Lawnridge Drive, Creve Coeur, IL 61610 Park: Daily, 7AM-8PM Museum: Mo-Su 10AM-6PM, 309-694-3193 The reproductions of a fort, Indian village, and trading house include a display of regional American Indian material. www.ftcrevecoeur.org


Forest Glen Preserve. Vermilion County Conservation District 20301 E. 900 North Rd. Westville, IL 61883 Open Daily 217-662-2142 Forest Preserve visitor center has an exhibit that includes information on American Indians. www.vccd.org

Kennekuk County Park. Vermilion County Conservation District 22296-A Henning Rd. Danville IL 61834 Open Daily 217-442-1691 Visitor Center has an artifact display and Native American history exhibit. A self-guiding trail map is available that notes the location of the Collins site, a Mississippian period village and mound site. www.vccd.org

Vermilion County Museum. 116 N. Gilbert Danville IL 61832 Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 1-5PM 217-442-2922 Museum exhibits include a display of locally collected chipped stone and ground stone tools. www.vermilioncountymuseum.org