Places of the Past

Places of the Past

Northwest Region


Bureau County Historical Society Museum. 109 Park Ave. West Princeton, IL 61356 We-Su 1-5PM; closed Jan. & Feb. 815-875-2184 Exhibits include Native American artifacts.


Bishop Hill State Historic Site. Bishop Hill Road, P.O. Box 104 Bishop Hill, IL 61409 We-Su 9AM-5PM 309-927-3345 Bishop Hill Colony was founded in 1846 by a group of Swedish religious dissidents led by Erik Jansoon. The utopian community thrived initially but was dissolved in 1861. Today, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency owns several buildings and the village park, and sponsors events from April to December. The Colony Church has an exhibit that features materials and photographs from excavations conducted at the site in the 1940s and 1970. www.state.il.us/hpa/Bishop.htm, www.bishophill.com

Geneseo Historical Association. 205 S. State St. Geneseo, IL 61254 Tu-Fr,9AM-noon, 1-3PM Jun-Aug: Sa-Su 2-4PM 309-944-3043 The large Italianate home, originally constructed in 1855, was part of the Underground Railroad. Displays include a large number of American Indian artifacts donated by local collectors.

Henry County Historical Society Museum. 202 S. Park St. Bishop Hill, IL 61419 May-Oct: Daily, 10AM-4PM 309-927-3528 Museum displays include stone tools illustrating the prehistory of Henry County. Kewanee Historical Society 211 N. Chestnut St. Kewanee, IL 61443 May-Oct, Sat 1:30-4PM Labor Day Weekend 9AM-5PM Three floors of local history include prehistoric stone tools donated by local collectors. 309-853-1914


Apple River Fort State Historic Site. 311 E. Myrtle, P.O. Box 206 Elizabeth, IL 61028 We-Su Apr-Oct: 9AM-5PM Nov-Mar: 9AM-4PM 815-858-2028 An interpretive center relates the story of the Black Hawk War and the Apple River Fort, as well as the interactions between the Sauk and Mesquakie (Fox) and lead miners in the early 19th century. A video and exhibits tell how archaeological investigations in the 1990s provided information for the fort reconstruction in 1996. www.appleriverfort.org

Galena/Jo Daviess County Historical Society & Museum. 211 S. Bench St. Galena, IL 61036 Daily 9AM-4:30PM, closed holidays 315-777-9129 Regional museum includes a small Native American display with artifacts from the Galena area. www.galenahistorymuseum.org

Gramercy Park — Dunleith Mound Group. East Dubuque, IL 815-747-3095 Originally consisting of 26 conical mounds, this mound group has around 20 mounds still standing. Excavations in the 1800s indicate that the mounds are likely from the Middle Woodland period, located in an area remote from major Hopewell developments to the south and east. The park, situated on a high bluff overlooking the Mississippi River valley, includes interpretive signs, walking trails, picnic facilities and shelters.


Loveland Community House Museum. 513 W. Second St. Dixon, IL 61061 We 1-4PM, Fr, Sa 9AM–noon 1st Sa of each month: 9AM-3PM 815-284-2741 Museum has items relating to local history including prehistoric stone artifacts.

John Deere Historic Site. Grand Detour 8393 South Main Dixon, IL 61021 Apr-Oct: Daily 9AM-5PM 815-652-4551 Exhibit hall has on display the 1962 excavations of John Deere’s blacksmith shop where he developed the first successful steel plow in 1837. Visitors may also visit the blacksmith shop, John Deere home, and visitor center. The site is a National Historic Landmark. www.deere.com/en_US/compinfo/history/granddetour.html


Black Hawk State Historic Site — Hauberg Indian Museum. 1510 46th Ave. Rock Island, IL 61201 We-Su 8:30AM-12, 1-4:30PM 309-788-9536 Black Hawk State Historic Site was inhabited from 1730 to 1830 by the Sauk and Mesquakie (Fox) Indian Nations. Saukenak, capital of the Sauk Nation and one of the largest Indian centers in North America, stood adjacent to the site. Museum exhibits include a prehistoric time line with artifact displays, historic period artifacts from Sauk and Mesquakie tribes, and summer and winter houses constructed by American Indians. www.state.il.us/hpa/Blackhawk.htm

Colonel Davenport Home. North Shore of Arsenal Island Rock Island Arsenal, P.O. Box 4603 Rock Island, IL 61204 May-Oct: Th-Su 12-4PM; Nov-Apr, by appt. 309-786-7336 Items found at excavations at the 1833 home are exhibited. George Davenport arrived at Rock Island with the U.S. Army in 1816. He became an agent of the American Fur Company and had diverse business interests. His house on Rock Island became a center of local commerce and regional trade. www.davenporthouse.org

Rock Island County Historical Society. 822 11th Ave. Moline, IL 61266 Mo, Th-Sa 9AM-5PM 309-764-8590 Exhibits include prehistoric and historic period Native American artifacts. www.richs.cc/


Albany Mounds State Historic Site. South Cherry Street, P.O. Box 184 Albany, Illinois 61230 Daily dawn to dusk 309-887-4340 The Albany site is a large Middle Woodland mound and village complex dating between 200 B.C. and A.D. 300. It originally contained 96 burial mounds, making it one of the largest mound groups in Illinois. Material excavated from the site shows that the residents participated in the Hopewell trade network, with items ranging from conch shells from the Gulf Coast to obsidian from the Rocky Mountains. These and other goods, such as pipes made from Rock River valley pipestone, show that Albany was a center of the Hopewell culture, which extended across the eastern third of North America. Visitors can view the mounds along a mown path. www.communitycourier.com/albany_mounds.htm

Prohetstown Area Historical Society. 320 Washington St. Prophetstown, IL 61277, 815-537-2224 Prophetstown is named for the Winnebago Prophet, Wabokieshiek, an advisor to the Sauk Chief Black Hawk. A multi-tribal village was located there in the early 19th century, and the historical society has an exhibit about Black Hawk and the American Indian inhabitants of the area. Exhibits also include some regional prehistoric artifacts.

Sinnissippi Park. Sterling, IL Hwy 2, north of Sterling 815-622-6200 Sinnissippi Park, part of the Sterling Park District, contains an impressive group of Hopewell burial mounds. Look for a signboard after entering the park; the mounds are arranged in two rows on the bluff overlooking the Rock River.

Sterling-Rock Falls Historical Society Museum. 1005 E. 3rd St., P.O. Box 65 Sterling, IL 61081 Tu, Th, Sa 10AM-12PM, 1-4PM; Su 1-5PM 815-622-6215 The museum has a Native American exhibit that includes some local material.


Beattie Mound Group. North Main & Park Ave. Rockford, IL 815-987-8800 An effigy mound group, part of the Rockford Park District, is located in downtown Rockford just west of the Rock River. A park kiosk has information about the site. www.rockfordparks.org

Burpee Museum of Natural History. 737 N. Main Rockford, IL 61103 Mo-Sa 10AM-5PM; Su12-5PM 815-965-3433 Natural sciences museum with an emphasis on geology and paleontology has a time line "The First People" with displays of American Indian artifacts. www.burpee.org

Macktown Forest Preserve — Macktown Living History Education Center. 2221 Freeport Rd., P.O. Box 566 Rockton, IL 61072 815-962-0055 This living history center, currently under development, has had archaeological investigations at the Stephen Mack Home, a trading post, and prehistoric cultural shell deposits dating to at least A.D. 200. Visitors may attend special events relating to the 1820s – 1850s historic town, and can also view the prehistoric shell deposits along the Pecatonica River. The site is part of the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District. www.wcfpd.org

Carl and Myrna Nygren Wetland Preserve. Rockton Road, 1 mile west of Rockton, IL (Entrance to trail is across from Macktown) Owned by the Natural Land Institute, this 700-acre preserve includes many Native American sites. Trails under development will have interpretive signs about the sites. 815-964-6666 www.naturalland.org