Join our board, help us make history
The McHenry County Historical Society & Museum is seeking historically minded individuals interested in shaping the future direction of the society by serving as board members. The commitment to our mission of “providing the methods and means of presenting McHenry County history to enrich life” is key to the society’s continued success. If you are interested in learning more or know of an individual you believe would embrace this important role, contact Governance Committee Chairman Greg Barry at 815-459-2050 or at email@example.com.
Doing a good Turn(er)
Turner Camp director Pam Lau (above) shows off a sample of the 270 cottages sprinkled along the hillsides of the 100-acre camp off Algonquin Road. In order to have a cottage, you must be a member of the Illinois Turners and agree to maintain your structure and camp buildings. The camp has thrived for 100 years thanks to that team spirit and cooperation. (Below) is a picture of the camp office near the dining hall. The camp generously hosted a meeting Sept. 17 of the Joint Council of Historic Groups.
Discovering the Native Landscape
Greg Rajsky, principal and consulting naturalist with True Nature Consulting in Woodstock, spoke Aug. 24 at the museum about McHenry County's native landscape and its evolution. Rajsky said at the time of settlement, the Midwest oak savanna was the most prevalent type of groundcover in the county. "Today it is virtually non-existent," he said. "There is very little record of how it really functioned. It is one of the real mysteries." Rajsky said oak savannas are globally endangered – even more so than the rainforest.
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Andrew Parke shows off the triangular creation, with its six parallel pieces, that launched his journey into math-based art. The former elementary math teacher in New York and Woodstock resident uses his analytical mind and engineering acumen to relate to youngsters and adults, alike, creating something extraordinary from ordinary matmerials
Win THE "Mostly Morris"quilt
This homage to the celebrated British wallpaper designer William Morris features a card trick pattern. The botanical-themed fabrics used by our Heritage Quilters mostly are from Barbara Brackman’s William Morris collections. She has created four collections over the past few years, each having 40 or more fabrics. Buy tickets at the Countryside Nursery quilt show Sept. 20 and 21 in Crystal Lake or at the Woodstock Harvest Fest Sept. 21. Tickets also are available online.
Our latest McHenry County Barn Quilt Brochure
On our Facebook Page, you'll find MUCH MORE information about our current events!
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 marking our 51st year!
On July 4, 1976, the Society's museum in Union, Ill. officially opened to the public.
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 our 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 c.1900 school programs at our Museum location in Union.
In 2009, we acquired the 1898 Riley Methodist Church.
In 2010, we held our Business Diamond Jubilee, saluting McHenry County businesses in operation for 75 + years.
In 2011, we helped create the Northern Illinois Quilt Fest, in cooperation with many fine people across all six Northern Illinois counties.
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. Your support is always welcomed.
For many years, we have published a comprehensive quarterly newsletter, The Tracer. To receive this valuable resource, join our organization. Visit our Online Gift Shop. Learn more: watch a video about Oral History by the Northwest Herald.
The Museum is open from the first Sunday in May through the first Sunday in October – Tuesday through Friday from 1 until 4 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. – and for special events. For more information visit The Museum. We very much appreciate your interest and invite you to participate.
When you support the McHenry County Historical Society, many benefits become yours.
Did you know that WITHOUT ANY USE OF TAX DOLLARS, we continue to collect and hold in our collection, the three dimensional teaching artifacts of human progress? And, that our museum provides a family-oriented entertainment and educational destination, uniquely and interactively telling the ongoing story of McHenry County and its people?
And, that our research library (free to members) houses thousands of technical books and pamphlets; photographs; post cards; maps; journals; business, club, school and governmental records; local history books; biographical files; scrapbooks; newspapers; phone directories; high school yearbooks and knowledgeable people with answers to all sorts of questions you may ask?
And, that we create learning experiences and events, participating in the activities of like-minded organizations throughout McHenry County?
And, that our staff and volunteers have collective fun while teaching, learning and experiencing history together?
GET OUR NEWSLETTER!
Visit our Support page for even more details. One key benefit is our history-packed newsletter, The Tracer. Sixteen pages of news, articles, interviews, photographs and more will be mailed to you each quarter.
Members of the McHenry County Historical Society are amazing people.
The McHenry County Historic Preservation Commission (Web site)
has a valuable Preservation Trades Resource List (PDF), containing a wealth of references for those embarking on a historic preservation project.
It was compiled by the
McHenry County Joint Council of Historic Groups (visit their Twitter Feed)
The McHenry County Historical Society supports the work of these two fine organizations.
The 2011 Northern Illinois Quilt Fest has ended, but information is still available via these links:
Also, please take some time to explore our Web site's menus. There is a wealth of information available here for you to learn from. And, we're hoping you'll be inspired to participate in our efforts.