Historic seums S
teeped in fascinating history, from enormous Native American trading camps on the banks of the Illinois to French explorers establishing a fort at Starved Rock and the very ﬁrst Lincoln-Douglas debate, LaSalle County has been home to historic events that not only shaped Illinois, but the entire world. LaSalle County’s amazing museums archive this rich history and share it with the public, in a way that’s just as fun as it is informative! Earlville Community Historical Society Museum
136 S. Ottawa St. • EARLVILLE earlvillehistory.org
Housed inside a historic 1890’s hardware store, Earlville’s free community museum shares the history of this Northern LaSalle County town through a fascinating collection of artifacts.
Lock 16 Visitor Center
754 First Street • LASALLE 815-223-1851 • iandmcanal.org The Lock 16 Visitor Center offers more than just a delicious café and great gift shop, it also houses a massive wrap-around interpretive mural that tells the storied history of the I&M canal.
I & M Canal Boat
754 First Street • LASALLE 815-220-1848 • iandmcanal.org Hop aboard a replica 19thcentury mule-towed canal boat and take a leisurely ride along a mile and half of restored canal, learning the importance I&M played in the development of Illinois.
901 Washington St. • Mendota 815-539-3373 mendotamuseums.org Witness a collection of over 500 photos depicting 100 fascinating years of Mendota history. You’ll also ﬁnd an extensive collection of Wild Bill Hickok memorabilia.
Union Depot Railroad Museum
783 Main Street • Mendota 815-538-3800 mendotamuseums.org Explore everything railroad related at Mendota’s own Union Depot museum. See miniature railroads depicting locomotive history and walk inside a real vintage train car.
Breaking The Prairie Farm Museum
LaSalle County Historical Society
684 8th Street • Mendota 815-539-3373 mendotamuseums.org This unique agricultural
museum is open for viewing 24/7, through a series of glass windows that allow you to take a look at the historic farm implements that “broke the prairie”. Interior tours can be arranged by calling the number listed above.
3656 E. 2631st St. • Sheridan 815-343-5070 norskmuseum.org This delightful museum is dedicated to Scandinavian culture, and is ﬁlled with artifacts from the Norwegian immigrants that settled the region back in the 1800’s.
Starved Rock State Park Visitors Center
2678 E. 873rd Road • Oglesby 815-667-4726 • dnr.illinois.gov Starved Rock’s cutting edge visitors center helps guests learn about the park’s storied past, fascinating wildlife and ecology through the use of interactive displays and interpretive dioramas.
M.J. Hogan Grain Elevator 124 West Williams • Seneca 815-357-6197 senecahistory.com
This 1861 grain elevator is of the last of its kind. This 65+ foot tall, 70,000 bushel elevator can be toured during special events, or call the number above to arrange a tour.
Seneca Area Heritage Museum
431 N. Main Street • Seneca 815-769-5077 senecahistory.com Seneca fascinating history is explained through a wonderfully curated collection of artifacts inside a vintage train depot! The museum even includes information on Seneca’s famed shipyard that produced 157 LSTs for WWII.
I&M Canal Tollhouse
1221 Columbus St. • Ottawa 815-434-2737 pickusottawail.com The only surviving I&M tollhouse, this one room museum shows guests what the life of an 1850’s locktender was like, through a collection of artifacts, dioramas and historical documents.
Ottawa Heritage and Scouting Museum
1100 Canal Street • Ottawa 815-431-9353 Dedicated to preserving the history of the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Campﬁre Scouts, this museum also has displays on the Lincoln Douglas Debates, and scouts founder/ Ottawa resident W. D. Boyce.
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