Welcome to the Boone County Historical Museum! We offer local genealogy and general research plus an obituary service containing over 10,000 Boone Co. Il. obituaries. Your museum was established in 1968 to preserve the history of Boone County, Illinois. Our goal is to display and interpret the artifacts that have been donated to the museum. How often have you seen a 160-year-old log cabin inside a building? Walk through the general store, the bank, the barbershop, or the one room school and experience history come alive!
The archives and the museum contain many different opportunities for research. Many people come in to research their house or property; others to explore the history of a particular business in Boone County. Some may want to research a particular era, place, township, village, or product. And we welcome students to research school reports and projects!
Research material exists in books, newspapers, videos, slides, microfilm, pictures, maps and more. Files exist on area businesses, industry, agriculture, arts & entertainment, prominent people, crimes, government, events, wars, organizations, military people, architecture, schools, churches, and fashion. Bound notebooks contain clippings from newspapers dating back to 1860 and are a wonderful resource for gaining insight into everyday life in Boone County throughout the years.
The Landmark files include buildings such as the Chamberlain Hotel, Baltic Mill, or the Boone County Courthouse. There is an extensive collection of archival materials on the National Sewing Machine Company. Mike Doyle's weekly column in the Rockford Register Star is about Boone County and can be found in teh archives as well. We also have the 1990's Belvidere Daily Republican series called If Walls Could Talk, which were articles on the history of many of the older homes.
Guided tours are perfect for schools, organizations and clubs and are available to groups of 15 or more. We will provide you with a knowledgeable and friendly guide who will give you facts on items you may have never seen before, tell you some interesting facts about people from Boone County (i.e. Judy Ford, General Hurlbut, and "Mr. Baseball" Fred Schulte), and discuss some of the events that have happened in the past. It's easy to learn when you are having fun, so come find out what grandma meant by "back in my day."
There are many ways you can get involved.
Click here to learn more: