Photo: Cornerstone being laid for the Douglas County Courthouse on November 16, 1911 by Delmar D. Darrah, Grand Master of the Masonic Lodge. The work was completed in 1913 and Uncle Joe Cannon gave the dedication.


    Why does Local history Matter?


​We are taught about major historical events, but often times local history is left out of the equation. We forget that local history is what affects us the most in our day-to-day lives. How many of us have recited dates and memorized names but failed to make a lasting connection with what we were learning?

The big picture in history can be easily edited, influenced and altered because we fail to make a link between it and ourselves.

How can you even begin to understand an event like war? How do you make it tangible? Hear the words of a soldier in a letter sent home to a spouse from overseas. Look at equipment and at a uniform and you can imagine on some level what it would be like to use that equipment and wear that heavy wool uniform. Feel the weight of a helmet. See the size of a large Naval artillery shell or see the photos taken from an Air Force plane. Look at a burial flag still in the box it was sent home in to a mother from a marine who was killed in action.

These are the people who lived where you do now. These are the accounts that cannot be manipulated or altered. Knowing the big picture is very important, but knowing the local picture makes it tangible and helps us connect to our community and even to ourselves.

This place and its people matter. Don't loose the connection and help support local history! Visit the museum, schedule a tour, or become a member. Help us keep local history alive!


If you'd like to review copies of the Museum's constitution, by-laws, or other policy documents, please stop by the museum or you can email your request to [] 


We envision the Museum as a place where all parts of Douglas County and the surrounding areas feel represents them.  

We will continue to care for all of the artifacts that are so important in telling the story of Douglas County and its residents to the very best of our ability.  

We wish for people of all ages to feel welcome and take part in learning about local history.  We want children to get excited about local history and learn something about themselves.

We will improve and broaden the ways we educate the public to fit different ages, interests, and abilities.  We would like to add in more technology and provide ways for visitors to use all of their senses and not just through sight.

Lastly, we want to continue to grow with the County and Museum visitors to provide the best experience we can and meet their needs.


To collect, preserve, and promote historical and cultural artifacts of Douglas County Illinois providing exhibits, programs, and educational opportunities to adults and children.

Educate.  Preserve.  Enrich.