Early barn; Early Farming; Fred Swain in Locks; Tesmer House; Railroad  
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Museum & Store

The Marshall County Historical Society&Museum is located at 314 Fifth Street in Lacon, Illinois. The museum is opened on Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 am to 12 pm and most Saturdays from 10 to 12 pm.  The museum closes for approximately 4 weeks during the Christmas – New Years Holidays.
If your business, organization or school would like to schedule a tour you can call the museum at 309-246-2349 to make arrangements. 

The museum would not be possible without all the board members, volunteers and individuals that strive to preserve our heritage. There are no salaries at the museum, it is all donated time. The museum has much to offer individuals; Educational Programs, Resource Library, Genealogy Research, Textile Preservation, Artifact Preservation, Cemetery Records, publications for purchase and many Exhibits.  Join today and support the wonderful work of these dedicated historians.

Books, Research Materials and Collectibles
Map of rural schools - circa 1912 - 16 x 26 - $15 ($10 for members)

Sparland Sesquicentennial Book 1855-2005 over
220 pages $15

Top Stick with some help from a Guardian Angel Book with 208 pages $15

This is the Place Heritage Sampler No.Four 
85 pages $3

Toluca history Books Volume 1, 2, 3, 4 covering the early years of Toluca’s history with 600 pages $30 each; Volume 5 with over 500 pages $25

“Freemen Rally” poster reproduction only 300 printed $10

6” Plate depicting Tesmer House $25

8” Ehringer’s Centennial Plate from 1870-1970 $10

12 x 18 poster of Sparland Sesquicentennial 2005 suitable for framing $3

Sparland cookbook (only a few in stock) $6

Marshall County Historical Society Sweatshirts (sizes small thru extra large) $18 2XL $19 and 3XL $20
Embroidered Caps (one size fits all) $10

1860-1870-1880 Marshall County Census books-$18.00 each

Henry's St Mary's Church History - 150 pages with many pictures $28

Packaging and shipping extra for all of above items
Contact the Museum at 309-246-2349 or e-mail marshallcountyhistory@gmail.com to purchase any of these items.

Other items to choose from.

How to Donate

To prospective donors - We respect the importance you attach to items you may bring for our consideration and we are grateful for the opportunity to view your treasures. Based upon the following criteria, additions to collections will be welcomed by committee decision
1) Connection to Marshall County: The item should help present and promote a greater understanding of our history.
2) Compatibility: The item should enhance existing collections or could be used to develop future displays.
3) Condition: The item should be clean and in good repair.
If you have a special photograph and would like to have it preserved as part of Marshall County History, stop by the museum and let us scan your photograph for our archives.  All photos will be returned to you, the owner, immediately.


Need help searching the archives; come to the museum and we will help or email marshallcountyhistory@gmail.com.
You may also send a letter with information about the topic or person you are researching and we can assist you.  We appreciate a donation commensurate with the extent of your request. We will tell you what we have available but we can not guarantee that we will be able to find what you need.
Need a copy?  The charge for a standard page is 25 cents and $1.00 a page for microfiche copying.
Photos from our collection can be obtained for $5.00 for a 4 x 6, $10.00 for a 5 x 7 and $15.00 for an 8 x 10 printed on quality photo paper.

Displays  &  Exhibits

The MCHS large front windows are decorated with historical and some times whimsical exhibits to catch the eye of the passerby.  The displays are changed frequently and sometimes set up as a tribute to other organizations and entities for special occasions.  The window displays are lovingly created a month at a time by a committee of volunteers.  Items from the museum collections and many local historians are included from time to time.Glass Case
Some of the recent displays include “Joy in a Jar”, a collection of canning equipment, fruit jars and colorful instruction books;  a collection of vintage table top and cabinet sewing machines ranging from the mid 1860's into the early 1900's;  snowmen and teddy bears; Abraham Lincoln was honored on his 200th Birthday; and again when a replica of his casket was on display;  a spring wedding collections graced the windows for a time; Marshall-Putnam Fair memorabilia; a  collection by friends (invalid feeders, butterflies, glass slippers, handkerchiefs, baskets and tins); a July 4th fashion show; Civil War and Lincoln Tributes;  Duck Decoys and Shore Birds; Grand Army of the Republic; Doll Houses; and Monkey Christmas Mayhem.

Model Rooms in the Museum

School Room depicting a one room school. The last one room school in Marshall County closed in the 1940’s Children’s playroom School Roomholds toys, games and books from the late 1800’s to the present Bedroom featuring an 1890’s bed which was bought from Ehringer Furniture the previous owner of the building which houses the Marshall County Historical Society and Museum
Victorian parlor with an organ and other era pastimes.
A kitchen with wood burning cook stove and items showing home life from 1890-1950

Agriculture and other displays

Farming items

Many farming items are on display as well as a turn of the century buggy.
Military Uniforms and memorabilia from the wars are being collected.
Many stand alone displays, photographs and artifacts including an extensive number of quilts dating from the 1800s.



The museum would not be possible without all of our wonderful board members and volunteers. In addition to the board of directors we would like to recognize the volunteers who spend many hours at the museum: Florence Finfgeld, Juanita Wilson, John Wabel, Bev Meils, Evelyn Edge, Justin Meierkord, Rosana Benson, Wayne Benson, Dorothy Folkerts, Jim Fairbanks, Melody Fairbanks, Val Hawksworth, Megan Scott, Bob Weber, Bob Petrich, Clarabel Riddell, Rita Simpkins, Lewis Simpkins, Andrew Crook, Marilyn Hurt, Rick Keating,and Connie Swanson, Web coordinator and newsletter editor. (hope we haven’t forgotten anyone)

Become a Volunteer Today

The Marshall County Historical Society is always looking for volunteers to assist in the ongoing preservation of our local history. You don’t have to be an expert on anything historical. All you need is an interest in preserving our past and a willingness to get up to your elbows in our local history. The time commitment is whatever you have to spend with us. There are many different areas you can become involved in, such as genealogy, where you might assist visitors looking for family information or trying to locate a cemetery. There is always a need to update our obituary file. Textiles preservation is another area which is always busy. We continually receive new items which must be inspected, photographed and cataloged before going into proper storage. Handy with a saw and a hammer, or a paint brush? We have projects for you.  We’re always in need of someone to do data entry as far as updating our artifact/relic inventory. So, if you’ve got the history itch, the Marshall Historical Society is the place to be. We’ve been here for over 50 years and looking forward to another 50, and it’s all been because of the volunteers. If interested call 309-246-2349 or email marshallcountyhistory@gmail.com


Museum Hours
Tuesdays and Wednesdays
9 a.m. to Noon
Most Saturdays
10 a.m. to Noon
Call for appointment:

Camp Grove

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