Along the highways and byways of our State

Along the highways and byways of...

Chicory and Queen Anne's Lace mirror the colors of the late summer sky...

Along the highways and byways of our State

Along the highways and byways of our State

Chicory and Queen Anne's Lace mirror the colors of the late summer sky along Prairie State highways.  (photo by William Furry)
Open for Bicentennial visitors

Open for Bicentennial visitors

Located at the corner of West Main and Combs Streets, D. D. Collins...

Open for Bicentennial visitors

Open for Bicentennial visitors

Located at the corner of West Main and Combs Streets, D. D. Collins built this home as a wedding present for his bride, Elizabeth Anderson.  He served as first President of the Village Board for...
A visit to the Lower Illinois River Valley

A visit to the Lower Illinois River...

Barge traffic on the Mississippi River still navigates the Father of...

A visit to the Lower Illinois River Valley

A visit to the Lower Illinois River Valley

Barge traffic on the Mississippi River still navigates the Father of Waters, giving pause to travelers along its Illinois banks.  (photo by Mark Flotow)


Today in history


Ground is broken at the Chicago Botanical Garden. By the next summer a drainage system had been completed to carry effluent from the Lake County sewage-treatment plant a distance of one mile to an aqueduct providing clean water for the garden.

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ISHS picture

Historical Markers

Since 1934, the Illinois State Historical Society has erected more than 500 historical markers statewide. Subjects of historical significance to Illinois are co-sponsored by local organizations and supporters. The Illinois State Historical Society coordinates the placement and management of historical markers throughout the state.

More Info...

Illinois 200 submit your events

Submit your Bicentennial event

Are you an event organizer? Got an event you want on our Bicentennial calendar? Use the form below to submit it and after a quick review it'll be added to our events calendar. The form captures much more than just Bicentennial events though so please add any of your regular events, just select accordingly. The goal is to add events from all over the state to celebrate Illinois' rich history. Get involved and help us fill our calendar and get the word out about events in your area.

View existing events

  • Submit an Article/Event

    Please use the form below to submit your article/event for consideration to be added to the Illinois State Historical Society website.  Upon review it, you will be emailed the status of the article and possibly asked for additional information.  If approved we will post your article on our news roll and/or calendar of events.

    Please do not use this form to submit or follow-up on submissions for the Illinois Heritage or Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society. Instead visit the links below for the correct information.

    Thank you for taking the time to fill in the fields below accurately.

  • Submitter Information (Step 1 of 3)

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Latest News & Upcoming Events

September - October 2017

September - October 2017
The coming of autumn conjures up memories of an America that
was and our connections to our state’s past. 
Visiting Shiloh Cemetery, the burial place of Thomas and Sarah Bush
Lincoln, leads to a reflection on the mortality of our ancestors, and
ultimately, to our own mortality.    Cemeteries are not so much a place to bury
the dead as they are a place where the once-living have finally settled down.  So it is with the stories passed down to us
over the years as we find our own way to pay tribute to the past by sharing the
tales in our turn.

Each of the 102 counties that make up Illinois has a wealth
of heritage to share with visitors and residents.  Whether we are selecting the perfect pumpkin
or biting into a crisp apple newly picked from the orchard, it is the time of
year when we can savor some of the harvest bounty of our state. 

With the September/October, 2017 Illinois Heritage embarks on a third decade of stories unique to
the Prairie State.  Share your Heritage.

Last Call for Bicentennial Trees!

Has your county placed an order for a Johnny Appleseed tree?

Last Call for Bicentennial Trees!

The bicentennial of Illinois statehood is December 3, 2018. To commemorate the occasion, the Illinois State Historical Society (ISHS) is offering Johnny Appleseed Trees, saplings grafted from the last known surviving tree planted by John Chapman, a.k.a. Johnny Appleseed. Only a limited number of these commemorative are available for sale (one for each of Illinois's 102 counties (plus a few extras). The trees are $50 each, are three-feet tall, and come in a 3-gallon bucket. They will be available for pickup in early October. Call now to purchase a tree for your county! 217-525-2781. DON'T LET YOUR COUNTY'S TREE SLIP AWAY!

Thanks for your support of the Illinois State Historical Society

Looking for an opportunity to make a difference for the bicentennial?

Thanks for your support of the Illinois State Historical Society

5255 Shepherd Road, Springfield, Illinois 62703
217-525-2781 *

September 22, 2017
Dear Friends of Illinois History,
Thanks for your interest in the Illinois State Historical State and in becoming a new or sustaining member of our 118-year-old organization. I think you will find the work we do of great interest, as we involve ourselves as much as possible in every county in the state. We receive no money from state government, which, as you know, makes us more responsible and efficient at what we do.
As a basic member in the Society you would receive our publications, the quarterly Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, which has been in continuous publication since 1908; and Illinois Heritage, now in its 20th year as the Society’s popular history magazine.
If you are interested in making a larger contribution to the Society, I invite you to sponsor an issue of Illinois Heritage. Why Illinois Heritage? A single issue of the magazine costs around $5,000, which covers all editorial, design, printing, and mailing of the 40-page magazine to our 4,000+ readers (an average of 3 readers per household). Should you choose to be a sponsor, your tax-deductible donation to the Society will also put a copy of the magazine into the hands of 500 new readers, as our distribution now includes free copies to social studies teachers we meet a regional conferences around the state. When I'm traveling around the state, I often stop at small-town libraries and give copies of the Heritage and Journal to librarians, who, due to budget cuts, can no longer afford to pay the $75 institutional membership. Perhaps you could purchase a membership for them.
Your sponsorship would be acknowledged throughout the year, and would include a full-page memorial/celebratory ad in the magazine. In addition, your sponsorship would be of great help to the Society, especially during the bicentennial preparations, as we are more taxed than usual with commemorative events, program requests, and new initiatives tied to the anniversary.
In Illinois Heritage we continue our series on “Forgotten Voices in Illinois History,” “Illinois Women Artists,” and new features will focus on local historical societies and museums. We are planning two special bicentennial issues of the Heritage for next year. The scholarly Journal is likewise focused on the bicentennial in 2018, and has scheduled at least two issues on the history our state. Our state historical markers program (established in 1934) continues to tell new stories about the people, events, and places of our past. The marker “Scott Bibb and the Alton School Case,” a landmark legal battle to fight segregation in Madison County, tells an Illinois story we didn’t read about in our history books.
The ISHS is all about Prairie State history, but it is also about engaging in our communities and having fun too. Our trip to Wrigley Field to see the Chicago Cubs play the Baltimore Orioles during its 100th anniversary celebration was a great opportunity to enjoy our “national pastime.” Likewise, our 2016 tour of Chicago and its diverse ethnic communities turned out to be a movable feast! And our “Lunch and Learn” partnership with the University of Illinois Springfield has also engaged new audiences and brought greater awareness about the ISHS and its programs.
Recently I traveled to Havana, Illinois, to unveil and dedicate one of our 30” x 40” framed canvas Lincoln portraits in the Mason County Courthouse, a presentation tied to our efforts to place a Lincoln portrait in every courthouse in the state for the bicentennial. Another one of my personal bicentennial outreach efforts is plan

Walking Tour: Downtown Wilmette

Wilmette Historical Museum

  • 9/24/2017 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
  • Category: Events
Join John Jacoby, Wilmette Beacon columnist and former Village President, for a guided walking tour of downtown Wilmette. Hear about interesting examples of early 20th-century commercial architecture as well as some of the people and businesses associated with them.

Free for members, $5 non-members. Advance registration required: please call or email the Museum. 

Wilmette Historical Museum
609 Ridge Road
Wilmette, IL 60091
(847) 853-7666

Sop-Ho-Kab Historical Marker Dedication

East Dubuque Lions Club and Foundation

  • 9/30/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Category: Events
The East Dubuque Lions Club and Foundation and the Illinois State Historical Society is pleased to announce the dedication of the Sop-Ho-Kab historical marker on September 30 at the East Dubuque Public Library, 122 Wisconsin Avenue, East Dubuque (Map).
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