The LaSalle County Historical Society’s museum campus is located in the heart of downtown Utica along the historic Illinois and Michigan Canal, itself a historical landmark. The museum campus features five facilities: the Canal Warehouse, the One-Room School House, the Heritage Center, the Blacksmith Shop and the 1875 Barn.
The Canal Warehouse
The Canal Warehouse building, erected in 1848 now contains exhibits and artifacts that left their imprint on this region and the nation. Exhibit topics include Native American, military, industrical, Lincoln/Douglas, Wild Bill Hickock and more. more details
One-Room School House
Beyond the museum parking lot to the east is a one-room school, the Aitken School built in 1865. It was originally established as District One in Troy Grove Township in a deed signed by Horace A. Hickok, brother of “Wild Bill” Hickok. It was located south of Troy Grove. A plaque tells of its beginnings. Utica’s Unimin Corporation donated the schoolhouse to the LaSalle County Historical Society in 1990. more details
Visitors to the Heritage Center will enjoy never-seen-before artifacts and historical displays, many in storage for years but virtually unseen until now. The exhibits will focus primarily on the 20th century and military. Displays include a World War I aid station as well as the many different types of naval ships that used the Illinois River during World War II. more details
The 1892 Kidd Blacksmith Shop was the village hardware store in Illinois’ early days. The blacksmith made a wide variety of items including tools, barn door hinges, irons for a kitchen fireplace, runners for a sled, wagon springs, door latches, pots and pans, and harness hardware. He made nearly every common use metal object by hand. more details
Agricultural exhibits include: nineteenth century veterinary tools, carriages, sleds, horse-drawn field equipment and more are presented in the 1875 barn next door to the blacksmith shop. Displays range from sausage stuffers to one-row corn cultivators and miniature profiles of LaSalle County soils. more details