The business office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Our private Research Center is open by appointment only; walk-ins are not allowed. Visit the Research tab to learn about and start a research request.

2024 Museum hours: Tuesday through Friday, 1 - 4 PM, and Saturdays, 11 AM - 4 PM. 

Download our Museum Brochure HERE

We are hiring

The McHenry County Historical Society (MCHS) is seeking an experienced and dynamic Executive Director to lead its efforts.

Visit this page to learn more about this exciting position.  We look forward to hearing from you soon!

McHenry County Historical Society

Educating and Preserving History since 1963.

For over sixty years, the McHenry County Historical Society has enhanced lives by preserving the county's history.

In addition to operating the Museum, the Society plaques historic sites and structures, conducts adult educational programs, and welcomes school and adult group tours.

The Society's funding sources include membership dues, business sponsorships, admission fees, private donations, and a trust fund. In addition, for many years, we have published a quarterly magazine, The Tracer. To gain access to this valuable resource, please consider joining our organization.

The Museum is open Tuesday - Friday 1 - 4 PM and Saturdays 11 AM - 4 PM. 

In addition to our expansive collection of artifacts, the Society owns several historic buildings: The 1843 Gannon Log Cabin, an 1885 town hall, now known as Perkins Hall; a mid-20th-century modern tourist cabin, restored and housed inside the Museum. In 1982, the Museum added a local history research center. In 1988, we acquired the West Harmony School, an 1895 one-room schoolhouse, now used to recreate early 1900s-era school programs at our Museum location in Union. Finally, in 2009, we acquired the 1898 Riley Methodist Church.

The Research Library

The McHenry County Historical Society collects and preserves local history. Our Research Center's purpose is the acquisition, cataloging, and preservation of documentary materials related to the history of McHenry County and its people. When consistent with the Society's mission, these materials may be made available to the public for research, study, and promotional purposes. In 2022, we celebrated our library's 40th Anniversary of service. Read about it here: Commemorative 40th Library History Brochure.

Unlike a public library, the McHenry County Historical Society's Research Library is accessible by appointment only after completing a research request. We cannot accommodate walk-ins, no matter the circumstances or distance traveled. Once your research request is submitted, we will begin the research, contact you about what we've found, and then schedule an appointment for you to come in if needed. Visit our Research Library page to pay your fee and complete a research request

**Research Request fees are waived for MCHS Members, but copying and image fees apply. There is a $30 research request fee for submissions made by non-members. If you are not a member and want to join, click here**

How to Submit a Research Request

McHenry County Historical Society | P.O. Box 434 | Union, IL 60180

Step 1

Submit All Requests: By Mail or Online. Learn How

Step 2

Payment Required: Become a member or Pay $30 fee.

Research Library

Learn about the Library: Visit our New Blog

Annual Fund

Help us forge a new path.


Discover what The Society is doing to Preserve McHenry County's History

Journey with us as we discover our history in McHenry County, Illinois


We focus on local culture, organizational, and family history. We collect and care for notable local artifacts. Learn More


Individuals who are aware of their environment make better citizens. Better citizens vote, participate in community life & teach their children by example.


Preserving one’s community provides its citizenry with a collective visual memory. We encourage the appreciation of our environment, both natural and built.



We provide a family-oriented entertainment and educational destination spot that uniquely and interactively helps tell the story of this county and its people.


We are a destination for family-oriented entertainment and education. Visit our Museum events in Union to learn more about local history.


We create learning experiences and events. We focus on local culture, organizational, and family history. We collect and care for notable artifacts.



The McHenry County Historical Society has many volunteer opportunities for those interested.

  Museum Store

The McHenry County Historical Society has many unique local history items available online and at our museum in Union, Illinois. Museum Store

  How to Support

We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Your donations are appreciated. Tax dollars do NOT support us. How to Support Us