The Museum is Temporarily Closed for Exhibit Changeover. The business office is open year-round, M - F, 9 am - 4:30 pm. The Research Library maintains the same hours by appointment only.
Special Event: Holiday Open House returns December 2nd. See Santa from 11 am - 3 pm. Check Here for More Details
Who won the Historic Artifact Trail? In a special event participants visited all ten businesses for a chance to win a raffle basket!
Educating and Preserving History since 1963.
The McHenry County Historical Society has been enhancing lives by preserving the history of McHenry County for over 60 years.
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 an extensive quarterly magazine, The Tracer. To gain access to this valuable resource, please consider joining our organization. For further details, please visit The Museum. We very much appreciate your interest and invite you to participate.
On July 4, 1976, the Society's Museum in Union, IL, officially opened to the public. The Museum is open May through October, from 1 to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Museum is closed for major holidays. Please call or check our calendar if you are unsure. The Museum is occasionally open during special programs in the evenings or weekends.
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 has as its purpose the acquisition, cataloging, and preservation of documentary materials that relate 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. Because volunteers staff the library on limited days/hours, 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**
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