Address
103 W Cherry Way
Watseka, IL 60970
Hours
Monday - Friday10 AM - 4 PM
Weekends by appointment.
Admissions
We suggest that a donation be made of $2.00 for adults and $0.50 for children.
Staff
Marie Hanford
phone: 815-432-2215

Description

We are currently working on several projects to enhance the tour of our museum. We also hope that it will make the museum more educational. We are trying to shine a new light on the history of Iroquois County. We are renovating our Iroquois County History Room to show what this land was like in the early settlement days.

A visit to the Old Courthouse Museum can be a unique visit to people of all ages. We have artifacts from all over Iroquois County that show the true history of Iroquois County. I have heard many stories of kids when they were little playing in the jail cell and doctor's office. Everyone that visits remembers the Old Courthouse because we have such a wide variety of exhibits. Being able to see real treasures from real events in Iroquois County, like a piece of Princess Watchakee’s cabin or a mastodon tooth that is thousands of years old, has stirred my imagination and has led me to a great interest in history.

Are you looking for a place to hold an event? Do you want in inside or outside? Well it doesn't matter, the Old Courthouse offers both.

Come visit our Chapel, it's a beautiful place for a small wedding.

Mission

The mission of the Iroquois County Historical Society is to bring together those people interested in history, especially of the Iroquois County area. The Society's major function would be to discover and collect any material that would help establish or illustrate the history of the area. It will display the County's history to arouse interest in the past. Preservation of this material is also key in our mission.

History

On May 15 of 1865, it was decided that a new courthouse was needed. Macaijah Stanley, an early settler, donated 8 lots of land for the building of a new courthouse. On January 2, 1866 building began. The building was to include 2 vaults and a basement housing the jail and living quarters for the janitor. As winter came on the building was completed on November 1st, 1866. The total cost of the building was $28,000. In 1893, a new jail was built on the corner of Third and Cherry Streets. After the completion of that jail the one in the basement was no longer used. In 1962, land was left by Kathryn Clifton for the building of a new courthouse and jail. In 1964 the new jail opened and in 1965 the new courthouse opened. After the new courthouse was opened the Old Courthouse fell into disrepair for 3 years until the Iroquois County Historical Society formed and restored the courthouse as a museum. On June 13, 1975 the Old Courthouse was registered as a Historic Place by the United States Department of the Interior.