Kankakee County, Illinois
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Activities . . . History And Architecture   

History And Architecture

The passage of time is well documented in Kankakee County through its diverse architecture and rich history. The many fine museums include the Kankakee County Museum, home of the Kankakee County Historical Society, founded in 1906, it is the oldest incorporated local historical society in Illinois. You can learn about the first explorers and missionaries in the Kankakee River Valley at the French Heritage Museum at the Stone Barn and 550 years of wood engraving, etching, and typesetting at the Bronte History of Printing Museum. Architecture fans won’t want to miss Frank Lloyd Wright's B. Harley Bradley House which demonstrates the very beginning of Wright's iconic Prairie Style. Click the green tabs with the plus sign to add an item to your itinerary.

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Asbury United Methodist Church
Asbury United Methodist Church (Architecture)
196 S. Harrison Ave.
Kankakee, IL

815-933-4408
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Asbury Methodist Church began well before the Civil War when a Methodist circuit rider brought Methodism to the early settlers of Kankakee in 1836. In 1866 ground was broken for what is now the first third of Asbury Church. In 1922 the balc Read More...
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B. Harley Bradley House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
B. Harley Bradley House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (Architecture)
701 S. Harrison Ave.
Kankakee, IL

815-936-9630
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This Prairie Style house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright along with its neighboring home. The houses are acknowledged by the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy as Wright's first house designs that ushered in Wright's Prairie Style. Read More...
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Basu Natural Farms
Basu Natural Farms (Museums & Historical Societies)
13643 E. 2000 S. Rd.
Pembroke Township, IL

815-944-8211
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Basu Museum and Cultural Center is an unique community-based, non-profit organization, that has been serving youth and their families since 1997. The museum is located on Basu Natural Farms a sustainable, organic farm at the north end of Pe Read More...
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Bronte History of Printing Museum
Bronte History of Printing Museum (Museums & Historical Societies)
6712 N. 4180W Rd.
Bourbonnais, IL

815-932-5192
Spanning 550 years of printing history, exhibits showcase materials used in wood engraving, etching, and typesetting. Read More...
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Conrad Park Pioneer Cabin
Conrad Park Pioneer Cabin (Museums & Historical Societies)
Mill Street Island Park
Momence, IL

815-472-6081
Visit an authentic cabin built during Momence's 150th anniversary to honor the area's first settlers. Read More...
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Durham-Perry Farmstead (Museums & Historical Societies)
459 N. Kennedy Dr
Bourbonnais, IL

815-933-9905
The Durham-Perry Farmstead was one of the first pioneer settlements in the Kankakee River Valley. The farmstead was established in the 1830s by Thomas Durham( 1784-1854) making Durham the first non-Native American settler of the property. T Read More...
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Essex Historical Society Museum
Essex Historical Society Museum (Museums & Historical Societies)
218 N. Parls St.
Essex, IL

815-365-4048
This historical site features a one-room schoolhouse and historical Essex artifacts contained in an adjacent brick building. Learn about area strip mines that date back to the early 1900's. Read More...
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Exploration Station.  A children's museum
Exploration Station. A children's museum (Museums & Historical Societies)
1095 W. Perry Dr.
Bourbonnais, IL

815-933-9905...x353
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This children's museum is a must-see attraction in Perry Farm Park. Little imaginations grow big in this world of discovery and make-believe. - Fly a jet plane or passenger plane - Play dress-up - Shop for plastic groceries - Build or color Read More...
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First Presbyterian Church of Kankakee
First Presbyterian Church of Kankakee (Architecture)
371 E Court St.
Kankakee, IL

815-939-3546
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The First Presbyterian Church of Kankakee had its founding on September 28, 1854, when 10 men and women met with two ministers from the Chicago New School Presbytery. It houses some of the finest stained glass in the area. Read More...
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Four Walking Tours of Historic Bourbonnais, Illinois
Four Walking Tours of Historic Bourbonnais, Illinois (History And Architecture)
698 Stratford Drive
Bourbonnais, IL


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Before the Village of Bourbonnais was incorporated in 1875, the settlement was known as Bourbonnais Grove. The Bourbonnais Grove Historical Society in conjunction with the Kankakee County Historic Preservation Commission have created four w Read More...
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French Heritage Museum
French Heritage Museum (Museums & Historical Societies)
165 N. Indiana Ave.
Kankakee, IL

815-936-0834
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The Lemuel Milk Carriage House, known locally as the Stone Barn, is now home to the French Heritage Museum and is part of the Kankakee County Museum Campus. Here you can explore the French involvement in the history of the Kankakee River Va Read More...
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Grant Park Area Historical Society
Grant Park Area Historical Society (Museums & Historical Societies)
119 S. Main
Grant Park, IL


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Herscher Area Historical Society & Museum
Herscher Area Historical Society & Museum (Museums & Historical Societies)
PO Box 403
Herscher, IL

815-949-1555
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The Herscher Area Historical Society was established in 2000 and the Museum opened in 2004. The Museum contains photographs, documents, and artifacts which depict the history of Herscher and many local communities. Read More...
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Historic Churches of the Kankakee Area, Driving/Walking Tour
Historic Churches of the Kankakee Area, Driving/Walking Tour (Architecture)

Kankakee, IL


Kankakee County’s history is directly tied to the many church congregations that began in the 1800s. Most of these churches are located in downtown Kankakee and represent the spirit of commitment our early settlers had in establishing our a Read More...
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Kankakee County Courthouse
Kankakee County Courthouse (Architecture)
450 E. Court St.
Kankakee, IL

815-937-2930
This 1912 Courthouse features a dome mural depicting scenes of local history. This beautiful architectural gem is a focal point that is positioned in the center of six Historical Churches that were built in the 1800's. Read More...
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Kankakee County Museum & Historical Society
Kankakee County Museum & Historical Society (Museums & Historical Societies)
801 S. 8th Ave.
Kankakee, IL

815-932-5279
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The Kankakee County Museum is the home of the Kankakee County Historical Society. Founded in 1906, it is the oldest incorporated local historical society in Illinois. The Main Museum Building contains seven permanent and temporary exhibit g Read More...
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Kankakee Railroad Museum
Kankakee Railroad Museum (Museums & Historical Societies)
197 S. East Ave.
Kankakee, IL

815-929-9320
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See large operating model train displays and railroad memorabilia within Kankakee's restored train depot. The museum also features a scale model replicating the city of Kankakee during the 1950's. A restored rail car and trolley can be rent Read More...
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Kankakee Valley Genealogical Society
Kankakee Valley Genealogical Society (Museums & Historical Societies)
200 E. Court St., Fl. 3
Kankakee, IL

815-939-4564
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The Kankakee Valley Genealogical Society has been recording Kankakee County's history since 1968. Their records include death records from 1877, birth records from 1878, and marriage records from 1853. Read More...
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Letourneau Home and Museum
Letourneau Home and Museum (Museums & Historical Societies)
698 Stratford Dr. E
Bourbonnais, IL

815-933-6452
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The museum was the home of Bourbonnais' first mayor George R. Letourneau. Exhibits include history of Mayor Letourneau and centers on the French-Canadian influence in the Bourbonnais area. The museum is part of the Bourbonnais Grove Histori Read More...
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Little Red School House
Little Red School House (Museums & Historical Societies)
5th Street-West of Dixie Hwy. at Range School
Kankakee, IL

815-472-2924
Originally called the Mount Airy School, the building was moved to its present location in 1983. This 1850's schoolhouse has been restored and contains period memorabilia and artifacts. Read More...
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Manteno Historical Society Museum
Manteno Historical Society Museum (Museums & Historical Societies)
192 W. Third St.
Manteno, IL

815-468-6629
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The museum features a one-room schoolhouse and restored horse-drawn doctor's buggy. Read More...
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Maternity BVM Church
Maternity BVM Church (Architecture)
308 E. Marsile St.
Bourbonnais, IL

815-933-8285
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Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church was built in 1858 in French- Canadian architectural style, resembling many churches around Quebec, Canada. The most notable feature of the Church is the three crypts located under the san Read More...
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Momence Historical House Museum
Momence Historical House Museum (Museums & Historical Societies)
117 N. Dixie Hwy.
Momence, IL

815-472-3861
An 1870's home containing period furnishings and artifact displays recreates the period of history from 1870 to 1900. Read More...
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Momence Railroad Depot Museum
Momence Railroad Depot Museum (Museums & Historical Societies)
691 N. Dixie Hwy.
Momence, IL

815-472-2255
This building served as a depot from 1890 to the 1950’s, and served the Chicago, Indiana Southern Railroad and the New York Central lines. Excursions from towns west of Kankakee to St. Joseph, Indiana typically cost $1-$2. Bill and Phyllis Read More...
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St. Anne Catholic Church
St. Anne Catholic Church (Architecture)
230 N. 6th Ave.
St. Anne, IL

815-427-8265
This Gothic designed structure was built in 1872 to replace the original log church. The stone church survived a fire in 1893. Read More...
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St. Patrick's Catholic Church
St. Patrick's Catholic Church (Architecture)
428 S. Indiana Ave.
Kankakee, IL

815-932-6716
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In 1891, St. Patrick's parish started when the Catholic Columbian Association assembled and began construction in 1892 with the first service in the new building being held on March 11, 1894. The beautiful stained glass windows depict the s Read More...
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St. Paul's Episcopal Church
St. Paul's Episcopal Church (Architecture)
298 S. Harrison Ave.
Kankakee, IL

815-313-6000
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St. Paul's Episcopal Church building was dedicated on September 6, 1900. Built primarily of Bedford Stone, St. Paul's Episcopal does not have a steeple; instead it has a Norman style tower, which reflects its English heritage. Read More...
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St. Paul's Lutheran Church
St. Paul's Lutheran Church (Architecture)
348 E. Merchant St.
Kankakee, IL

815-932-0312
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St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded by German immigrants in 1859. The first church was built in 1864. After a series of fires, the cornerstone for the third church was laid in 1888. The three large bells in the bell tower wer Read More...


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