Linking the past to the present

MORRIS – What is the purpose of a museum?

A definition from the dictionary states: a building, in which interesting and valuable things, such as paintings and sculptures or scientific or historical objects, are collected and shown to the public; an institution devoted to the procurement, care, study, and display of objects of lasting interest or value; and a place where objects are exhibited, according to a news release from the Grundy County Historical Society.

How does the Grundy County Historical Society fit in this definition?

“We both save and archive information of historical value; we display photos of historical interest; we have exhibit space showing history; and we support saving old buildings or historical places,” according to the news release.

But it also does something really important.

If you look at history books of Illinois very few things from Grundy County are ever found because Grundy County is considered to be of limited importance in the overall view of Illinois. That is true of many counties in the state.

The Grundy County Historical Society and Museum are active in trying to save the history of the county. It can be an early postcard of Kinsman, a picture of the Campbell Pharmacy in Mazon, a verbal history of a family that came to this area to farm, or an artifact such as a butter press.

This history is important because it represents all of the people who came, worked, developed and supported this area.

You are a citizen of Grundy County, and we are saving the history of this area for you and your family, according to the news release.

One of the other things a local historical society does is answer questions, such as where you can get a copy of a book, genealogy questions, where was a business located in the town, information on a farm, a home, on boy scouts, what was the Interurban, and why was the I&M Canal important?

These are all types of questions the Grundy County Historical Society receives.

The Grundy County Historical Society Museum is not the only museum in Grundy County. 

See the Carbon Hill Historical Society's one room school, which specializes in coal mining, railroads, and one room schools in Grundy County.

Gardner has preserved an original jail as well as a trolley car used as a sandwich type restaurant.