The Shabbona-Lee- Rollo Historical Museum had its beginning several years ago when a small group of people interested in local history and preserving the area’s past, began meeting regularly. The idea was to encompass the old school district #425, which included the towns of Shabbona, Shabbona Grove, Lee, Rollo and the surrounding area. Since this area included DeKalb County and parts of Lee and LaSalle Counties, the collection of historical information spans a large area.
The museum opened its doors to the public in September, 1992 and is located in the old bank building on Comanche Street in Shabbona, Illinois. Our growing collection of records include obituaries, cemetery books, marriage information, census records, (microfilm), Shabbona newspapers (hard copies and microfilm), biographies, abstracts, church, school, and military records. We have a part time curator, board of directors, and many local volunteers. In 2014, a 1200 sq. ft. addition was added to the back of the building for research and additional display area.
The museum is in its 24th year of service to the residents of the area. It provides and services people who are interested in displays, Historical Society programs, family research and history of the area. The museum is open from 9:00-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-3:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 9:00-11:00 a.m. on Saturdays. Admission is free.
Three groups of Indian Creek Elementary fourth grade students visited the museum in September. There were a total of forty-nine children, brought by their teachers, Ms. Pardridge, Mrs. Faivre and Mrs. Socha. As always, we had a lot of fun. The schoolchildren are sent on a museum scavenger hunt to find all of the articles on a list provided to them. Then we search through yearbooks, wedding write-ups and pictures on the wall to find parents, grandparents and teachers, then send them back to school with copies. The pupils always get a kick out of the way their relatives looked years ago! At the end of the visit, they were happy and the volunteers were exhausted (in a good way)!
Click on a letter below for a larger view:
The United States observed its first Family History Month twelve years ago. Utah Senator Orrin Hatch introduced a resolution on September 12, 2001 to designate October as Family History Month. Hatch had circulated a draft for months, but it’s fitting that he formally introduced it the day after the September 11 attacks. In the uncertain aftermath, the words of the resolution resonated. “We look to the family as an unwavering symbol of constancy that will help us discover a future of prosperity, promise, and potential,” the legislation read. “Interest in our personal family history transcends all cultural and religious affiliations.” It passed by unanimous consent.
More than 80 million Americans are believed to be actively searching for more information about their ancestors. This explosion of interest in family history is due, in part, to the advent of the internet. An ever-growing number of institutions, libraries, and individuals in our nation and others are collecting, preserving, and sharing genealogies, personal documents, and memorabilia that detail the life and times of families around the world.
Celebrate Family History Month with your family. The following are projects that could help you get started.
Come see our eclectic group of local historical artifacts!
The area had quite a few one room school houses and we’ve got a nice selection of things donated to come see!
The Shabbona Lee Rollo area is a rural one. Come see how local families lived.
The men in our area were well represented in the Civil War, World Wars I & II, the Korean War, Vietnam and every action since. Come see our great selection of local uniforms worn.