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.

In September, 1992 the museum opened its doors in the old bank building at 119 W. 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 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.


Beginning December 23, 2021, the hours for the museum are as follows:

December 23 – 31, January, February and March – Closed

April – back to normal hours on April 5th

The mail will be picked up each day and emails will be checked.  Enjoy your winter!

“Appeal to the Great Spirit”

Many of you may remember the plaster statue that stood in the Shabbona Community School for many years.  The museum acquired it this year and it was in very bad shape.  Volunteer Alice Lintereur took it home and refurbished it.  We now we proudly display the piece. There is a plaque attached to the base that says it was donated by the class of 1926 with ©C.E.D. carved above the plaque.  In further researching the statue, we found that is was one of several replicas of a 1909 large bronze statue “Appeal to the Great Spirit” by Cyrus Edwin Dallin which is found at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.


Area Military

The men in our area were well represented in the Civil War, World Wars I & II, the Korean War, Vietnam and every action since. There are currently 18 mannequins displaying men and women in various branches of the service and conflicts and one war bride.  All uniforms and the wedding dress were locally donated.

The volunteers are working on our military files.  In addition to the uniforms and artifacts on display, the collection includes binders filled with information on our area people who have served in the military.  To include your or a loved one’s story, there is a form to fill out, or simply put together the information, which would include branch of service, date of induction, date of release, medals received, where served and any other information that would enhance the file along with pictures.  Please send or deliver to the museum.

One-room Schools

The one-room school exhibit is set up to illustrate what a child would see if they were attending a classroom in one of the nearly 40 one-room schoolhouses formerly found in the area.  The artifacts on display are from several of the original schools.