1411 N 27th St.
Mt. Vernon, IL 62864
Phone: 618-246-0033

Open weekends from the first full weekend in May through the last full weekend in October.


10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Docents are available for group tours most other days by appointment. 


Admission is free although donations are appreciated.

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.


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Our mission is to educate and stimulate interest in history in general and in the history of Jefferson County, Illinois in particular

To accomplish the mission objectives, the Society:

1.  assists in historical research;

Ongoing efforts include monthly chat sessions and the Research Committee activities.

Continuous research provides facts of interest for the quarterly newsletter as well as periodic publications offered for sale as fundraisers. 

In the completed One Room School program, members led a county-wide research on the location and timing of the 144 one-room schools that once dotted the countryside.

2.  aids in collecting and preserving artifacts;

Collection of artifacts representative of Jefferson County history began long before the village came into existence.  The process continues as community members seek a permanent home for their treasured antiques or items passed down for generations. 

Climate controlled buildings are maintained and special storage boxes are purchased as required preserve delicate artifacts.

Several volunteers spend an enormous amount of time cataloging and organizing the incoming and stored items for retrieval when needed.

3.  maintains facilities established for preserving in permanent form and displaying the results of such research and collection;

A major percentage of the annual operating budget and hundreds of volunteer hours go into maintenance of the buildings, grounds, and parking facilities such that they do not detract from the village appearance and tour ability. 

Over the last two years, generous grants from The Schweinfurth Foundation and the Republic Recycling Program enabled major improvements to the building accessibility.  The narrow, maintenance intensive wood-chipped walkway from building to building has been upgraded to four-foot wide decorative concrete. 

The museum is maintained suitable for artifact displays, for year-round educational program presentations to the community, and for meetings and office operations.

Our curator does an amazing job of conceiving interesting ways to display as many of the items as possible, rotating about a third of the displays each year.  Countless volunteer hours go into the rotation of the annual display.

The recent completion of the new big red barn makes possible storage of heritage farm equipment and all artifacts insensitive to climate variations.

4.  provides tours and programs for area schools, organizations, and individuals;

During the school year, dozens of schools from the county and well beyond love to tour the village for the student educational benefits.  The students and teachers alike enjoy viewing how their ancestors actually had to live. 

From May through October, the village buildings are opened to the public each weekend.  Our trained docents have welcomed tourists from every state and countries around the world.  Docents open the buildings and conduct tours for groups any time on request.

Entertaining educational programs including famous person impersonations, slide presentations, and musical events have attracted increasing numbers to the degree that we’ve had to expand the auditorium seating capacity.

5.  publishes in appropriate manner those materials that will further these objectives.

Some of the research has led to publications for sale including “Stories” and “Famous Visitors” by Joe Ashbrook, and the “Occasional Papers”.

We documented the One Room School program research results in sixteen two-inch binders – one for each of the townships in Jefferson County, Illinois.  One set of binders is available for review and reference in the Fern Watson Library, and a second set is in the Mount Vernon public library.

Articles of historical interest are included in the newsletter mailed to all members quarterly.  The newsletters are permanently stored in the “members” area of this website here.

This website, established with funding from a Schweinfurth Foundation grant, is a growing repository of our research and collections history.  It is intended to help stimulate interest in the history of Jefferson County and beyond and to provide a consolidation of resources for history educators.  Users are encouraged to suggest useful additions to the existing content.