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Kankakee County Museum

  Agency Contact Information:
Address: 801 South Eighth Avenue
Kankakee, IL 60901
Phone: 815.932.5279
Contact Person:

Connie Licon - Executive Director

  Service Profile:
Service/program name: Gallery of Trees
Description: Every winter the museum has a Gallery of Trees, where you can walk through and vote for decorated Christmas trees created by local children, civic organizations or by area professionals.

Service/program name: George Grey Barnard Exhibit
Description: The Kankakee Museum features an extensive collection of the works of the famed sculptor, George Grey Barnard, along with Indian artifacts, local history memorabilia and the restored 19th century homestead of Dr. Abram Lenning Small, the 24th governor of Illinois and a one-room 1906 school house.

Phone: 815.932.5279

Service/program name: Membership
Description: Becoming a member:

The Kankakee County Historical Society is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the preservation and enjoyment of local history, and is funded in part through donations and memberships.
Phone: 815.932.5279

Service/program name: Taylor House - Historical Schoolhouse
Description: The Taylor one-room school was built in 1904 on land leased from Edwin Taylor located in Rockville township northwest of Kankakee. In the school's single classroom, one teacher taught all eight grades each season until 1954 when it was closed.

This little country school reached its maximum enrollment in the 1911-12 school year when 27 pupils attended. During the school's fifty year history, 22 different teachers conducted classes. Not until 1948, when state regulation required that a new heating system be provided, was electricity finally installed.

Taylor School was moved to the Museum grounds and restored to original condition as part of the area's Bicentennial Celebration. All furnishings are authentic, having been saved from numerous area one-room schools that existed prior to the mid-1950's.

Hundreds of school children visit the school annually to hold classes, using the facility, in effect, as a time machine to experience rural education as it was when their grandparents were children.

Phone: 815.932.5279

Service/program name: Small House - Historical Building
Description: Dr. Abram Small moved from the Rockville region in the northwest corner of Kankakee County to the area now occupied by the Museum complex shortly after the city of Kankakee was platted in 1853.

Built of native limestone covered with scored cement, the original house consisted of a kitchen and parlor with two bedrooms on the second floor. About 1870, a large sitting room and two additional bedrooms were added. Just a few years later a dining room and kitchen were added as well as another three bedrooms.

Today, the home is furnished as it was in the 1900's. You can visit the kitchen with its blue enamel cookstove and dry sink, and examine the walnut china cabinet and wicker rocking chair in the dining room.

In later years, the sitting room become a studio for the doctor's daughter, Susanne. There you can see her family portraits and other works of art. Just off the parlor is Dr. Small's medical office, complete with original furnishings and typical medical equipment of the era.

The doctor's son, Lennington, who was born in the house, served two terms as Illinois Governor in the 1920's.

In later years, Doctor Small's hobby of horticulture became his main occupation. The Museum site was once his thriving nursery.

Phone: 815.932.5279

Service/program name: Museum Gift Shop
Description: The Museum Gift Shop is located at:

801 South Eighth Avenue
Kankakee, Illinois 60901


Gift Items
Note Cards

Museum Store Hours:

Tues. thru Fri. - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sat. & Sun. - 1 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Monday - Closed

Items are available by mail from:

The Museum Store
801 South Eighth Avenue
Kankakee, Illinois 60901
Phone: 815.932.5279

Service/program name: Lecture Programs
Check out the society's website for a calendar listing all the lectures currently scheduled.
Phone: 815.932.5279

Service/program name: Annual Rhubarb Festival
Museum Exhibits

Service/program name: Strawberry Festival
Description: Annual event featuring, arts, crafts, foods, desserts and entertainment
  General Information:
Description: The Museum complex offers a variety of exhibits and activities for all ages.

A Pledge for Life Partnership Initiative
1 Stuart Drive
Kankakee, IL 60901