Welcome to our online exhibits! We are up and running, but are still making some adjustments and modifications. If you notice any issues, please don't hesitate to reach out!
Land Acknowledgement Statement
The land we call McLean County is the ancestral land of many Native groups, beginning with the Paleoindians 12,000 years ago, and most recently Algonquin-speaking groups, including the Kickapoo, who were forced west from this area in the 1830s. Other groups in this area include (but are not limited to) the Peoria, Kaskaskia, Piankashaw, Wea, Miami, Mascouten, Odawa, Sauk, Kickapoo, Mesquaki, Lenape, Potawatomi, Ojibwe, and Chickasaw Nations. These lands were and are the traditional territory of these Native Nations prior to their forced removal; and these lands continue to carry the stories of these Nations and their struggles for survival and identity.
This statement was drafted in collaboration with Lester Randall, Tribal Chairman of the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, and Nichole Boyd, Director of the Native American House at UIUC.
In addition to the exhibit websites below, you can take a virtual walk through the exhibits here. Throughout the galleries you will see dots that connect you back to this website, and within this website you will find links out to view objects in the virtual exhibit. Enjoy!
Challenges, Choices, and Change
This exciting 5,000-square-foot exhibit in four galleries explores the experience of living, working, farming, and creating community in McLean County. These exhibits are brought to life through the objects local residents used in day-to-day life, beautiful imagery, and the true-life stories of the diverse people who lived here and made McLean County a thriving community.
Making a Home
From the arrival of Native people to the immigration of Asian Indians and Latinos in the late 20th century, the exhibit explores the experiences of individuals and families who came from all over the world to make McLean County their home.
Farming in the Great Corn Belt
From the first settlers in the 1820s to the modern farmer of the late 20th century, this exhibit tells the story of McLean County farmers—tools and techniques they used, to the crops and livestock they raised, and the difficult choices they made in order to be productive and profitable producers.
Working for a Living
From the arrival of the first settlers in the 1820s to the fast paced technology driven 1990s, see how jobs have transformed and the challenges and choices workers faced changed as a new technologies developed. Join us as we explore the experience of people at work.
A Community in Conflict
This exhibit asks the question "Who had the power?" — the power to define morality, to gain respect, to instill fear, and more.
Abraham Lincoln in McLean County
This exhibit examines Lincoln's work as an attorney in McLean County, defines his pivotal role in the anti-slavery movement, explores the lasting connections Lincoln made with the people of this community.