History

New Philadelphia Plate Fragment

Image of plate fragment recovered from excavations at New Philadelphia, an African-American settlement in western Illinois.
Rarely are completely intact artifacts found during archaeological explorations. It is up to archaeologists and anthropologists to use their knowledge and skill to find the missing pieces in order to tell the rest of the story. This plate fragment was recovered from excavations at New Philadelphia, an African American settlement in western Illinois founded by Free Frank McWhorter, a former slave.

Wood Club with Brass Studs

Image of Wood Club
Chief Aptakisic, or Half Day, presented this ceremonial war club to Stephen F. Gale, an early settler, before leaving Chicago with a band of Potawatomi Indians for a reservation in Iowa.

Tool – Carpenters Jig

Image of Carpenters Tool
This is a specialty tool used to cut the relief inset for the frame side of a door hinge. It's likely that it originally had a wooden handle.

The Carbuilder

Image of The Carbuilder, Pullman-Standard Company publication
The Carbuilder was a publication from Pullman-Standard Company for builders of all Pullman-Standard products. 

Fraternal Ribbon

Image of Fidelity Lodge No. 54, I.A. of C.W. Fraternal Ribbon
Beautiful silk ribbon with badge, from a member of the Fidelity Lodge No. 54, I.A. of C. W. (International Association of Car Workers), Pullman, IL.

Galena Ore

Image of Galena Ore
Well before Illinois became a state, Native American tribes (the Sac and Fox) living in the area mined galena ore (lead sulfide), the source of lead.  Pioneer settlers also exploited the area’s lead resources, eventually displacing the Native Americans who first mined here. In the 1820s, galena ore became the focus of the first major “mineral rush” in the United States. By the end of the 1820s, the city of Galena rivaled Chicago in size. 

Stone Petroglyph

Image of stone with Petroglyph
This petroglyph is made of stone, probably granite, and has been pecked or incised with Native American artwork on two sides. The artwork has been traced with white chalk to make it clearly visible. It was found in Wabash County at Hanging Rock and was likely produced by a holy man of the Piankishaw Tribe.

Route 66 Core Sample

Image of core sample of original U.S. Route 66 pavement
The fabled highway, U.S. Route 66, which stretched from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California, revolutionized transportation and the relationship Americans had with their cars. Several segments of the original highway can still be found in Illinois. One such section of original pavement was sampled by the Illinois Department of Transportation in Macoupin County, where the old road intersects a new high-speed rail crossing. The pavement core can inform materials engineers about the historic concrete used in its construction and its present condition. It can also help guide preservation and restoration efforts of remaining segments of the historic roadway.

WWI Helmet; Photo of Kent Hagler

Photo of WWI helmet; framed photo of Kent Hagler

WWI helmet, (1917) worn by by Kent Hagler (shown in framed image) during his service in France.

When American forces joined World War I, Kent Hagler of Springfield, Illinois, was desperate to join the military, but a childhood injury prevented him from serving. Undeterred, he joined the American Field Service in France as a volunteer ambulance driver on July 17, 1917. He wore this helmet throughout his time in France.

Walter Family Trunk

Image of Trunk

Trunk, (c. 1850), used by the Nikolas Daniel Walter family when they came to Illinois from Hanover Province, Germany.

In 1851, Nikolas Daniel Walter packed all his worldly belongings into this trunk and left Germany with his wife and three small children to settle in Pope County, Illinois.

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