Pat Quinn, Governor

IHPA Branches

Historic Sites
Preservation Services
Presidential Library
Presidential Museum
Contact Us

IHPA Services

IHPA Programs

Student Historian /
IL History Fair

Conference on Illinois History
Cemetery Services
Cemetery Preservation
Ready Illinois

[Search Tips]

   Welcome to IHPA   

The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA) operates 56 historic sites and memorials from U.S. Grant's home in Galena to the Kincaid Mounds near Unionville covering more than 10,000 years of Illinois History. These sites include the world-famous Dana-Thomas House, a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece, Cahokia Mounds, a World Heritage Site, and Lincoln's New Salem, the highest attended site of all the Lincoln Sites. The Agency also administers the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The library is the state’s chief historical and genealogical research facility that is home to the state’s world-renowned Abraham Lincoln collection. The library houses the Agency's collection of more than 12 million items of Illinois history. The museum combines scholarship and showmanship to communicate the amazing life and times of Abraham Lincoln. IHPA administers all state and federal historic preservation and incentive programs in Illinois, including the National Register of Historic Places. Thank you for visiting.


See what's happening around the state!


Illinois Civil War 150 Illinois Civil War Calendar Illinois Civil War 150


Use the Google search box to search the IHPA's site:

Google Custom Search

For more information, please email HPA.info@illinois.gov. The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum press contact: 217/558-8970.

Illinois Remembers the “Forgotten War.”

Korea 1950 – 1953


Blessings of the Table: Thanksgiving at Clover Lawn
November 1-17, 2013

David Davis Mansion
State Historic Site

“The Blessings of the Table: Thanksgiving at Clover Lawn,” a recreation of the festive Thanksgiving celebrations of the 1870s, will be featured November 1 – 17 at the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site in Bloomington.

The Mansion will be decorated for Thanksgiving from November 1 – 17, and each day the bountiful foods, family celebrations and charitable customs of the period will be featured. In addition to the Mansion’s collection of antique china and rare silver, visitors will see the large variety of delicious foods that were typical of a Thanksgiving celebration in the Victorian age - a traditional feast of turkey, pumpkin pie, and “all the trimmings.” Thanksgiving was the time of year when the dining room was as magnificently decorated for the holidays as the parlor, and visitors will feel as if they are immersed in a nineteenth-century feast for all the senses.

This year’s Thanksgiving at the Davis Mansion will also showcase a living history program on November 2, “A Bountiful Feast,” which will offer the servant’s perspective on this lavish Victorian holiday observance. Areas not usually open to the public may be visited. This special live theatrical event will be offered Saturday, November 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Mrs. Davis’s Irish servants were a major reason why Thanksgiving at the Davis Mansion was a treat for all the senses. “A Bountiful Feast” will give visitors a rare opportunity to experience Thanksgiving at the mansion almost completely from the servants’ point of view. It’s also a chance for visitors to relive a time when people produced and ate fresh, locally grown foods. While watching the Davis family enjoying a traditional New England Thanksgiving feast, visitors will come across the household servants who are busily preparing Thanksgiving dinner for the family and gossiping about personal events in their own lives.

As visitors tour the house, they will be able to watch the Davis family’s dinner guests seated at the formal dining table, enjoying a variety of foods prepared locally by the area’s finest chefs. Mrs. Davis’s guests will also be dining upon a selection of traditional Thanksgiving desserts prepared from fresh ingredients by Red Oak Comfort Food and Pie Co.

Regular tours of the Davis Mansion are free and open to the public, and are offered Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The site will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, as well as Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 6, and Friday, November 9 for Veterans Day. “The Blessings of the Table” and “A Bountiful Feast” are co-sponsored by the David Davis Mansion Foundation and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, which administers the David Davis Mansion. Donations are always encouraged.

The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site, built in the 1870s for U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Davis and his wife, Sarah, is located at 1000 E. Monroe in Bloomington. A donation of $2 for adults and $1 for children is suggested to keep the Davis Mansion and other Illinois historic sites open to the public.

For more information, contact the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site at 309/828-1084 or visit www.daviddavismansion.org.


Fall Indian Market Days
November 29-30, 2013

Cahokia Mounds
State Historic Site

Unique gift opportunities for the holiday shopping season will be featured this weekend at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Collinsville, Illinois.

The annual Fall Indian Market Days includes American Indian artists and vendors from across the country. They’ll sell works of art, crafts, silver and copper jewelry, beadwork, pottery, original paintings and prints, clothing, sculpture and much more in the Cahokia Mounds Interpretive Center and auditorium.

The event begins on Friday, Nov. 29, from noon to 5 p.m. and continues on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This event lets people visit the largest archaeological site north of Mexico, do some holiday shopping and support Native American arts all at the same time.

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, is just eight miles from downtown St. Louis in Collinsville, Illinois off Interstates 55/70 (Exit 6) and I-255 (Exit 24) on Collinsville Road.

For more information call 618/346-5160 or visit www.cahokiamounds.org.


1830s Christmas Celebration
December 7, 2013

Apple River Fort
State Historic Site

See how settlers celebrated the holidays nearly 200 years ago as the Apple River Fort State Historic Site presents an 1830s Christmas celebration filled with song, games, baking and more on December 7th from noon to 3 p.m.

For most Americans back then, Christmas was not the big holiday it is today, but it was gaining popularity as various immigrant populations added their touches. German immigrants brought the peculiar custom of a decorated indoor tree, for instance. People would visit the houses of the rich to sing “wassailing songs” and demand food and drink. Wealthy homeowners who refused to repay their “debt” to society could find themselves the targets of rabble rousers.

Included at the fort will be a German Christmas, baking, music making and indoor games. Native Americans (before the Black Hawk War) would have brought various pelts to the settlers to trade for cloth, metal ware, and baked goods. The settlers at Apple River Fort would also begin the winter months, so volunteers at the site will describe the cold and deprivations of a northern Illinois winter.

For more information contact the site at 815/858-2028 or visit www.appleriverfort.org.



Taking a Second Look at
Governor Otto Kerner
November 2, 2013

Abraham Lincoln
Presidential Library

He was a decorated soldier and a tough prosecutor. He governed a major state and helped the nation examine racial violence. He became a federal judge but wound up in federal prison.

Governor Otto Kerner and his complex legacy will be the focus of a conference presented by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Institute for Government and Public Affairs. Political experts, journalists and former Kerner aides will gather on Nov. 2 for a reassessment of Illinois’ 33rd governor.

Panels of experts will examine the goals and accomplishments of Kerner’s administration, his public and private personas, his conviction on corruption charges and the views of the journalists who covered him.

The public, particularly college students studying history or political science, is invited to attend this examination of an important Illinois figure.

The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Lincoln Presidential Library, 112 North Sixth St., Springfield. It includes lunch in the library atrium. Seating is limited. View the conference agenda.

Tickets are $35. Students with proper identification can attend free of charge. To buy tickets, please visit http://tinyurl.com/KernerTickets or call 217/558-8934.

“So many of Kerner’s achievements in multiple areas – mental health, school reform and especially civil rights – broke new ground and bettered people’s lives. We need to understand both his failures and his achievements,” said Eileen Mackevich, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

Kerner was a Chicago Democrat who won his first term in 1960. As governor, he modernized state services for the mentally ill and backed a statewide system of community colleges.

His name became a household word after President Lyndon Johnson chose him to lead the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders – known everywhere as the Kerner Commission. The panel examined the riots flaring up in African-American neighborhoods across the country, and it concluded that segregation and lack of economic opportunity were driving the nation "toward two societies, one black, one white – separate and unequal."

Kerner left the governor’s office soon after the report’s release and was appointed to the federal bench. But his time as a judge was cut short by accusations that, as governor, Kerner had accepted bribes in exchange for granting favorable racing dates for an Arlington Heights track.

He was convicted in 1973 for mail fraud, conspiracy, perjury and more. Today, however, some people question the case against him and the legal theory underlying the charges.

Christmas Market
November 29-December 1, 2013

Bishop Hill
State Historic Site

The holiday season will open the traditional Swedish way during Julmarknad, or Christmas Market, in the historic community of Bishop Hill. That means cookies, chocolate, elves and even trains.

The festive event takes place 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday through Sunday, Nov. 29-Dec 1, and again Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 7-8.

Attractions include tomten, the Swedish elves who roam through town shaking hands with tourists, and traditional holiday decorations and quality gifts to buy for friends and family.

The exhibit “Locomotives, Depots, Trestles, and Bishop Hill” will be on display in the Steeple Building. This includes a working model railroad for the kids and artifacts about Bishop Hill’s railroad past.

A Christmas Cookie Walk, with homemade cookies and baked goods that can be purchased by the pound, will be held from 9 to 4 on Nov. 29 and 30 at the Colony School. A Chocolate Walk, featuring delights from area chocolatiers, will be held from 10 to 5 the next weekend at the historic 1854 Steeple Building.

The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency operates the Bishop Hill Historic Site. Many of the holiday activities there are co-sponsored by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

Bishop Hill is located 150 southwest of Chicago and 20 miles east of I-74 in Henry County. For more information call 309/927-3311, 309/927-3345 or 309/927-3899, or visit www.bishophill.com.


Battle of Chickamauga and the Battle of Chattanooga
November 12, 2013

Abraham Lincoln
Presidential Library

In the fall of 1863, Union and Confederate soldiers clashed near the vital transportation hub at Chattanooga in two climactic battles. Yankees and Rebels alike experienced chaotic battles, near-starvation, incompetent leadership and sudden changes in fortune. When the bullets stopped flying, nearly 50,000 men were dead, injured or missing.

A presentation November 12 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will explain the Battle of Chickamauga and the Battle of Chattanooga, as well as what resulted. Dr. Mark DePue, director of the library’s Oral History Program, will discuss the battle in a PowerPoint presentation, using pictures, maps and quotes from Civil War veterans.

The free event, part of Illinois’ observance of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, takes place in the museum’s Union Theater at 7 p.m. Reservations can be made by visiting www.presidentlincoln.illinois.gov and clicking on “Special event tickets and reservations” or by calling 217-558-8934.

Board of Trustees

Sunny Fischer, Chair
Daniel J. Arnold
Julia Sniderman Bachrach
D. Jeanie Cooke
Melinda Spitzer Johnston
Gary L. Hammons
Dr. Theodore Flickinger

IHPA Board Meeting Minutes:

Passport to History

State Features

Get The App Now
Get the App Now!
Let your Smart Phone be your guide!
Copyright © 2007 Agency Contact Us | About | Illinois Privacy Information | Web Accessibility | Fiscal