Bronzeville Children's Museum
Located in the Calumet Heights community of the South Side of Chicago, Bronzeville Children's Museum is the
first and only African-American children's museum in the United States. Learn about the contributions, culture
and heritage of African Americans through activities, interactive exhibits and programs.
Black Ensemble Theater
The Black Ensemble Theater is a dynamic organization described as a local cornerstone, a national treasure and an
international success. It has launched over 100 productions and employed over 5,000 artists since its inception.
Annually 50,000 patrons experience its musical theater and it has become one of the most prominent African-American
theater companies in the nation.
Byron Museum of History/Lucius Read House
The Byron Museum Complex consists of a large Exhibit Hall and the historic Lucius Read House, which is a listed
site on the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.
Dusable Museum of African American History
DuSable Museum shares African-American history though a variety of impactful traveling and insightful permanent exhibits, educational programs and special seasonal celebrations. Visit, learn and enjoy. Ongoing exhibits include: "Red, White, Blue & Black: A History of Blacks in the Armed Services" and "A Slow Walk to Greatness: The Harold Washington Story."
eta Creative Arts Foundation
Incorporated in April 1971, ETA is recognized as one of Chicago's leading African-American cultural performing arts
institutions. It has garnered a national and international reputation for the quality of its artistic product, its
management, volunteer leadership and community involvement.
Ethnic Heritage Museum
Six nationalities that helped shape the cultural region are represented in this home museum, built in 1850. Located
in the heart of the old water power district, the house features a room for each ethnic group it represents:
African American, Irish, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, and Hispanic. Call to confirm hours and admission fees.
Graue Mill and Museum
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Mill is the only operating waterwheel gristmill and one of
three authenticated Underground Railroad stations in Illinois. The exhibit "Graue Mill and the Road to Freedom" uses
photographs, documents, a computer interactive system and additional displays to illustrate the issue of slavery.
Harold Washington Library
The Harold Washington Library Center is one of the world’s largest municipal buildings and an architectural gem.
Visit the children’s library or beautiful Winter Garden, browse through the blues and jazz collections, or attend
one of the many special programs in the library’s theater.
The library was named in honor of former Mayor Harold Washington, the first African-American mayor of Chicago. The
library has appeared in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest public library building in the world.
Kankakee County Museum - African American Exhibit
See George Grey Barnhard exhibits, a one-room schoolhouse, the historic 1853 home of Dr. Len Small and special
exhibits scheduled throughout the year.
Mother Rudd Home Museum
This original 1844 building was once a stagecoach stop, tavern, post office, town hall and candy store. Completely
restored by the Village of Gurnee, this historical home is reported to have been part of the Underground Railroad.
Slaves would be housed in the basement or the barn. View artifacts from the Civil War, see the "Crystal Ballroom"
where traveling guests would be entertained, and the room dedicated to the family of a local man that died on the
A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum
The museum’s permanent collection displays exhibits about the Pullman historic district, the great migration,
American labor history, A. Philip Randolph, the Pullman Porters and the American civil rights movement.
Sheldon Peck Homestead
Come see the home of Sheldon Peck, a nationally recognized primitive folk art portrait painter. In August 2011, the
Sheldon Peck Homestead was inducted into the Network to Freedom, a list of verified Underground Railroad locations.
Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature
The Woodson Regional Library houses the largest African-American history and literature collection in the Midwest.
The Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature contains a wealth of precious
documentation of the black experience. The collection places a strong focus on African-American history in Illinois.
Mt. Glenwood Memorial Gardens
Mt. Glenwood Memorial Gardens is the first African-American cemetery in Illinois and has been in existence since
1920. This cemetery is the burial site of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the Nation of Islam’s famed leader, and
Fred "Duke" Slater, the first African American elected to the National Football Hall of Fame.
Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven Foundation (FMR. Chess Records Studio)
2120 S. Michigan Ave. is one of the most famous addresses in all of American pop history. Former home of the
legendary Chess Records label from 1957 to 1967, 2120 housed the studio and recording company that begat legendary
recordings by Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf, Bo Diddley, John Lee Hooker, Etta James, Aretha Franklin and
dozens of others.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Explore the history of African Americans in the United States from the Civil War through emancipation. With
President Abraham Lincoln's issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, the Civil War became a war both
to save the union and to abolish slavery. Learn about the 180,000 black Americans that served in the Union Army.
212 N. 5th St., Springfield, IL
African American Civil War Soldiers Monument
This unique monument is one of only a handful of sculptured tributes to the African-American Civil War soldier in
the entire United States. Commissioned by the City of Decatur, the work was designed and created by renowned artist
The African-American Cultural & Geneological Society of Illinois Museum (AACGS)
AACGS promotes and provides resources and education on the history of the African American. Embracing all cultures,
it offers genealogy workshops, museum displays, storytelling, essay and poetry contests, and the promotion of
Preston Jackson Statue in Union Square Park
This 10-foot-tall cast bronze sculpture represents Springfield’s “hidden history” — the Springfield Race Riot of
1908. Created by Peoria sculptor and artist Preston Jackson, the sculpture was dedicated in April 2009.
East side of Union Park, 500 E. Madison, Springfield, IL
Underground Railroad Driving Tour
Sponsored by the Underground Railroad Committee Bus Tour
Opens Spring 2012
Jacksonville was one of the many stations along the Underground Railroad and one of the busiest during the
mid-1800s. Jacksonville has at least nine documented sites which were important to this endeavor during the years
before the Civil War.
This is the showcase homestead of Jacksonville’s network of nine documented Underground Railroad homes. Woodlawn
was settled in 1824 by Michael Huffaker and his wife from Kentucky. Former slaves were ushered through this home on
their way to freedom.
Take a guided tour of the breathtaking 3.5-acre gardens which include seven water features. View the crown jewel
of Linmar, a sunken garden created within the foundation of the Union Baptist Church, the first African-American
church in the region.
African American Hall of Fame Museum at the Proctor Recreation Center
Come visit Peoria’s museum dedicated to honoring the achievements of its African Americans and other persons who
have had an impact on the African-American experience. The museum is also developing plans for how it will be
represented in the new Peoria Riverfront Museum, slated to open in fall 2012 in downtown Peoria.
Alton Museum of History and Art
Discover the local history of Alton and the Civil War, and see exhibits devoted to Abraham Lincoln, Robert Wadlow,
Elijah P. Lovejoy, the Underground Railroad, nineteenth-century toys and Mississippi River steamboats.
Through the exhibits, we share with you our past and present so that you too may discover the people, places and
events that influenced our ancestors and continue to shape our destiny.
Dr. Richard Eells House
An early Quincy physician and leading abolitionist built this two-story brick house, which was an Underground
Railroad site from 1835 to 1846. The Dr. Richard Eells House is the oldest standing two-story brick home in Quincy.
415 Jersey St., Quincy, IL • 217-223-1800 to arrange a tour
J.E. Robinson Underground Railroad Tours
Explore the Underground Railroad and learn how the Alton community helped slaves cross the Mississippi River to the
free state of Illinois.
Elijah P. Lovejoy Memorial
A champion for freedom of the press, freedom of speech and freedom from slavery, Elijah P. Lovejoy was an active
supporter of the organization of the Anti-slavery Society of Illinois and established the Alton Observer as an
New Philadelphia Town Site
Founded by Frank McWorter in 1836, New Philadelphia was the first U.S. town platted and registered by an African
American. The New Philadelphia Association actively works to preserve the Town Site, which was designated a
National Historic Landmark in 2009.
Owen Lovejoy Homestead
Tour this important station on the Underground Railroad where Owen Lovejoy, a famous abolitsionist, lived. The home
is rich in history and houses many artifacts. Built in 1838, this house is listed on the National Register of
Legend says that Dred Scott, a slave whose Supreme Court decision set back black rights by declaring that
African-American slaves had no claim to freedom, may have been imprisoned in the Thebes Courthouse jail.