Illinois Mennonite Historical and Genealogical Society
The Illinois Mennonite Historical and Genealogical Society promotes heritage awareness through programs, tours, exhibits, research and publications. We cherish and remember our Swiss and German Amish-Mennonite pioneers that arrived in Illinois to start their new lives. We preserve the items they brought with them and used on the Illinois prairie. We remember their great faith in God and their community.
Come visit our main gallery and museum, explore our research library and discover your ancestors, walk through our original Gross Daadi haus (retirement home for the parents or grandparents), enter Christian Sutter’s 100+year old barn that was taken apart and moved to the Mennonite Heritage Center grounds, check out the agricultural tools and equipment in the barn and museum, observe nature in our arboretum and see native trees, prairie grasses, and flowers.
Call to schedule a tour of the museum, barn, and library. Check out our Facebook page.
June 2020 Update: We will not have regularly scheduled open hours during the month of June due to ongoing Coronavirus prevention measures. Individuals or small groups wishing to visit the museum or conduct research in our library may contact Mike Yoder or send a message to our Facebook page to request to visit by appointment. Social distancing and proper sanitary practices according to the CDC are encouraged for the safety of volunteers and guests. Please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.
May 2020 Update: To support the health and well-being of our members, we have decided to postpone our Spring Meeting (originally planned for March 28, 2020) due to Coronavirus prevention measures recommended by the CDC. Please follow us on Facebook and watch our website for more information on upcoming meetings; dates are to be determined. We hope to reschedule Dr. Friesen’s “The Dutch Golden Age: Mennonite to the Core” presentation for the fall of 2020.
Tour Christian Sutter’s barn: During its first life span of 111 years on the Delavan Prairie in Tazewell County, the barn of Christian Sutter housed countless heads of livestock, hosted a national Amish Mennonite Diener Versammlungen (ministers’ conference), and numerous Amish Mennonite worship services.
Research Amish-Mennonite history and genealogy and browse books on Mennonite faith in our extensive library. Our knowledgeable librarians and historians are available to help you.
Explore exhibits to learn about Amish-Mennonite Pioneers here in Central Illinois and Mennonite Missionaries in the Congo.
Gross Daadi Haus
Tour an Amish “Grandfather Home;” a place built for the older generation to live and retire when the oldest son was able to take over the farm.
Agricultural tools and tractors of years past!
Christian & Barbara Reeser Memorial Arboretum
Stroll through our botanical garden of prairies grasses, flowers, and trees. Beautiful to behold in all seasons!