John Heyl Vincent: Founder of the Chautauqua Movement

Once the pastor of Rockford’s Court Street Methodist Church and a close friend of Robert Tinker, Vincent spurred the creation of summer schools, correspondence courses and university extension programs, not to mention “Book of the Month” clubs.

1865: The War’s Last Year

It’s been 150 years since the bloodiest war on American soil came to an end, with the final battle staged at Appomattox. Learn how the Civil War wound down and how folks in Galena are celebrating this important milestone.

Allan Pinkerton: America’s First Private Eye

During the Civil War, Allan Pinkerton was creating a “Secret Service,” foiling assassination attempts and rooting out Confederate spies. Jon McGinty explains how Pinkerton found his calling in our region.

Know Your Neighbors: Tom Hauff

Military roots run deep in the family of this Glenview dentist, whose ancestors died fighting in the Civil War 150 years ago. Discover how three generations of war re-enactors are connecting with history.

Northwest Quiz: Illinois and the Civil War

Illinois played a major role in helping to ensure a Union victory during the Civil War. Test your knowledge of our region’s Civil War connections.

30th Annual Autumn Pioneer Festival

Discover an annual festival that transports visitors back to the mid-1800s, as they learn about our region’s earliest settlers.

The Civil War: When They Marched to the Sound of the Guns

No battles were fought on Illinois or Wisconsin soil during the bloody Civil War, but many thousands of families in our region lost loved ones. Jon McGinty traces the journey of local soldiers on the sesquicentennial anniversary of our nation’s bloodiest war.