Jacksonville Area Museum
This museum in located in the old Jacksonville Post Office, a federal building that has been repurposed into one of Jacksonville's leading cultural institutions. Many of the museum's exhibits focus on the early days of Illinois when Jacksonville was one of the leading cultural and political hubs of the state, a distinction that is still an important part of the city's fabric even to this day. The museum tells this compelling story with professional displays, videos, and artifacts of Jacksonville and the surrounding area. Exhibits include: Connections to Abraham Lincoln, the expansion of industry, the importance of local retail, the influence of institutions, the impact of famous individuals, a history of medicine, the influence on modern dentistry, and so much more! The museum is also the home of the MacMurray College collection and provides a home to their extensive history and artwork. With traveling and rotating exhibits, there is something new each time one pays a visit to this fascinating look into the early history of Illinois.
Photo of Post office in 2017
Backstory and Context
The Old Jacksonville Post Office was built and was opened in 1905. It remained the way it was for quite a few years before they finally made some new additions to the building. In 1921, a meeting was held across the street from the old post office that reorganized and relaunched the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce. The first addition added onto the old post office was in 1935, and that project took eight months for them to build. In April of 1935, the exterior and interior remodeling began. The exterior was finished on December 26th of that year, and the inside was still being worked on. The interior work they did was to add an area with peepholes so people could walk up there and look through and see if the people in the post office were actually working. All of the new renovations, interior and exterior, were finished in December of 1935.
The building is now home to the Jacksonville Area Museum, which opened in September 2021. The museum houses several interactive exhibits and, according to the museum's website, "the Jacksonville Area Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation, interpretation, and appreciation of the cultural history and heritage of the Jacksonville and Morgan County area." They also hold the MacMurray College archive collection."
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Accessed December 14th 2021. http://www.jacksonvilleareamuseum.org/.