Art Culture & Heritage

Franklin Area Historical Museum

Address:
2000 East St Louis St
West Frankfort, IL 62896
Phone:
Facebook:
Map:

The Frankfort Area Historical Museum is in the former two story brick Logan School! It features area coal mining history featuring mines and minerals. Memorabilia from 1802-1976 includes a vintage phonograph player and 1950 television. Memorabilia is set up with themes to make displays interesting and attractive. Visit the genealogy library, a quilting room, the pioneer kitchen, an art and music room and the Red Geranium Tea Room that serves homemade lunch.


Admission Free / Donations Accepted 

Call or check facebook for seasonal hours or to make a reservation for the Red Geranium Tea Room.


Please verify before travel. This information is provided as a courtesy and is subject to change.


The Frankfort Area Historical Museum is only 10 miles south of Rend Lake, just east of Interstate 57 Exit 65 then east on IL-149. 

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Silkwood Inn Museum

Address:
7570 Mulkeytown Rd
Mulkeytown, IL 62865
Phone:
Website:
Map:

The Silkwood Inn was built in 1827 by Brazilla Silkwood on the Shawneetown-Kaskaskia- St. Louis Trail. It served as a home for his family and also an Inn for travelers. A tour through this amazing Inn includes the telling of a famous legend based both in fact and local folklore. While on a business trip to the south, Brazilla met a slave girl named Priscilla. Then in 1838 Priscilla was traveling through Jonesboro Illinois as the property of a Native American Chief on the Trail of Tears. When Brazilla saw her as part of the Trail of Tears, he bought her and set her free to live as a member of his family until her death in 1892.


Admission Free / Donations Accepted 

Call to schedule a tour or to check event schedules and seasonal hours. 

Please verify before travel. This information is provided as a courtesy and is subject to change.


The Silkwood Inn is only 10 miles southwest of Rend Lake, off IL State Highway 14. 

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Veterans Military Museum Depot

Address:
100 West Main St
West Frankfort, IL 62896
Phone:
Website:
Facebook:
Map:

The Veterans Museum Depot is a restored C&I railroad depot filled with memorabilia from the Civil War to Desert Storm. It has uniforms of all branches of service, a purple heart, horse saddles from World War I, insignias & patches, gas masks, a World War II communication system and many other items on display. Many young boys of the Rend Lake area left from this depot to go to war.


Admission Free / Donations Accepted

Call or check website for seasonal hours.

Please verify before travel. This information is provided as a courtesy and is subject to change.


The Veterans Museum Depot is only 10 miles south of Rend Lake, on IL State Highway 149.

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Old Franklin County Jail Museum

Address:
209 West Main St
Benton, IL 62812
Phone:
Website:
Facebook:
Map:

The 1905 Franklin County Jail Museum was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. The displays in this amazing museum houses memorabilia from The Beatles' George Harrison's first trip to the United States to visit his sister Louise in Benton Illinois, to actor John Malkovich, basketball star Doug Collins, Civil War General John A. Logan and gangster Charlie Birger, the last convicted criminal to be hanged in Illinois. See actual jail cells used to house Charlie Birger and a replica of the noose and gallows used to hang him. .


Admission $4.00 / Donations Accepted 

Please verify before travel. This information is provided as a courtesy and is subject to change.


The 1905 Franklin County Jail Museum is only 5 miles south of Rend Lake, just West of the Benton Square on IL 14

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Thompsonville Historic Museum

Address:
3620 Main St
Thompsonville, IL 62890
Phone:
Map:

Come see pioneer architecture and building techniques in this log cabin, still standing today. It was built in 1825 by Nathaniel Jones. This rustic, "as is" log cabin is almost 200 years old. While it has recently received maintenance repairs to the roof and front porch, it has not been remodeled or updated. The log cabin has no electricity or running water. It is sparsely furnished but does have an old unique upright piano. The stairs to the second story are rough and narrow. Be careful when visiting. This authentic log cabin is not like other museums or recreations. It has no safety additions. 


Admission is free and donations are accepted. Open by appointment only. Call to schedule a tour. 

Please verify before travel. This information is provided as a courtesy and is subject to change.


The Thompsonville Historic Museum is only 15 miles southeast of Rend Lake, just off IL State Highway 14.

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Rend Lake Tourism