Museum Now Open!
As of Friday, January 22, 2021
the Stephenson County Historical Museum
will be open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
each week, from Noon- 4PM
We are offering 2 guided tours on those days
at Noon and 2PM.
There will be a maximum of 6 people per tour.
If you would like to reserve a time, please call the office Monday-Friday between 9am and 3pm.
Leave a message if we do not answer.
Messages left on Saturday or Sunday may not
get to us on time. We apologize for any inconvenience.
You must wear a mask for the entire tour time. For the safety of our employees and guests, we cannot make an exception to this rule. We also ask you to
follow social distancing protocol. For more information call the office at 815-232-8419.
Freeport, Illinois was the home to one of the most well-known toy companies of the early twentieth century. For about 40 years, Arcade produced the most well-built, iconic cast iron toys ever made. They are still coveted today by toy collectors everywhere. Arcade ceased production of toys in 1941. In 1947, the company's office collection was donated to the Stephenson County Historical Society. Over the last 70 years, thousands of visitors have enjoyed viewing this toy collection.
In 2018, the historical society board made the decision to begin expanding the collection in order to create a museum that will celebrate the history of toy making in Freeport. Although the Arcade toy collection is the centerpiece of this museum, there will also be exhibits on other toy companies, including Structo, Freidag, Realistic, and Freeport Toy Company. Other products made by Arcade, such as coffee grinders and small hardware, will also be on display. The museum now includes over 600 Arcade toys, plus numerous other Freeport -made toys.
Have an Arcade toy that you would like to donate or loan to the museum? Contact us at 815-232-8419. It's a great way to be part of Freeport history!