UPDATE NOVEMBER 18, 2020
Many of you might have already heard that starting this Friday museums in Illinois must close due to Covid. So, the Stephenson County Historical Museum will be closed for museums tours until this restriction is lifted.
THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO OUR HOLIDAY CRAFT SHOW, WHICH WILL TAKE PLACE THIS FRIDAY-SUNDAY. The SCHS operates a year-round gift shop which holds an Illinois business license. Our holiday craft show will be an expansion of our gift shop, filling the entire first floor of the very large Taylor House.
We will be observing all rules, including occupancy restrictions, mandating masks, etc. Hand sanitizer will be provided, and we will take your temperature with a touchless thermometer when you enter. We are doing all this in order to provide a safe, relaxed shopping experience for everyone.
We are asking that if possible you do not bring children with as we are limited to allowing a very small number of people in at a time.
We hope that you will come out and support this sale which benefits both the museum and our craftspeople who have suffered the loss of most of their shows this season. We have great things coming in everyday, the place is filling up with all sorts of handmade items. There will be a lot to choose from so you don’t have worry about being the first one here.
Come out and be a part of supporting our community!
You are invited to join us for our
HOLIDAY GIFT AND CRAFT SHOW
NOVEMBER 20-22, 2020
This holiday arts and crafts show will be held in the historic Taylor Mansion Museum and will feature the area’s best arts and crafts including gift ideas and holiday decor. Over 20 artists and craftspeople will be represented. Also available will be books on local subjects, pretzel gift items, and Rawleigh products.
Because of Covid-19 we will be doing all we can to keep everyone safe. Masks and social distancing will be required, we will limit the number of people admitted at one time, and any other mandates will be followed.
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!