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McHenry County, Illinois

Organizations  Leaving McHenry County Website...

The organizations links on this page connect to off-site locations. We are not responsible for off-site content, but we will update or remove "broken" links and may remove any links with a site having inappropriate content.  To report a broken or inappropriate link, send e-mail to: [email protected] with the relevant information.


•  Historical Societies and Associations
•  Municipal Boards, Commissions, Departments, Histories and Info
•  Museums and Historical Collections
•  Extra-Local Partnership Organizations and Information


Historical Societies and Associations   

Organizations/AssociationsBarrington Area Historical Society and Museum 

The Barrington Area Historical Society was founded in 1968 by local residents dedicated to preserving the history and culture of the Barrington area.  Since that time, the Museum has become an integral part of the Barrington area communities.  The society also operates a museum in nearby Lake County. 

Organizations/AssociationsCary-Grove Historical Society 

Visit the Cary-Grove Historical Society Facebook page: The Cary-Grove Historical Society's mission is to preserve, promote, and present artifacts relating to the rich history of Cary and Fox River Grove.  

Organizations/AssociationsCrystal Lake Historical Society

The purpose of the Crystal Lake Historical Society is to identify, preserve, present and promote through education the history of Crystal Lake, Illinois. The society was founded in 2000 by local residents and invites all interested to discover and learn about our exciting heritage and to help plan for our future.

Organizations/AssociationsHarvard Historical Society 

The society is a not-for-profit historical organization for the area surrounding Harvard and is open to all Harvard residents, past residents, District 50 residents, and others who express interest in the greater Harvard community.  

Organizations/AssociationsHuntley Historical Society 

The society's mission is to preserve and promote Huntley history through educational events and community activities.

Organizations/AssociationsHistorical Society of Island Lake 

The Historical Society is a dedicated group of people, interested in historical research and collection and preservation of memorabilia and documentation about Island Lake.   

Organizations/AssociationsLake in the Hills Historical Society 

The society brings together people interested in the history of the village, to collect and preserve historical materials, disseminate historical information, and rescue historic landmarks and structures.  

Organizations/AssociationsMarengo Society for Historic Preservation (Facebook page)

The society meets monthly in Marengo. Approximately 4-5 programs are offered each year in conjunction with the meeting dates. All ages are welcome. 

Organizations/AssociationsMcHenry County Civil War Round Table 

The Civil War Round Table has been established to promote and foster education, discussion and analysis of the American Civil War. By learning about the past, the hope is to more completely understand the present and have a positive effect on the community. 

Organizations/AssociationsMcHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society

The McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society is a not-for-profit, tax exempt organization of family history researchers, whose e purpose is to foster an interest in genealogy, provide instruction in family research methods and practices, and preserve early McHenry County records.  

Organizations/AssociationsMcHenry County Historical Society 

The McHenry County Historical Society is the longest-running historical society in McHenry County. The society conducts education programs,  advocates for historical preservation, and operates a museum, research library, and gift shop, and the society maintains certain historic buildings. Their website also contains a wealth of information that cannot be adequately described in a single paragraph.  M.C.H.S. also maintains a Facebook page

Organizations/AssociationsNorthern Illinois Historic League 

The League is an association, formed in 2015, of interested experts/groups of local history in the northern portion of the state. Presently the League's geography includes the counties from Kankakee north to the Wisconsin state line and from Lake Michigan west to the Mississippi River, including McHenry county and contiguous areas in Illinois. N.I.H.L. also maintains a Facebook page


Municipal Boards, Commissions, Departments, Histories and Info 

GovernmentVillage of Algonquin Historic Commission 
The Historic Commission is charged with "fostering the research, development and preservation of the Village's history for current and future generations" through a number of activities. The Commission also provides recommendations to the Village Board regarding Old Town District Preservation Code improvement plans.  

HistoryVillage of Algonquin 

This web page contains a brief history of the Village of Algonquin. The site is maintained by the Village.  

History Village pf Barrington Hills 

This web site has a five-section historical overview of the Village of Barrington Hills, including history, archaeology, back roads and inventors. The site is maintained by the Village. [ This link is no longer active.]

HistoryVillage of Bull Valley

This page gives a brief history of the Village of Bull Valley, which is maintained by the Village.  

HistoryVillage of Cary 

This page gives a brief history of the Village of Cary and a historic downtown brochure. The page is maintained by the Village.  

GovernmentCity of Crystal Lake Historic Preservation Commission 

The Commission was established to aid in the preservation of Crystal Lake's historic and cultural heritage. Through research, documentation, promotion, and protection of the community's historic properties, the Commission is dedicated to safeguarding our local legacy.  

HistoryVillage of Fox River Grove 

This page gives a brief history of the Village of Fox River Grove, which is maintained by the Village. 

HistoryVillage of Hebron 

This web site has an eight-topic historical overview of the Village of Hebron, including history, the first settler (1836), Major Watson—Revolutionary War Vet (1840), the General Horace Capron Mansion (1851), the Kenosha and Rockford RR (1861-1939), the Linn-Hebron Cemetery, Medal of Honor Recipient C.E. Bigelow, the Illinois High School Boys Basketball Championship of 1952, and the 2000 Census. The site is maintained by the Village.  

GovernmentVillage of Huntley Historic Preservation Commission  

The goal of the Huntley Historic Preservation Commission is to retain the unique character of Huntley and to preserve its historical elements, protecting and enhancing the community amidst its growth and development. 

HistoryVillage of Lake in the Hills 

This page gives a brief history of the Village of Lake in the Hills, which is maintained by the Village. 

HistoryVillage of Lakemoor

This PDF gives a brief history of the Village of Lakemoor, which is a copy published by the Village.

InformationCity of Marengo Historic Preservation Incentives Information 

This page contains summary information regarding tax credits to modernize a building built prior to 1936.

GovernmentCity of McHenry Landmark Commission

The mission of the Landmark Commission is to encourage preservation, restoration, rehabilitation, and adaptation of structures, landscapes and areas representing the city's heritage for the present and future citizens of McHenry. 

HistoryCity of McHenry History 

This page gives a brief history of the City of McHenry, which is maintained by the City.  

HistoryVillage of Port Barrington 

The Village maintains two pages giving a brief history of Fox River Valley Gardens and the Village of Port Barrington. One is the "About" page and the second page is entitled "History." The site is maintained by the Village. 

History Village of Prairie Grove

This page gives a brief history of the Village of Prairie Grove, which is maintained by the Village.

HistoryVillage of Richmond 

Richmond has two distinct history-related web sections: "Early History," and "Historic Homes & Buildings." The latter section has sub-pages for each building named. The site is maintained by the Village. 

HistoryVillage of Spring Grove

This page gives a brief history of the Village of Spring Grove, which is maintained by the Village. 

HistoryVillage of Trout Valley 

This page gives a brief history of the Village of Trout Valley, which is maintained by the Village and Trout Valley Association, including sections on the "The Legend" (early history), "Hertz Era," "Curtiss Farm," and "Trout Valley Era." 

GovernmentCity of Woodstock Historic Preservation Commission 

Woodstock has several distinct historic-related sections, including the "Historic Downtown Walking Guide," the "Historic Preservation" information page, the "Old Courthouse," and "Preserve America: Woodstock, Illinois."


Museums and Historical Collections  

Cultural InstitutionsBarrington History Museum 
The Barrington History Museum, formally the Barrington Area Historical Society is an integral part of the several Barrington area communities, located in Barrington, Illinois. (See also Societies above.) 

Cultural Institutions Harper-Freeman Historical Collection, Village of Cary

The Harper-Freeman Collection, as it is to be known, includes many important Cary historical artifacts from the 1800’s and 1900’s. Items from the collection are on display at Cary Village Hall and sample photographs are displayed online. 

Cultural InstitutionsIllinois Railway Museum

The Illinois Railway Museum was originally formed to preserve one important piece of rolling stock; it has evolved into an educational and historic preservation organization recreating one of the largest operating demonstration railroads in North America.  

Cultural Institutions Illinois State Archives (Springfield)

The State Archives serves, by law, as the depository of public records of Illinois state and local governmental agencies which possess permanent administrative, legal, or historical research values. See also the Illinois Digital Archives (also promulgated  by the Office of Secretary of State, as the main archives are).

Cultural InstitutionsMcHenry County Historical Museum 

The Museum is operated by the McHenry County Historical Society and located in Union, Illinois.  (See also Societies above.) 


 Extra-Local Partnership Organizations and Information 

Many local historic preservation agencies maintain an on-going relationship with regional, state, and (or) national organizations. This section covers these key agencies, organizations, and points of access to essential information. 


Illinois IconCommunity Preservation Programs /Certified Local Governments

The Certified Local Government Program in Illinois is administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA). 

The overall program was established by the National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 1980, which gives municipalities and counties the opportunity to participate as partners in state and federal preservation activities. Those that have local historic preservation programs may participate after they have been "certified." To become certified, a local government must have a historic preservation ordinance, establish a preservation review commission, have an active local survey program to identify historic resources, and provide for public participation. 


[IL-AHPC logo]  Illinois Association of Historic Preservation Commissions (currently inactive)

  Formed in 1982, the IAHPC is a private, not-for-profit organization which encourages local governments to carry out historic preservation activities and aids preservation commissions throughout the state.


IHA Logo  Illinois Heritage Association (IHA)

The IHA was established as a nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) status in 1981.  Aid to museums, libraries, and preservation organizations is at the core of the IHA’s purpose.  Its mission is to stimulate an interest in this heritage and to provide technical assistance to organizations and individuals who work to preserve it. In the IHA’s view, cultural heritage encompasses historical records, decorative and fine arts, folk arts, material culture, and the built and natural environments.


[ Logo-ILL State Hist. Society]  The Illinois State Historical Society 

The ISHS was founded in 1899 to support the Illinois State Historical Library and to encourage research and writing on subjects of Illinois history. The Society encourages everyone from University scholars to local historians to take an active part in Illinois history. The Society is a not-for-profit organization which depends solely on membership dues, gifts, bequests, and foundation grants to support, preserve, and disseminate the story of Illinois and its people.


[ Logo Landmarks IL ]  Landmarks Illinois

Landmarks Illinois is a membership-based not-for-profit organization serving the people of Illinois. We inspire and empower stakeholders to save places that matter to them by providing free guidance, practical and financial resources and access to strategic partnerships. Each year, we answer thousands of calls and emails from advocates, property owners and local and state agencies.


U.S.A. Federal  National Park Service / National Historic Register 

The Certified Local Government Program at the federal level is administered by the National Park Service, which also administers the  National Historic Register.  McHenry County, at our last updated inventory, has eleven sites on the National Historic Register.  A list of these can be found in our Comprehensive Landmark List for McHenry County. 


 U.S.A. NationwideThe Federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

  The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) is an independent federal agency that promotes the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of our nation's historic resources, and advises the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy.

The goal of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), which established the ACHP in 1966, is to have federal agencies act as responsible stewards of our nation's resources when their actions affect historic properties. The ACHP is the only entity with the legal responsibility to encourage federal agencies to factor historic preservation into federal project requirements.


[NAPC logo]   The National Alliance of Preservation Commissions

The NAPC  was founded in 1983 in response to amendments to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.  These amendments provided financial assistance to local governments that met requirements of the Certified Local Government program, including the establishment of a local preservation ordinance and commission. NAPC provides a forum for commissions to discuss mutual problems and to serve as a national voice representing the particular needs of commissions.


U.S.A. Nationwide  The National Trust for Historic Preservation 

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is focused on saving America’s historic places. They take direct action to preserve historic buildings and sites when they are threatened. They advocate on Capitol Hill, in statehouses and in town halls nationwide for legislation that protects historic properties. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a private 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.  They also maintain a Facebook page.  

The NTHP also provides preservation grants to local governments, such as the one awarded to the McHenry County Historic Preservation Commission to create and publish our Historic Resources Guide in 2011.