Will County Historical Society

803 S. State St., Lockport Illinois 60441

        Phone 815- 838- 5080

Upcoming Events
Gift Shop

The Will County Historical Society exists so that people and organizations may be connected to the rich history of Will County, Illinois.




Historic Children's games and toys
Just in, "Illinois in the War of 1812" by Gillum Ferguson, signed by the author $34.95​

​​Books and other publications about Will County History


Hand-loomed rag rugs, hand made bonnets, aprons, and collars in child and adult sizes

Civil War hats

Companion publication to the Freedom Seekers exhibit




             ILLINOIS AND MICHIGAN CANAL OFFICE

In 1837 The town of Lockport was laid out by the Illinois and Michigan canal commissioners and a residence office was built.

The first floor of the permanent structure was completed in 1837, and became headquarters for construction and administration of the waterway.

The canal, which extended ninety-six miles from the south branch of the Chicago river near lake Michigan to the Illinois river at Peru, was in operation from 1848 to 1914.

This building, now owned by the Will County Historical Society,
Houses the Illinois and Michigan canal Museum.




Mid February- Mid November
Noon - 4 p.m.,
Wednesday through Sunday


For tours at other hours call 815-838-5080 and leave a message

Admission $3 adults, $2 seniors, $1 children & students, members free

For genealogical or other research inquiries, leave message at above phone #. we have 70,000 documents from all over Will County, plat maps, obituary files and anniversary files.

Research charges: first 1/2 hour free, $25 per hour after
members, First hour free, $25 per hour after

Do your own research, supervised by an trained docent - free,
25 cents for black & white copies, color, legal size or larger 50 cents, copies can be downloaded onto portable drive in .jpg and .pdf format

Dr. Dougall's office
Step into the Edwardian era to see what a typical Doctor's office would look like. Dr. Dougall was an officer in the Civil War, then went on to work for the I & M Canal, the State Penitentiary, and finally opened his own office in his home.

Medicine men of Will County
In conjunction with Dr. Dougall's office this exhibit shows the men who helped heal and some of their instruments and medicines. Two highlights of this exhibit are the pre-Civil Ware surgeon's kit and a device to generate an electrical charge.

Fiber Arts
An original Edward Worst loom is the focal point of this exhibit. Worst was a pioneer in the arts and crafts movement, as well as an educator. This loom is now set up to weave rag rugs for sale in the gift shop. In addition spinning wheels, knitting machines, and a smaller table top loom are on display.

 Would you like to volunteer, if so
PLEASE fill out the Application and send it in.


Exhibits now on display


WILL COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY Official Website © 2011 All rights reserved



Officers of the Society
President- Sandy Vasko, Wilmington
Vice-president- Gina Wysocki, Joliet
Secretary- Bobbie Stevens, Lockport
Treasurer- Ron Strahanowski, Lockport
Research & Geneological Room
Resources concerning Will County history including plat maps, obituaries, mortgages, chattel mortgages, historical architectural surveys, Civil War histories, African-American database, etc.


Visit our Facebook Page to view historic photos of Will County


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Sneak peak inside
Museum Information

  WE ARE OPEN!!!

Come in and visit us and our new exhibit...'The Weird of Will County!'

Other exhibits coming coming this
year are about Lincoln, the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of the Will County Historical Society, and possibly even Will County in World War I.

         So come out and see us!