Thursday, March 9, 2023

The McHenry Landmark Commission


The McHenry Landmark Commission is looking for commissioners! If you love the history of our beautiful city and want to help preserve our landmarks, please consider joining the Landmark Commission. Contact Beth Stanley at the Facebook link below:
Or contact City Hall for more information:

Thursday, November 3, 2022

2023 McHenry Area Historical Society Calendar


The purpose of the McHenry Area Historical Society is to preserve, promote, and present artifacts relating to the history and lives of the residents of the McHenry area community.
Further, our mission includes educational objectives aimed at encouraging a preservation ethic.  Materials and presentations serve to educate and arouse interest in the rich history of the McHenry area.  

Finally, the McHenry Area Historical Society assists in the preservation and restoration of artifacts, properties and monuments with historical significance to McHenry and its surrounding vicinity.

The MAHS is a non-profit organization.  Please consider becoming a member or making a donation to help us preserve the long and colorful history of the McHenry area.

Memberships, donations and fundraising efforts enable the McHenry Area Historical Society to meet its legal and financial obligations as a 501(3) organization and to provide member communication and community programs. Furthermore, we look toward a permanent home for the many wonderful artifacts in our collection.

Since we operate completely on donations and the sale of our calendars and booklets, please consider supporting us by purchasing our 2023 McHenry Area Historical Society Calendar.

Click here to purchase:  2023 McHenry Area Historical Society Calendar


Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Founding Of The McHenry Area Historical Society


Pat Schafer And Marya Dixon
The idea for The McHenry Area Historical Society came in to being when local residents Pat Schafer and Marya Dixon became concerned that the history of McHenry was being lost as many longtime residents either moved to other areas or passed away, taking with them memories and memorabilia of the past.

As many landmarks in the area were being torn down for new structures, the need to preserve memories and memorabilia from days past became important. Pat Schafer and Marya Dixon began collecting photographs and postcards of the early days of

They met with other long time McHenry residents, Barb Gilpin, Gretchen Thomas and Marie Wilt and on January 1, 2005 the McHenry Area Historical Society was officially founded. Marya was elected the first President, and the others served on the Board of Directors.

Meetings began to be held that year and one of the first presentations was about the Colby Petersen Farm given by Greg Lofgren, our current President.

At a later meeting, Mike Clark of Johnsburg gave a comprehensive slide presentation about the history of McHenry. Many other historical programs have been held over the past 17 years.

We are thankful to that early group, especially to Marya and Pat for their hard work in organizing the MAHS and continuing to support it and help it grow.

Monday, October 31, 2022

Halloween Prank


In late October of 1911, Lewis C. Bishop arrived at his Barber Shop on Water St. (Riverside Drive) to find his shop had been the victim of a Halloween prank!


Friday, October 21, 2022

Hanly Mill Article by Sandy Landen Machaj

Our own Sandy Machaj wrote a wonderful article regarding the history and designation as a landmark of the Hanly Mill for the Hi-Liter Newspaper.  Click here to read the article on their website:

Hanly Mill In McHenry Hi-Liter Article

Interview With Bea Justen by Nancy Fike

Please enjoy this interview with Bea Justen by Landmark Emeritus, Nancy Fike. Mrs. Justen lived in the Dr. H. T. Brown house her entire life. She shares some interesting and insightful stories about McHenry during her lifetime. Enjoy!  (Click on each image to enlarge it.)

Or click here to read via a PDF file:  Interview with Bea Justen



Sunday, October 16, 2022

The Solon Mills Depot

Built around 1902, the old Solon Mills Train Depot was once located just north of Rt. 12 and North Solon Road.

Depot Restaurant Richmond Illinois
Around 1900, The Milwaukee Railroad laid tracks through Solon Mills and it was hopeful that the little village would grow and prosper.  There were at the time, stores, inns, a school and a Methodist church.  There were several saw mills, a grist mill and a cheese and butter factory in this location.

The North Western Railroad however, had tracks going through Richmond so the growth of Solon Mills declined and eventually stopped.

The Train station was relocated to Route 12 and Route 31.  It became the Depot Restaurant and served the community for 50 years.

The restaurant closed in 2021 and it was hoped that the building would be relocated once again.  The W.A McConnell Foundation went through great lengths to raise money for the move however, a new location has not become available for this little historic building and now, it seems all hope is lost and the building will soon be razed.