Take a walk through Central Illinois history in The Grand Prairie Story, visit the Champaign County that Abraham Lincoln knew, get your hands on history in the Discovery Area, or as a blacksmith in Blacksmithing on the Prairie exhibit. In our immersive exhibits, you’ll learn and do!
Check out this special exhibit exploring infectious diseases that have arose throughout Champaign County's history and how the community has responded to defeat them.
From the glaciers to the present, the Grand Prairie Story traces the history of Champaign County and East Central Illinois. Start the fire on the prairie or check out the goods in the general store. There is something for everyone as you investigate your Grand Prairie story.
Come see the family blacksmith shop, a shop begun by A.B Chesebro, in Saunemin, Illinois in 1896 and brought to the Museum of the Grand Prairie! Hammer on the anvil, pump the bellows, and travel back in time to the village smithy.
The built environment that Abraham Lincoln knew in Champaign County is almost completely gone and the natural environment is vastly altered. Through our exhibit, "Champaign County's Lincoln" we recreate those places, and evoke that lost environment. Visitors will appreciate the era in which Lincoln made friends, worked and built his political career in our community!
The idea of home is transcendent. Though people’s homes may be very different, the basic ideas of place, purpose, family, and familiarity are the same. The place we travel away from and return to is our home. It is the place we communicate with when not there. Though very different, we can see similarities in the homes of settlers moving into Illinois from the east, and the native peoples already living here.
What used to be known as Hensley Town Hall has been transformed into our One-Room Schoolhouse. Step inside to go back in time and learn about the history of the building, one-room schoolhouses in Champaign County, how education differed over 100 years ago, examine some local schoolhouse artifacts, and much more!
Originally curated by by our friends at The Morton Arboretum with help from The Global Trees Campaign and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, this outdoor exhibit focuses on endangered and near extinct tree species and encourages visitors to take proper care of these disappearing skyscrapers in nature.
The Museum of the Grand Prairie interprets the local history of Champaign County and East Central Illinois. We strive for objectivity and historical accuracy.
Please recognize that topics covered in our exhibits may be uplifting or disturbing for certain patrons or age groups. All of our exhibits are aimed at adults. While most exhibits have elements that children will enjoy, the Discovering Home exhibit is designed specifically for children.
Originally curated in 2001 alongside a physical exhibit, This Legacy is Yours was a cooperative effort between the National Council of Negro Women, Champaign County Chapter, and the Museum of the Grand Prairie to celebrate the achievements of African American Women in Champaign County.
Updates to this project are currently taking place. Check back soon for more!
Completed in 2001 around the same time as This Legacy is Yours, Your Legacy Too is an ongoing project drawn from the Doris K. Wylie Hoskins Archive for Cultural Diversity intended to exhibit online and celebrate the accomplishments of African American men in Champaign County.
The Museum of the Grand Prairie completed an oral history project with the East Frisian Community of northeastern Champaign County. This online exhibit, summarizes some of the experiences of early farmers who drained the wet prairie and made it the productive farmland it is today.
Avid quilters, Stanley Rankin and his mother, Dorothy, created a multitude of beautiful, imaginative, and colorful quilts. Some are traditional, while other are purely works textile art. Enjoy the handiwork of these late 20th century quilters.