Mundelein Heritage Museum reopens after exhibit updates and renovations

  • Docent Jeanne Steffens shows a new display the occupies the space of the women's waiting room of the old SOO Line depot as the Mundelein Park and Recreation District, in partnership with the Mundelein Historical Commission, does a "soft" reopening of the Mundelein Heritage Museum Saturday.

      Docent Jeanne Steffens shows a new display the occupies the space of the women's waiting room of the old SOO Line depot as the Mundelein Park and Recreation District, in partnership with the Mundelein Historical Commission, does a "soft" reopening of the Mundelein Heritage Museum Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • A new display shows former names of what is now the Village of Mundelein as the Mundelein Park and Recreation District, in partnership with the Mundelein Historical Commission, does a "soft" reopening of the Mundelein Heritage Museum Saturday.

      A new display shows former names of what is now the Village of Mundelein as the Mundelein Park and Recreation District, in partnership with the Mundelein Historical Commission, does a "soft" reopening of the Mundelein Heritage Museum Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • The station agent's phone is among the displays in the old SOO Line depot as the Mundelein Park and Recreation District, in partnership with the Mundelein Historical Commission, does a "soft" reopening of the Mundelein Heritage Museum Saturday.

      The station agent's phone is among the displays in the old SOO Line depot as the Mundelein Park and Recreation District, in partnership with the Mundelein Historical Commission, does a "soft" reopening of the Mundelein Heritage Museum Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Mundelein Village Trustee Dawn Abernathy, left, and Mike Flynn, chair of the historical society, view a school house display as the Mundelein Park and Recreation District, in partnership with the Mundelein Historical Commission, does a "soft" reopening of the Mundelein Heritage Museum Saturday.

      Mundelein Village Trustee Dawn Abernathy, left, and Mike Flynn, chair of the historical society, view a school house display as the Mundelein Park and Recreation District, in partnership with the Mundelein Historical Commission, does a "soft" reopening of the Mundelein Heritage Museum Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • The Mundelein Park and Recreation District, in partnership with the Mundelein Historical Commission, did a "soft" reopening of the Mundelein Heritage Museum, located in the old SOO Line railroad depot, Saturday.

      The Mundelein Park and Recreation District, in partnership with the Mundelein Historical Commission, did a "soft" reopening of the Mundelein Heritage Museum, located in the old SOO Line railroad depot, Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • John Schockmel of the Mundelein Historical Commission talks about the displays as the Mundelein Park and Recreation District, in partnership with the Mundelein Historical Commission, does a "soft" reopening of the Mundelein Heritage Museum Saturday.

      John Schockmel of the Mundelein Historical Commission talks about the displays as the Mundelein Park and Recreation District, in partnership with the Mundelein Historical Commission, does a "soft" reopening of the Mundelein Heritage Museum Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 9/19/2020 6:23 PM

It's been a globally historic 2020 by any measure, but it was local lore that took the spotlight Saturday in Mundelein with the long-awaited return of the Mundelein Heritage Museum.

Back from a two-year hiatus, the museum reopened in a former 1920s-era Soo Line railroad depot at 601 Noel Drive. The museum, owned by the Mundelein Park & Recreation District, had been closed for renovations and updates that include a renewed focus on the community and an added display room for rotating exhibits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Opened in 1983 as Fort Hill Museum, the museum had languished following the death two years ago of Dorothy "Dottie" Watson, its longtime curator and president of the Historical Society of the Fort Hill Country. The museum and its mission found new life when the village formed the Mundelein Historical Commission to run the museum and serve as its board of directors.

New exhibits highlight early pioneers, one-room schools of Fremont Township, memorabilia from iconic local businesses, military displays from World War I and II, and displays dedicated to the five names of the village -- Mechanics Grove, Holcomb, Rockefeller, Area and Mundelein.

Hours will be 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays and 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through December, with group tours available by appointment. Face coverings are required, and no more than 10 people will be allowed in at a time.

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