South side of East Washington Street looking west

Welcome to Momence!

Momence, Illinois, is a small town in east-central Kankakee County, about 50 miles south of Chicago. It is nestled along the Kankakee River, and is accessed by Historic Dixie Highway (Illinois Route 1). Come spend a day with us touring our five unique museums. While you're here, stroll through our historic downtown, grab lunch at one of our many restaurants, or stop at our beautiful Island Park which is surrounded by the Kankakee River. For a special treat, join us on Saturday, June 9th for the 2nd Annual Momence Heritage Day for a free, fun-filled day of activities dedicated to Momence history.

The Momence Museums

Each museum features its own unique look at one aspect of Momence history.

Graham Historic House

Graham Historic House & Museum

117. N. Dixie Highway

The Graham Historical House is a special attraction to residents and visitors who appreciate the preservation of our community's past. Built in 1869, the fully furnished and restored Italianate style home now serves as a tribute to Momence history. This home, along with many other buildings in downtown Momence, has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2006. In 2013, the house was renamed the Graham Historical House in honor of the original builder and owner, William Graham, and a complete renovation was completed in 2014.

Earl D. Schoeffner Farm Museum

Earl D. Schoeffner Farm Museum

105 E. Second Street

The building was constructed in 1885 as the Miller House Stables. Although much of the structure is new construction, the original facade remains, with its rounded entry stable doors and windows facing Dixie Highway just as they did in the 19th Century. The vintage farm equipment on display pays tribute to more than 150 years of Momence farming. Besides the equipment, the museum spotlights four fully-furnished rooms of a 1940's farm house. Special exhibits are also featured every few months, and tours are welcome! There is something here for all ages.

Mt. Airy Schoolhouse

The Mt. Airy (Little Red) Schoolhouse

125 W. Fifth Street

Moved to its present location in 1984 and fully restored, this one-room school house features artifacts typical of the era. It was built in 1853, and served as a school until 1921. Because it was located in Mt. Airy Cemetery, it was also used for memorial services. The move and restoration were the result of cooperation between civic groups, government agencies, banks, businesses, the school board, students and citizens young and old of Momence. This building now stands as a monument to the community spirit of the people of Momence.

The Momence Depot

The Momence Depot

691 N. Dixie Highway

This building served as a depot from the 1890's to 1950’s, and served the Chicago, Indiana and Southern Railroad and the New York Central Lines. Excursions from towns west of Kankakee to St. Joseph, Michigan typically cost $1-$2. The original three-room frame building, built in 1881, has not changed. A freight station exclusively since 1936 when passenger service was dropped here, the depot closed for good in 1960. It has been fully restored and currently houses permanent displays of railroad artifacts, military memorabilia, and photos of Momence area veterans.

Pioneer Cabin in Conrad Park

Pioneer cabin at Conrad Park

Dixie Highway and Mill Street

The Pioneer Log Cabin, which was to resemble as near as possible the original cabins built by the men and women who settled this area, was the vision of local teacher and historian, Kay Hess. She and a group of volunteers worked together to build a replica of a log cabin as a memorial to those early settlers. The cabin was built the year of the city's sesquicentennial in 1984 and is located on the area now known as Conrad Park. Merlin and Donna Karlock donated this beautiful property to the city and citizens of Momence in 1980. Conrad Park is located along Dixie Highway and Mill Street (a couple of blocks south of downtown).

Costumed volunteers at 2017 Heritage Day

2018 Heritage Day

Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Heritage Day event began in 2017 as a day devoted to showcasing and preserving the rich and storied history of Momence. Volunteers, dressed in period costumes, guided attendees through our museums, and provided for a self-guided tour of our monuments and parks. The 2018 Heritage Day is scheduled for Saturday, June 9th, and will be a fun-filled day filled with lots of family-friendly activities. Opening ceremonies will begin at noon at the Chipman Public Library, and activities will continue throughout the day until 5:30pm.

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