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The Heritage Corridor Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) encompasses the communities and counties along the historic 97-mile Illinois and Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor. The Heritage Corridor spans from the Chicago Portage Area just southwest of Chicago to LaSalle-Peru including the counties of Will, Grundy, LaSalle and Putnam. The region conveniently located along I-55 from Chicago to Joliet along I-80 west to LaSalle-Peru.

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Taking A Trip Back in Time with Lemont Area Historical Society

My travels around the Corridor took me right into the Lemont Area Historical Society with Susan Donahue who is the museum coordinator. She was really excited to share with me all the history that lies within this historical landmark. 

The organization is located within the Old Stone Church, a national landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places.    

Within the church you have a museum and also a library filled with a rich collection of historical artifacts from Lemont and the surrounding areas. 

I was able to make my way around the entire church and see everything it has to offer. When I first walked in my eyes were fixed on the chapel area which was surrounded with its beautifully stained-glass windows and ceiling. 

It is the first thing you see when you come through the front door. Susan let me know with their chapel they also host events such as weddings, Baptisms, and memorial services. 

She let me know that they have hosted over 30 weddings and looking to connect with others to host even more. In my opinion, if you are looking for a lovely intimate atmosphere shared with your close ones on such a big day, this location would be great for you. 

There is a charming garden in the back that leads up to the front of the building for you to take photos of the special moment. 

But our fun did not stop there. I was most excited about the museum and what new information I would be able to learn about what was once Lemont. 

She led me downstairs to where all of their exhibits lie. It was a smaller space, but I was amazed with how much they had to show. It was structured into to smaller exhibits with a theme for each one. 

There were artifacts such as weapons used in the earlier times, fashion of both women and men, accessories, dolls, and home appliances. 

One room that stuck out to me the most was set up like a store front and had all sorts of cool artifacts to look at. There was a glass wrap counter as the main focus with accessories, signs and other little knick-knacks to check out inside of it. 

Susan pointed out a specific artifact that held a lot of meaning to them. It was a teddy bear propped in the corner sitting comfortably in a highchair, which you could tell was well taking care of. I could tell it was important to them, and asked about its back story. 

She let me know that it was once given to a little girt back in the 1900s who loved that teddy so much and never let it out of her sight. As she grew up, she said she would give it away when she dies. 

Many, many years ago it was donated to the Lemont Historical Society, and they cherish this childhood teddy each year with a birthday celebration. Susan said they believe the bear is over 100 years old. 

I really enjoyed her sharing an innocent story like that with me because it was felt relatable and made me think about the times when I was younger and found myself attached to a stuffed animal. 

As we finished the museum tour, she led me upstairs to the library to check out a few historic records. As my eyes gazed upon so many books, yearbooks and pictures, I was able to actually see what the people looked like as well to give me a better understanding. 

What’s great about to space is that the public can scheduled time to come into the library to search for any records or pictures they would like to see. There will be someone there to help assist you with your findings to make it an easier experience. 

As our visit came to an end, I felt full of knowledge and awareness of how much times has really changed. 

The Lemont Area Historical Society gives you so many reasons why you should come visit, that you need to definitely plan a trip to explore the building! You can find them located on 306 Lemont St, Lemont, IL. OR you can visit their website at, www.lemonthistory.org