Historical societies come in many different sizes and styles and cover just about any topic you can imagine. For a small town, Chillicothe is favored with a historical society that has for five decades dedicated itself to the preservation and presentation of artifacts and histories that address the majority of the history of the origin and development of the “Town, now City of Chillicothe.” Also, a plus for Chillicothe is that the Chillicothe Historical Society established and maintains two distinctly different museums that anyone can visit and learn facts pertaining to virtually any aspect of Chillicothe and the neighboring townships since 1829. The information and artifacts are housed in the main Museum in the former Dolph House on Fourth Street across from Dollar General and in the Old Rock Island Railroad Depot Museum on the corner of Third and Cedar Streets. The 1889 Depot was preserved by the members with an immense number of labor hours and money gathered through donations and from many fund-raising events. The Society receives no governmental financial assistance. A staggering amount of history is there for all see and enjoy.
The founders of the Chillicothe Historical Society have diligently amassed an amazing group of collections including artifacts that chronicle the origin and development of the Chillicothe area including, but not limited to, the pioneers who settled here in the 1830s, the businesses that emerged and grew here, Native American history, an extensive display and documentation of our local military contributions to the country, family histories and genealogies and the recent addition of the Johnston McCulley display featuring his fictional character Zorro. This treasure trove of our local heritage is now experiencing a serious challenge for continued existence due to the effects of time upon our memberships. We are growing older along with our collections and we need new people to help maintain our museums. Younger people generally do not become interested in “history” until about the age of 40, just as the original members did half a century ago. We are calling out to our community to help us continue to provide this valuable resource by joining the Society and learning many new “old things” that will amaze you for years to come.
The museums are open each Sunday 1-4pm March through November.
Annual memberships are available at reasonable cost. Click here for membership options.