About Us

lakes region historical society

Lakes Region Historical Society is dedicated to preserving the rich history of Antioch, Illinois, and the Chain O’ Lakes area. The Lakes Region Historical Society (LRHS) was founded in 1973 by a group of people who understood that the key to preserving the artifacts and the vast and varied history of Antioch and the surrounding Chain O’Lakes would be an active historical society. As a non-profit organization, our volunteers dedicate their time to preserving artifacts, surfacing stories of the past, and building upon the great legacy of our small, hard-working town of Antioch. Our Schoolhouse Museum is open on Saturdays from April through November and our Archive Resource Center is open by appointment to help people with genealogy, house histories, or historical projects.

Schoolhouse Museum

Visit old Antioch! Located at 817 Main Street, the Schoolhouse Museum is open Saturdays (April – November) from 11:00am-3:00pm.

The Antioch School that you see today was originally dedicated in 1892. It replaced a one room schoolhouse that had been on this site circa 1850. By 1900, an addition was needed. This was added to the west end of the building and now included indoor bathrooms. The school offered 8 grades of grammar school and four years of high school at this time. By 1915, a new high school was built. The Antioch School was then used until 1928 when the new, larger grade school was built to the east. The old building was used by the grade school for Band until 1971.
Since 1983, when the Lakes Region Historical Society took as a project the restoration and preservation of the 1892 yellow brick grade school building, our collection has been growing. The building has become a repository for many artifacts of local and general interest.
The museum’s collection includes items pertaining to the home, farm, and business life of early Antioch and the Chain O’Lakes region. Items relating to the schools and local organizations are often on display.

Meeting House Archives

Located at 977 Main Street, the Meeting House holds all of our available archives and resources. Research services for family or local history are available at the Meeting House by appointment.

The Meeting House Archives building was originally built as the Disciples of Christ church. In 1863, the congregation had grown and the church was built at the height of the Civil War. The building was constructed to look like the white frame churches of New England, since that is where most of Antioch’s first settlers had emigrated from. After the population dwindled, St. Ignatius of Antioch, an Episcopal parish, purchased the building in 1915. In 1926, a barracks from WWI Fort Sheridan was brought over intact and added to the rear of the church for use as a social hall. St. Ignatius Church remained there until they outgrew this location and built a larger one. In 1999, the building was purchased by the Lakes Region Historical Society with a bequest left by Dollie Spiering. The historical society restored the church to its original 1863 appearance and renamed it The Meeting House.
Our Meeting House Archives have many available items for research. We have access to digital copies of the Antioch News from 1888 – 2008. Also available are an extensive history of the Methodist Church, cemetery burial lists, old photos, and other items of interest to anyone doing genealogical or historical study.

Preserving the Past to Educate the Future

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Saturdays (April - November)

11:00 am - 3:00 pm

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