2020 The year to remember – The Museum was closed for several months due to Covid-19. Our Old Fashioned Christmas was canceled as well as the Tractor Drive. We reopened the Museum to the public at the end of February, 2021. We are planning to have our Tractor Drive June 6, 2021.
June, 2018 – The 10th annual tractor drive and luncheon occurred with another good turnout.
April, 2018 – Renovation of another large building at the Museum is completed to house exhibits.
March, 2018 – Southern Illinois University donates a dragline simulator which will become the center piece of the largest exhibit in the Museum. We expect it will take 6 – 9 months to complete the initial exhibit.
December, 2017 – Santa Claus is the headliner on another Old Fashioned Christmas celebration.
September, 2017 – Josh Maschhoff was elected as Chairman of the Museum succeeding Irl Engelhardt, the Chairman since the Museum’s inception.
September, 2017 – “Shadow” board members added to provide advice and ideas about the Museum from additional perspectives.
July, 2017 – Rend Lake College’s Summer Kids Program was held at the Museum.
July, 2017 – The Union Pacific Railroad makes its 5th major contribution to the Museum.
June, 2017 – The 9th annual tractor drive and luncheon were a huge success.
May, 2007 – A Museum is born! A group of interested individuals got together to discuss a permanent rural heritage museum to be located next to the site of the American Thresherman events. After preparation of a business plan and by-laws, the Museum was on its way.
January, 2008 – The Museum’s site was purchased across the street from the Perry County Fairgrounds.
August, 2008 — The name Illinois Rural Heritage Museum was selected, reflecting a vision to represent the entire state and many aspects of rural life.
September, 2008 – We received our 501 C 3 Status. Contributions were received that allowed design of the 1st and 2nd phases of the Museum.
June, 2009 — Museum plans and drawings were presented at a dinner after the 1st annual tractor drive.
March, 2010 – The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced a grant to be shared by the Illinois Rural Heritage Museum and Illinois High School Basketball Hall of Fame.
June, 2010 – Sherry Schaefer was the dinner speaker and leader of the 2nd annual tractor drive.
October, 2010 – The Museum hosted a country dinner and dance with three bands and all the chili one could eat.
December, 2010 – The Morton Building was delivered which will become our signature red barn.
February, 2011 – Construction of the red barn is moving at a good clip.
April, 2011 – Bids for the 2nd phase of construction are awarded with a June start date.
June, 2011 – Rodney Miller, current co-star of Small Town, Big Deal, was the speaker at the dinner following the 3rd annual tractor drive and kids fishing tourney.
August, 2011 – A ribbon cutting ceremony for the signature red barn was held. Phase 2 plans were reviewed and a thank you given to major donors – Morton Buildings, The Engelhardt Family Foundation, and The Foundation for Pinckneyville.
October, 2011 – Ag instructors from Illinois high schools are invited to join an Ag Educators Advisory Committee to offer advice about exhibits and other aspects of the Museum.
November, 2011 – Monsanto receives a huge THANK YOU for their offer to add the “Monsanto Exploration Hall” in the 2nd phase buildings. It will contain interactive exhibits related to technical advances over time for corn and soybeans.
January, 2012 – 2nd Phase construction is complete.
January – June, 2012 – A flurry of activity occurs building exhibits.
June, 2012 – Max Armstrong, host of “This Week in Agribusiness”, leads 4th annual tractor drive and speaks at the banquet.
July, 2012 – Billy Steers, author of Tractor Mac books, creates a special evening for children and their parents by doodling and reading a story from his first book.
August, 2012 – The Monsanto Mobile Experience is set up in the Museum’s parking lot during the American Thresherman Show across the street.
August, 2012 – U.S. Congressman, Jerry Costello, presents a Community Facility Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Rural Development.
May, 2013 – Jan Carl and Rodney Miller, co-hosts of RFD TV’s Small Town, Big Deal, film an episode at the Museum.
June, 2013 – Comedian, Jerry Carroll, hosts the 5th annual tractor drive and banquet.
July, 2013 – The new “Funeral Home” exhibit proves to be popular.
August, 2013 – The 1st annual quilt show is held at the Museum to coincide with the American Thresherman events across the street.
October, 2013 – The Illinois Secretary of Agriculture visits the Museum.
June, 2014 – The Peterson Farm Brothers host and perform at the 6th annual tractor drive and banquet.
August, 2014 – The 2nd annual quilt show is held.
October, 2014 – The South Central Kansas FFA Group visits the Museum, the longest trip by any group for a visit.
December, 2014 – The 1st annual Old Fashioned Christmas is held at the Museum. Kids receive free pictures with Santa.
April, 2015 – An early meat processing exhibit is added due to the generosity of The Maschhoffs.
June, 2015 – Greg Peterson, of Peterson Farm Brothers, and Dipal Chaudrai, Monsanto, host the 7th annual tractor drive and banquet.
July, 2015 – A scale model farm exhibit is added.
August, 2015 – The 3rd annual quilt show is held during the American Thresherman events across the street.
December, 2015 – The 2nd annual Old Fashioned Christmas is well attended.
June, 2016 – “Nadine”, from RFD TV’s Country Diner, hosts the 8th annual tractor drive and banquet.
August, 2016 — A toy show is added during the 4th annual quilt show.
December, 2016 – Santa listens carefully to children’s wishes during the 3rd annual Old Fashioned Christmas.