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A message from the Effingham County Museum's President, Delaine Donaldson 



On Friday, July 12, WCIA, channel 3, will be having one of their "Our Town events in Effingham.  They will be on the old courthouse grounds from 4:00-7:00 p.m.  The Museum will be open to the Public at that time.    


“THOSE WHO ARE IGNORANT OF HISTORY ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT IT” was a statement emblazoned across the narrow cork bulletin board at the front of the classroom in Effingham High School’s room 207 nearly every year from Fall semester 1966-Spring semester 1997.  The statement, a paraphrase of one made by philosopher and writer George Santayana over a century ago, guided me as a social studies instructor throughout the course of my teaching career.  It is still the center of my purpose today as a member of the Effingham County Museum Board.  I want visitors to the Museum to know about the wonderful heritage of this part of the State of Illinois.

That personal philosophy also is based on an article which President Kennedy wrote for American Heritage magazine more than half a century ago.  He believed that history is a pleasure for its own sake, as well as being a means of judgment.  I agree.  He stated that the past judges the present; that a knowledge of history is a “means of sympathy by which we related our own experience with the experience of other people who have gone before us.”  History provides strength.

He concluded the article by saying, “All of this leads to this final conclusion about history.  It is a means of responsibility, above everything else responsibility to those who came before us and struggled and sacrificed to pass on our present precious inheritance of freedom, responsibility to those who will come after us and to whom we pass on that inheritance.” 

It is my sincere desire that when visitors come to the historic Effingham County Courthouse and see all of the exhibits which are there, they experience the feelings which J.F.K. stated so eloquently many years ago.   I strive to encourage displays throughout the building which make the visit a learning experience for all who enter the Museum.







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Our Purpose

What is special about the Courthouse Museum


Historic Lecture Series for 2024 and Other Events

Historic Lecture Series for 2024 and Other Events

Hours & Location

100 E. Jefferson Ave.,
Effingham, IL 62401

Daytime Hours:
(January-February)- By appointment only and some special evening hours, TBA
Phone: 217.240.2471 to leave a message

(March through December)
Tuesday and Saturday 10 a.m-2 p.m.

Evening Hours:
6:00-7:00 p.m. on night of lecture series, November-March
Other times by appointment: Call (217)240-2471 to leave a message

ECCCMA Meeting Schedule

Board Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at the court-house first floor courtroom. For information contact Delaine Donaldson, President at:

General Membership Meetings are held once a month of the second Tuesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at the court-house first floor courtroom.

Our MISSION is to preserve our Historic Register structure, to collect artifacts from county history, and to use them to educate our local and external communities, while immersed in the broader context of American history.

Our VISION is that the 1872 Effingham County Courthouse remains as an architectural gem that instills a sense of community pride and provides a venue to
educate and showcase the history, art, and transportation of Effingham County.

Get Involved

On November 11, 2012, the Museum opened its doors to the public. Currently there are exhibits on the first floor and the second floor. On the second floor there is exhibit space as well as room for lectures and other types of public gatherings.