The History and Position of the Effingham Cultural Center and Museum Association, Inc.

The Effingham County Cultural Center and Museum Association came into existence as the result of a desire to promote interpretive culture and history as a means of increasing public awareness of the history of Effingham County and the National Road.

Among its membership are persons with Master’s Degrees in History and Historical Administration, retired educators, adjunct faculty at Lake Land College, and local professionals and business people who are active supporters of local history and culture.

Through interpretive first person impressions, artifact displays and other social reenactments of this culture, the group will create for the visitor, the “emotional archaeology” that was once associated with the typical rural family on the National Road,  as well as with the great effect which being a “Crossroads County” has had on the area. With the recent designation of the Illinois National Road a “All American Road” status, our area will be experiencing increased tourist traffic.

We believe that these “hands-on” activities, allowing the public to engage in interactive history in the Effingham County Cultural Center and Museum, will create a tourism beacon for the visitor to spend “quality time” in Effingham County.

Organization, Development, and Professional Endorsement

In order to accomplish the above goals the Museum Association has completed the following tasks:

  • It established itself as a 501-C-3 not-for-profit corporation.
  • It created a constitution and bylaws.
  • It set elected officers to complete an organizational structure.
  • It established a Mission and Goals Statement.
  • It established necessary forms (i.e. donor form, accessions policy) for the collection and display of artifacts.
  • It created membership forms allowing our organization to collect dues.
  • It promoted the Association through groups such as Rotary, etc.
  • It has met on a monthly basis to discuss and act upon furthering the development of a museum and cultural center site.
  • It has membership in the Illinois Heritage Association and in the Illinois Association of Museums

ECCCMA members share belief in the following values:

  • History because from it we realize the nature of the heart and soul of the area, we citizens derive a sense of rootedness, along with a sense of direction, and if we respect it we provide a solid present and a healthy future for the area.
  • Community (referring to the sense of community in the county) identity which grows from those historic structures which provide a “signature” for the county because the county’s citizens are able to see that the all-too-common sense of “generica” found along the interstates destroy rootedness.
  • The attitude which believes that it is important to take  care of historic and architectural treasures rather than dispose of them because from them we preserve and add to the aesthetic environment, as well as present a positive and inspiring story about those who lived in the area in earlier generations.
  • A sense of public ownership of historic icons, such as the old courthouse because the building can serve as a unifying force in the county.
  • The need to have a place which can house local artistic endeavors because cultural development has an important role to play in attracting both tourists and new businesses to the area.      
  • Partnerships between local governmental entities and not-for-profit organizations because such  relationships can serve to further worthwhile public and private cause.
  • Character lessons learned from the experience of preserving an architectural gem and historic icon because the work required to complete such instills confidence in the ability of government to work effectively with the private sector, demonstrates that what some might consider impossible goals can be turned into  the possible, and illustrates that when perseverance is united with a well thought out plan ordinary citizens can shape the economic and social future of an area.

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.