The Franklin Grove Area Historical Society
was founded to establish, promote and maintain a society dedicated to the study and preservation of our area history. The Society's function shall be collection, preservation, research, display and dissemination of any artifacts, documents or lands which illustrate and reflect the Franklin Grove area heritage. The society shall endeavor to make its possessions, property and materials readily accessible, with discretion, to those who wish to study or examine it.
1980 - Sponsored the first Franklin Grove Area Summer Harvest Festival and continued as the sponsoring organization until 2001.
1981 - Members of the Historical Society along with others founded the Living History Antique Equipment Association.
1983 - Roger Taylor and Ray James founded the Hawk and Blade Muzzle Loaders Club.
1985 - Instrumental in organizing the first Franklin Grove All Class Reunion in 61 years. Placed a time vault in the Franklin Grove Library yard to mark the sesquicentennial of Franklin Grove.
1987 - Moved the last Blacksmith Shop in Lee County from Ashton to the future Chaplin Creek Historical Site. Blacksmith Shop donated by Glenn White.
1989 - Accepted donation of the Lindsay Saltbox House by Lois Calhoun and moved it to the site.
1990 - Accepted donation of the Yorty School from Hilda McIntosh and moved it to the site.
1991 - Officially named the "Chaplin Creek Historical Site". Held the first Pioneer Day. Members, along with Lauren Kahn, founded the ChaplinCreek Muzzle Loaders.
1993 - Began construction of a log cabin in the Muzzle Loaders area of Chaplin Creek Historical Site.
1995 - 1996 - Completion of the downstairs in the Saltbox House.
1997 - Accepted donation of the "Smith and Hull" building from Dale and Adeline Jasper and moved it to the site.
1998 - Accepted donation of buildings from Ed Floto and Mary Lou Kidder and moved to the site.
Members of the Historical Society and other interested parties formed the Illinois Atlatl Asssociation.
1999 - Accepted donations of 1855 barn from Jim Scott and summer kitchen from Robin Lahman.
2000 - Raised the "Scott Barn" during the Summer Harvest Festival. Laid out new roads and finished the outside of all buildings.
2001 - Landscaping Committee formed. Major tree planting effort launched.
2002 - Tree Plantings contine. Vinegar house from the Whitney property donated and relocated to site. Draft horse arena constructed in farm area. First annual Fourth of July Program initiated.
2003 - Permanent restrooms with modern fixtures constructed.
2004 - Gazeebo constructed by Jack Kelley, Max Baumgardner and others in memory of Jack H. and Vera Kelley. Wedding held at the site. Land debt retired.
Work progresses each year in all of the buildings - there's always something new to see. Be sure to check out Chaplin Creek to see some of our buildings and features and Franklin Grove History for early views of the community as well as ATLATL and our Calendar of events.