Preserving History for Future Generations

Welcome to our webpage!
Our purpose is to discover and preserve important artifacts and information related to one of the oldest counties in Illinois! Formed in 1816, Pope County is in the southeastern corner of Illinois.
Our museum in Golconda has several different collections throughout the various parts of our building. The large front room is devoted to county history including a variety of artifacts donated by various families through the years. This room also features the work of many local artists as well as portraits of prominent Pope Countians.
Among the most interesting exhibits is a mammoth tusk discovered along the Ohio River, an old Studebaker wagon, an egg crate machine, and a copper still.
A military exhibit area with items ranging form the War of 1812 to current times and a research library make up the rear section of the museum.
There is a schoolroom area and a meeting area. Several exhibits in the middle section of the museum deal with mercantile businesses in the county.
There is a sizeable collection of tokens which were used for trading at general stores in the Pope County communities. There are also several mercantile ledgers from various businesses.
Pictures of various graduating classes from Pope County High School adorn the hallway and other areas. Stop by and visit with us on weekends from April to November.
  Free admission to the museum!  
The county roads have been drastically improved since 1935.

Upcoming Events
March 26, 2024
6:00 pm
Historical Society Meeting

April 23, 2024
6:00 pm
Historical Society Meeting
Program by Ed Annable who has transcribed and published many valuable Pope County records.  He will speak about his book "Paradise" and he will also speak about ...

May 28, 2024
6:00 pm
Historical Society meeting
Presenter will be Darrel Dexter. Topic is Slavery and Emancipation 

June 25, 2024
6:00 pm
June Meeting
Our speaker is Mark Motsinger. He is presenting a talk on Stone Forts.

July 23, 2024
6:00 pm
July meeting
Upcoming announcement about our July meeting month!! Hint:  This meeting will not be held in the museum...

Facts and Tips
In 1887 Phil Craig and Sim V. Clanahan started the Enterprise and in 1889 purchased the Herald, consolidating the two papers into the Herald-Enterprise. The paper now owned by Sandra Cowsert is still publishing news of Pope County.
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In 1824, a vote was held on amending the constitution in Illinois to allow slavery. It was defeated by a margin of 1,638 votes. Pope County cast 273 votes for it and 124 against it.
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On 25 June 1816, Silvey, a 24 year-old Negro servant of John Morris was indentured to him for a period of 40 years for a payment of $400.00. This was the first of several such registrations entered at the courthouse in Pope County.
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