Preserving History for Future Generations

Exciting News!
Buel House in Golconda, Illinois
Check out our new page on this website:
Buel House
Welcome to our webpage!
  Free admission to the museum!  
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!  
Donations accepted.
The county roads have been drastically improved since 1935.

Upcoming Events
May 28, 2024
6:00 pm
Historical Society meeting
Presenter will be Darrel Dexter.   Tuesday, May 28th, 6 pm Pope County Historical Society will host a program at our museum meeting room by Darrel ...

June 25, 2024
6:00 pm
June Meeting
Our speaker is Mark Motsinger.  Ancient Fortifications - The Stone Fort Tradition of the Lower Ohio Valley Program Description Stretching across the hill country of ...

July 23, 2024
6:00 pm
July meeting
Upcoming announcement about our July meeting!! Plans are to have our meeting on PTF-26 near the Golconda Marina.  We are waiting on confirmation that the ...

August 27, 2024
6:00 pm
August meeting
Our speaker will be Krist Thodoropoulos.  Krist will speak about the levee that was built around Golconda. There may be pictures too.

September 24, 2024
6:00 pm
September meeting
Our speaker will be James Lewis. James will have an Open Discussion on history of New Liberty/ Hamletsburg area.

Facts and Tips
The First Presbyterian Church in Golconda is the oldest continuous Presbyterian congregation in the state of Illinois. It was planted by Mather B. Derrow on 24 October 1819. The present building was built in 1869. It has survived three floods, two fires, numerous earthquakes, and even several bolts of lightning.
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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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The community of Miller Grove east of Glendale was founded by freedman who came to Pope County in 1844. The Miller Grove Cemetery is believed to be the first all black cemetery in Illinois. Life in the community revolved around Mt. Gilead Methodist Church and the school. The last family left the area in 1925 and archaeological excavations in recent years have been undertaken by Southern Illinois University. Oral histories passed down indicate that families from the community were involved in the Underground Railroad.
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