P.O. Box 255

  Reservations <-- (word format)
Reservations <--  (pdf format)

Dinner/talk: “30 years of Restoring Natural Communities in Central Illinois, while walking in the footsteps of the Captain,”

... at Wildhare Cafe - 5:30p on Friday April 21, 2017 ...

     by Vernon LaGesse, Ex. Dir. of the Friends of the Sangamon Valley, a charitable membership organization dedicated to the preservation of our natural heritage by acquiring, restoring and protecting ecological significant lands within the Lower Sangamon River Watershed.

       The talk will encompass the fascinating challenges of restoring prairie, timbers and wetlands across Central Illinois for 30 years for various Conservation Groups.  A long time devotee of Captain A.H. Bogardus, he has not only collected items and stories related to Bogardus, but also has restored many of the endangered or threatened  natural areas described by Bogardus’s book,  “Field, Cover and Trap Shooting” written in 1878.

The menu offers a choice of Lasagna or Chicken Pot Pie with garden salad fresh
baked rolls and choice of dessert and beverage, and the cost is $40 per person
which includes a $10 donation to The Elkhart Historical Society

RESERVATION FORM <-- (word format) 
RESERVATION FORM  <-- (pdf format) 

The Elkhart Historical Society Announces ...
April Wildflower Walks on Elkhart Hill

The April wildflower walks will be offered twice a day, 10a or 2p and  are scheduled for every Saturday in April starting April 1st for the very earliest of the spring ephemerals, such as spring beauties and Dutchmen’s breeches, concluding with the vast sweeps of  Virginia Bluebells.

The final Saturday April 29th, will offer two bird walks, 6A and 4p, with a combination bird and flower walk at 10a.  Private tours for groups of 10 or more can be requested for other days during the spring bloom. The bird walk will once again be led by 3 fabulous ornithologists, Rhetta  Jack, Dr. Lara Borgerson, and Joe Funk who all helped to identify over 60 species of birds on last year’s walk.    


 Reservations for all events must be made
by calling 217 947 2238,  and reservation forms
with times and menus can be found and downloaded
by clicking on links below:
Spring Flower Walks & Bird Walks (word format) <-- click here
Spring Flower Walks & Bird Walks (pdf format) <-- click here

NOTE: Reservations for dining in Elkhart are recommended. Call The Wild Hare Café in Horsefeathers (217) 947-2100, or Talk of the Town Restaurant (217) 947-2770. If lunch option is picked, reservations will be made for you


Midwest Living Review

by Karen Sorensen

Thanks to a geographic anomaly created during the Ice Age, Elkhart Hill becomes a stunning sea of bluebells every spring that visitors can tour on just two or three Saturdays in April

AND - dine at WildhareCafe



Now on facebook  -->  ElkhartIllinois


Past Events

 2017        2016         2015           2014           2013         2012




John D. Gillett, whom the London Gazette dubbed “The Cattle King of the World”. Gillett and his grandson Hiram Keays won numerous awards at the Chicago livestock show. For many years in the late 1800's the town of Elkhart was one of the largest shipping points on the C&A (Chicago & Alton) Railroad, due to the large stock raising farms of John Dean Gillett. Noted for importing Durham cattle from Scotland and developing the Shorthorn cattle breed, Gillett shipped over 2,000 head of cattle and 1,000 head of hogs to Europe annually.

for much more information, go to -->  http://www.oldgillettfarm.org/history.shtml


P O Box 255, Elkhart, IL  62634


Dear Members & Friends,


Elkhart Historical Society 2016


Dear EHS Members and Friends


As 2016 draws to a close, the Elkhart Historical Society looks back on another year of unique opportunities to discover more about our village and its surrounding area. The support of interested people is the foundation upon which all successful organizations are built, and it is with our deepest gratitude that we thank all who have done so much to make this a notable year.


One of our most enjoyable events continue to be our dinner lectures held at the Wild Hare Cafe. Last winter’s dinner lectures included speakers such as Mark McDonald, Dr. Michael Burlingame and Robert Shaw, Paul Beaver, Nancy Torgerson, and Pam Moriearty. This fall’s speakers are Nancy Saul and Dr. Karl Luthin. We welcome suggestions for future topics. Ideas can be sent to amorris2304@gmail.com.


The EHS Annual Christmas Chapel Service on Elkhart Hill has become a traditional way of starting the Christmas season for many families and continues to draw people from a variety of cities in central Illinois. Our candlelight service for 2016 is scheduled for Saturday, December 3 with 4 services at 2:00, 4:00, 5:30, and 8:00 p.m. We are thrilled to announce that due to the generosity of our “Organ Donors” of 2015, who helped to defray the expense of the repair and refurbishing of the historic organ, you may look forward to once again enjoying the sound of this wonderful instrument. To reserve your seat and/or dinner, call 217-947-2238, starting November 7 when tickets go on sale.  The reservation form is included for your convenience.


In September, Art and Music on the Prairie was introduced as a new event for the Elkhart community with food, drinks, and music provided at each of our three gift shops: Horsefeathers, Country Bumpkin, and Birdsong. The original art from four different artists was displayed for sale throughout the three shops. The artists who participated were Felicia Olin, Sheri Ramsey, Catherine Coats-Flynn, and Leticia Marseille. Later in the evening, the musicians, including Jean Tweet, Megan Forness, Tim Gleason, and Ken Reese entertained in the streets of the village. It was an outstanding success!

As we continue to channel funds into our ongoing project to create a future for the Hunter House property, we have once again ensured that the property is well cared for and have put a protective layer of paint on the wood trim of the home and have replaced the roof on the garage.


The 2017 Membership dues will continue to add much needed funds for the projects and programs we offer, and remind us how important you are to the continued success of the society.  This year’s calendar will feature the photography of well-known photo journalist Nancy Saul, whose various Logan County pictures will be our second full color calendar. 

Calendars are free with each renewing or new member, and can be ordered on the enclosed form, or can be purchased for $15.  They should be available by December 1st at either the Country Bumpkin 103 Gov. Oglesby St. in Elkhart, or Horsefeathers located directly across the street.


As we approach winter and all the weather it will bring, we look forward to next spring’s Flower and Bird Walks that begin in April. Please check our website for the dates for these walks. We are wishing everyone a blessed Holiday Season.

Elkhart Historical Society Board

Ann Anderson        Gillette Ransom         Michael and Anne Morris

Bob and Bev Albert            Joyce and Bill Evans


             Annual Report (2015) Of the Elkhart Historical Society   <--  click here

To reserve space for a dinner lecture or walk for a group of six or more you may call 217.947.2238 prior to the reservation date noted on the web site.

 Payment will be accepted early for groups of 6+.  Upon confirmation of the reservation, payment must be received by EHS

within SEVEN DAYS or the reservation confirmation date or the tickets will be released.


    Web Site:             http://www.elkharthistoricalsociety.org

Email:    Rob Wilson:     jrwsound@gmail.com

Village of Elkhart:   www.elkhartillinois.us

NEW Exploring Tourism in Logan County Web site: www.explorelogancounty.com