P.O. Box 255       







“It is with the cooperation of the original videographer, Dean Williams, his staff, Lincoln College and the support of Paul Beaver, that the Elkhart Historical Society was able to add additional footage to the 2003 film. Then with assistance from the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byways organization, the film was added to the Bicentennial Calendar of events.  Generous sponsors helped to provide the funding for the re-release of From Surveyor to President, A. Lincoln in Logan County which is part of Logan County’s celebration of the 200th anniversary of Illinois’ Statehood,” said Gillette Ransom of the Elkhart Historical Society.


A veteran of more than 150 movies, Dean’s expertise includes capturing the historical aspects of Lincoln’s time in Logan County.  The film, originally produced in 2003, is being amended to include footage of the new Lincoln Heritage Museum, highlights of the Lincoln/Oglesby connection, and additional information on President Lincoln’s support of the university that was to be built and named for him. The entire footage of the original film was shot in Logan County using extras from the area at sites that are still in existence.


"These are exactly the type of events the Bicentennial Commission is proud to support during our 200th birthday year," said Representative Tim Butler, a member of Illinois Bicentennial Commission.  "Abraham Lincoln and Route 66 are two of our greatest historical and cultural assets in Illinois.  To have this program highlighting Lincoln at a stop right off the Mother Road is a wonderful way to tie together two icons of our State's rich history."

The film will be featured at the August 31st dinner lecture in Elkhart as part of the bicentennial events planned, with video copies available to the public for purchase. The cost of the evening is $40 per person which includes a donation of $10 to the Elkhart Historical Society to defray expenses. For complete menu and reservation form, please see the website: 
www.elkharthistoricalsociety.org. Reservations are required and should be made by calling 217-947-2238. Seating is limited.

Elkhart Historical Society




Friday, August 31, 2018



Wild Hare Cafe, 104 Governor Oglesby St., Elkhart, Illinois



The doors will open at 5:00 pm and the dinner will begin promptly at 5:30 pm.





Dean Williams presents The Making of Historical Film, “Abraham Lincoln in Logan County” offered by the Elkhart Historical Society at the Wild Hare Cafe in Elkhart. The doors will open at 5:00 pm and the dinner will begin promptly at 5:30 pm. This is a special Illinois Bicentennial project celebrating President Abraham Lincoln and the local community. Elkhart Historical Society is partnering with Lincoln College and the Central Illinois Film Commission to update the film, “Surveyor to President: Abraham Lincoln in Logan County.” The film, originally produced in 2003, is being revised to include footage of the new Lincoln Heritage Museum, highlights of the Lincoln/Oglesby connection, and additional information on President Lincoln’s support of the university that was to be built and named for him. The entire footage of the original film was shot in Logan County, and many at sites that are still in existence, and many of the extras are from Logan County as well. The film will be featured at the August 31st dinner lecture in Elkhart, with video copies available to the public for purchase.

 RESERVATION FORM  <-- click here

REPEAT  PRESENTATION (Fri., Sept. 7th) - RESERVATION FORM <-- click here

"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  by Karen Sorensen    
8 Nov., '17 LDN: 
Elkhart Works for Veterans
Renovation of Veteran Park underway, donations welcome

Donations to the “Veterans’ Park Fund”
are tax deductible & can be sent to
PO Box 20, Elkhart, IL 62634.


                                   The Elkhart Historical Society’s
                         2018 Calendar              
featuring “ The Old Gillett Farm” 

 is available at the Country Bumpkin or at Horsefeathers, in Elkhart, Illinois.  If you have already renewed your membership, you may stop by and pick up your copy, and if you haven’t renewed, or were considering becoming a member, you may also do that at either of the above, for $20 for families, or $15 for Senior Citizen families.  With your membership you receive a free calendar.  Or for just a calendar $17 which includes a free membership,  postage and handling  check made payable to the Elkhart Historical Society  PO Box 255 Elkhart IL   62634
Now on facebook  -->  ElkhartIllinois


Past Events

 2018     2017        2016         2015           2014           2013         2012

ohn 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

Elkhart Historical Society 2017


Dear EHS Members and Friends


As we once again prepare for the holidays, it is important to note how commitment can center our lives. Each family, clan, tribe, or even neighborhoods exhibit some form of this in their annual traditions, be it caroling, decorating the house, or some holiday fare. Ours is in the creation of our annual Christmas Candlelight Services, which have continued faithfully and have become a tradition for many of you. Our musicians and vocalists’ skills have become an integral part of the services, not to mention the narrators and behind the scenes writers, all of whom devote hours to the program that for so many “begins the Christmas season.”


This year’s Christmas Candlelight Services, “Keeping Christmas”, will be held Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 2:00, 4:00, 5:30, and 8:00 pm. As the number of seats are very limited, please call 217-947-2238 and make your reservation as soon as possible starting November 4. You may pair your reservation with a dining package which appears on the downloadable reservation form available at elkharthistoricalsociety.org. We hope to see you there!


During the past year, our flower and bird walks were somewhat interrupted by wet weather, but we made up for it with fabulous weather for our Fall Festival over Labor Day weekend. Many wagonloads of visitors took the tour up Elkhart Hill, as well as through the village. The festival involved numerous activities such as a Biscuit and Gravy Breakfast, a Swap Shop, a Bar-B-Q Contest, a Pie Baking Contest, and most exciting, the introduction of the new mural outside Horsefeathers, painted by Andrea Niehaus, Renee Sisk, and Peter Niehaus, and jointly sponsored by the Historical Society. There was music on the street all day by live musicians. The day was topped off by a complimentary wagon ride around the village for Elkhart’s senior citizens followed by dinner at the Wild Hare Cafe.


The Historical Society continues to provide the dinner lecture series throughout the year, which began in 2010. It continues to be well received, with some presenters being so popular that additional nights have been required to accommodate all the bookings!


Other praiseworthy items to mention would be YOU, our friends and members, without whom our efforts would be pointless. Thank you for your encouragement, participation and support throughout the year.


The coming of the New Year brings with it the 2018 calendar which celebrates the Old Gillett Farm, a historical landmark, and one which was occupied by descendants of John Dean Gillett for eight generations, starting in 1868.  The property is being sold in the near future, and marks the end of an era.. We hope you enjoy the photographs.


The Elkhart Historical Society Board:


Ann Anderson, President          Bob Albert, Vice President               Anne Morris, secretary

Gillette Ransom, treasurer

Trustees           Bev Albert                 Michael Morris                Bill Evans             Joyce Evans


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