The Blue Island Historical Society’s Albee House will suspend its regular hours indefinitely during the COVID-19 pandemic. All scheduled events, including our Easter High Tea on April 4, will be postponed during this time.

 

For updates on open hours and events, please check our Facebook page and our website regularly. Stay safe everyone, and thank you for your continued support of the Blue Island Historical Society.

Our latest newsletter

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We count on the support of our members to continue to bring programming, education, and events to the public. Members receive our quarterly newsletter and gain access to free, members-only events and discounts.

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Drivin’ the Dixie 2019

In cooperation with the Blue Island Area Chamber of Commerce and the Blue Island Arts Alliance, we’re looking for a few good porches to host LIVE musical performances this coming summer – musical acts please reach out as well! If you think your porch has what it takes, send us an email at info@blueislandhistoricalsociety.com

Upcoming Events

Virtual House Walk

Virtual House Walk

Premieres online September 25 (BIHS members)

October 2 (General public)

Click here for more information

The Blue Island Historical Society brings together those people interested in history, especially in the history of Blue Island and neighboring communities. The Society will work to discover and collect any material that may help to establish or illustrate the history of the area; its exploration, settlement, development, and activities; its progress in population, wealth, education, arts, sciences, agriculture, manufactures, trade, and transportation, printed, photographic, and audio-visual material including art and artifacts are all within the scope of the Society’s interests.

 

Local artifacts, photographs, and various objects fill the display cases at our home, the Albee House, on Maple Avenue. The Albee House is open by appointment only or for special events.

 

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Our Collection

Albee House

Local artifacts, photographs, and various objects fill the display cases at our home, the Albee House, on Maple Avenue. The Albee House is open by appointment only or for special events. Please see our Facebook for upcoming events.

 

The Blue Island History Museum

The museum is located in the lower level of the Blue Island Public Library, 2433 York Street. There is also a virtual tour of the History Museum. Museum hours are Monday-Thursday 9:00am-9:00pm; Friday-Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm.

Blog

  • 19 May The Harry & Stella Massey House

    Article by Don Rizzs, with research assistance from Ken Jellema and Ed McGee (originally published in the Blue Island Sun-Standard in 1978) In 1879, Henry Seyfarth inherited the garden property on Vermont St. between Vermont and Stoney Creek. He later sold it to Henry Biroth,......

  • 16 Apr The Arthur Seyfarth House

    Article by Don Rizzs, with research assistance from Ken Jellema and Ed McGee (Originally published in 1978) The story of a home usually begins with the birth of the builder and follows the families who have lived in the home through the years after the......

  • 04 Apr The Theodore Guenther House

    Since this extensive and interesting series doesn’t exist digitally, we’ve decided there’s no better time than the present to share this joint venture between BIHS and the Sun-Standard newspaper that began in 1978, in search of Blue Island’s oldest standing home. Article by Don Rizzs,......

  • 01 Apr The William Weber House

    Since this extensive and interesting series doesn’t exist digitally, we’ve decided there’s no better time than the present to share this joint venture between BIHS and the Sun-Standard newspaper that began in 1978, in search of Blue Island’s oldest standing home. Article by Don Rizzs,......

  • 01 Feb The Great Railroad Strike of 1894

    The image above (from the collection of the Library of Congress) shows a special patrolling train in Blue Island during the great railroad strike of 1894. Company C of the 15th U.S. Infantry (also in the picture) arrived in Blue Island during the morning hours......

  • 29 Jan The Story of the Albee House – Part 1 of 2

    Thank you to Ken Jellema for his research assistance on this article. In the 141 years since our headquarters, the Albee House, was built, it’s only changed hands 3 times – a fact that’s pretty remarkable for a structure of that age. Though it’s come......

  • 07 Jan “How Chicago’s Suburbs Were Planted And Named” – Norman Rexford’s Journey to Blue Island

    From the March 4, 1900 Chicago Sunday Tribune “Norman Rexford gave Blue Island its name. He was the first permanent settler in the suburb, and up to the time of his death, March 28, 1883, he was one of its most prominent residents. Mr. Rexford......

  • 04 Dec The Rock Island Line Comes Through Blue Island

    The Construction of the Rock Island and Chicago rail line from Blue Island to Joliet was completed in 1852, quickly transforming Blue Island from a stop along the Vincennes Trail to a major hub of rail and trade. This October 13, 1852 article from the......

  • 14 Nov Before the Battle at Starved Rock

    Before the Illinois tribe was driven to Starved Rock where they were almost completely wiped out, there are stories of a great battle that took place in Blue Island along the Calumet River, where the Illinois made a determined effort to fight off their attackers......