Exhibits

To view our online collection of previous exhibits, please visit our dedicated exhibits site: DCHC Exhibits.org

Bracket Game:  100 + 1 

Join the friendly competition to identify the historically significant "objects" in our DeKalb County IL.

Play the Bracket Game:  vote from among 16 nominated items arranged in a playoff bracket, just like the big leagues!  Track the progress in this competition with weekly updates once the voting begins on July 20, 2021.

Nominated Object descriptions
Updated bracket Chart (7/30)

How to Play:

  • Review the choices for the current date's bracket.
  • Click on your choice to submit.
  • New pairings every Tuesday & Thursday between July 20 and September 7
  • Votes are collected from the website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram then tallied to determine the winner of the pairing.
  • Standings updates posted every Friday
  • Final Pairing is Winning Nominated Object v. Dairy Joy (winning object from original bracket game in 2020).
  • Winning Object Announced on September 16, 2021
Bracket Standings 7/30

Next Voting will be Tuesday, August 3 when the Farm Bureau Mural is matched against Waterman Hall.

This week, HoKa Turkey won over Big Bluestem Grass and Chief Shabbona Statue won over Bull Moose Bar & Grill.

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Open July 6 - September 3, 2021

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Maps are a great way to explore local history! Check out the new Places and Spaces exhibit.

This exhibit showcases a variety of maps from the DeKalb County History Center’s collection. Not only do these maps illustrate the places and spaces in our county, but they are great storytelling tools that reveal some fascinating local history. Some of the stories include details about the shape of DeKalb County, Potawatomi settlements, abandoned communities, and capturing moments in time.

We are Open!

Visit our Exhibit Hall for a fascinating exploration with this short-term exhibit.

Members Always Free
Visitors, Age 14+: $5.oo
Under Age 14: Free


Opening September 2021

exhibit logo

The exhibit has four themes, "Daily life, Change, Special Events and Government." It was a challenge to pick the objects for this exhibit. We asked:

  • "Which objects tell great stories?"
  • "Which ones tell stories you don't expect?
  • "Which have hidden stories?"
  • "Which objects mean different things to different people?"
  • "Which pieces mean something different today to when they were originally created?"

These questions were not confined to objects at the History Center. We reached out to other history groups, as well as considered National Landmarks throughout the County.

Every object has a story. The best stories are those that help us understand ourselves, This exhibit looks to objects - some at the History Center, while others are found throughout the county - to tell us stories.

Exhibit Example

DeKalb Polka

Waterman Hall Waltz

Here is one example of an object featured in the exhibit: In the special event section of "History of DeKalb County in 100 objects"; we highlight sheet music from the Gualano Brothers, who lived in Sycamore. Wes Carr, a 2019 Mandolin Champion, recorded these two pieces - Waterman Hall Waltz and the DeKalb Polka.

The songs were composed in around 1894-1895 and have most likely not been heard in over 100 years. To learn more about Wes Carr, visit his website: www.rwcarr.com.

  • Venetian Troubadours sheet music cover
  • DeKalb Polka sheet music
  • Waterman Hall Waltz sheet music