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This Tour is a Virtual Museum or Site Tour.

Museum of the Grand Prairie

Created by Valerie Hall on July 8th 2015, 1:00:27 pm.

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The Museum of the Grand Prairie collects, preserves, and interprets the natural and cultural history of Champaign County and East Central Illinois. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums since 1972, the Museum of the Grand Prairie has interactive exhibits that engage visitors from ages 2 through 102! Exhibits include The Grand Prairie Story, interpreting the history of the region from the Ice Age through the present day. Champaign County's Lincoln, discussing what the region was like during the 1850s as Lincoln rode the Eighth Judicial Circuit through Champaign County. Discovering Home, an engaging and highly interactive exhibit where visitors of all ages can explore a variety of homes from a wigwam to a log cabin as well as explore ways people across our area's history have communicated with and traveled to and from their homes. Historic Hensley Town Hall that has been reconfigured as our one-room schoolhouse that also doubles as an exhibit and a space where school marms/masters conduct first-person interpretations of 19th century school lessons. Blacksmithing on the Prairie recreates the Chesebro Blacksmith Shop, formerly of Saunemin, Illinois, and tells the story of this central Illinois family as well as its experience in the Blacksmith business. Our current special exhibit is titled "A History of Healing: Infectious Diseases and Community Responses to Defeat Them." The exhibit focuses on the impact and influence of such diseases as the 1918 flu, smallpox, malaria, tuberculosis, polio, typhoid, cholera, HIV, AIDS, and COVID-19. When viewing this exhibit, visitors will build an appreciation and basic understanding of the historic influences disease had over people’s lives and communities, both in central Illinois and abroad, resulting in a better understanding of how disease affects us today and informs our responses to it. In addition to examining the impact disease has had on the health and well-being of local communities, the exhibit will highlight particular instances in the past, as well as the present, where local citizens came together during previous epidemics and pandemics for the betterment of their communities.