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Pike County has a rich and colorful history. Created in 1821, Pike County encompassed at the time all the land between the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers northward, including at the time the small village of Chicago. It was reduced to its present size in 1825. Pike County was home to Free Frank McWorter, the first African American to incorporate a town. John Hay and John Nicolay, two of Abraham Lincoln's personal secretaries, made their homes in Pike during the 1850s. Lincoln himself made several visits to Pike County, with many of the homes he frequented still standing, including the Shastid House.

The Historic East School building, home to the PCHS, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Pike County Historical Society Museum

The Pike County Historical Society Museum showcases many items related to Pike County's past. This four-room collection highlights items from Pike's formative years, as well as antiques and collectibles donated to the Society.

A glimpse into the past

Agriculture has always been an important aspect of Pike County, and the PCHS Museum has items representing Pike's farming history, including a seed plow and wagon. Local businesses are also represented with special items highlighting their own history.

Many famous individuals are associated with Pike County, including Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Douglas, John Nicolay, John Hay, and Free Frank McWorter. Items connected to these 19th century figures are presented within the museum.

The museum has on display a pair of Robert Earl Hughes' overalls. Regarded as the heaviest man who walked the earth, Hughes was a resident of Fishhook and is buried not far from this small hamlet in northern Pike County.

Come visit us

We hope you stop by and take a tour of the PCHS collection. The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 am until 2 pm. To arrange for private or group tours, please call the museum office.

PCHS museum