History museum

Preserving History: Jacksonville’s Museum of African American History Opens | Best Stories

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. (WAND) — The Jacksonville African American History Museum opened its doors the weekend of June 16.

The museum houses years of history; filled with artifacts and items kept by the people who lived there.

“I lived through the civil rights era,” said museum director Ruth Linear. “I have lived the life of segregation and reaped the benefits of integration.”

After years of research and collecting stories to share with local students, Linear has partnered with Art Wilson and Alberta Robinson to make the information available to the entire community.

“Over time, a lot of people kind of forgot a lot of the things that happened,” said museum president Alberta Robinson. “Especially in your town, I mean, what happened to the people you lived and grew up with.”

The museum is designed to give the community a window into the past that shaped it.

“A few women were in tears because of the things they saw and heard and the memories it brought back to them,” said the museum’s founding executive director, Art Wilson.

The museum is located inside the Asa Talcott House at 859 Grove Street, right next to Heritage Health. The museum will offer guided tours in July to explore the building’s ties to the Underground Railroad.

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