The Mendota Museum & Historical Society's Mission is to promote the preservation of the history of Mendota, its railroads and recognizing agricultural heritage through three museums, the Breaking the Prairie Museum, hte Hume-Carnegie Museum, and the Union Depot Railroad Museum.
The Breaking the Prairie Museum presently consists of two buildings, the Mathesius Brothers' Barn and the Country Chapel.
The Mathesius Brothers' Barn can now be viewed at any time. Large windows on three sides allow viewing 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Farm tools and machinery are exhibited inside and outside this building. An exhibit of Allis Chalmers tractors are in the barn. A Scheidenhelm & Schaller buggy is also housed at this museum. At the north end of the Mathesius building a mid 1800s Elgin Hummer windmill has been erected.
The Country Chapel was the dream of a long-time friend and volunteer, Dean Otterbach. It represents a place of worship and family social life at the time the prairie was broken in the late 19th and early 20th Century. A pump organ, manufactured in Mendota in the 1880's and restored by Roland Zimmerman, produces wonderful music in the Country Chapel for special occasions. The organ sits to the west of the beautiful stained glass window and a pulpit donated by Immanuel Lutheran Church in Compton. An altar, pews and registration table complete the interior of the chapel. The Country Chapel is available for small weddings, renewal of wedding vows, anniversaries, meetings, or other small gatherings.
Come visit us in Mendota, Illinois