For the history buff, there are many sites worthy of exploration in Bureau County and the surrounding areas. Most are just a short drive away. Some require advance reservations or are only open on weekends so plan accordingly.


Historic Danish Church

One of the oldest Danish churches in North America, this carefully restored masterpiece is worth a look. Recently a team of filmographers from Denmark came to Sheffield to film a documentary about the restoration and history of the church and we had the honor of hosting them here at the Chestnut Street Inn!

Bishop Hill

Relive the history of the late 1800’s and learn about the rise and fall of this Swedish commune which at one point was responsible for manufacturing most of the brooms sold in the United States. Gift shops, museums, artisans, unique eateries, holiday festivals and more.

Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home

Dixon, IL. Come celebrate the Centennial of Ronald Reagan’s birth in 2011! Tour the home and Visitor’s Center dedicated to the 40th president of the United States. Seasonal. View their schedule and website here.

Lovejoy Homestead

Located in Princeton, IL. Enjoy a guided tour of this former station on the Underground Railroad.

Hegeler Carus Mansion

Perhaps one of our personal favorites, this incredible structure is being slowly restored through the generosity of donors and tours. Of particular interest is the old gym which is currently being restored. Reservations required.

Francis Park Woodland Palace

Fascinating our of an eccentric who was way ahead of his time. If you are interested in Letterboxing, check out the special Letterbox here.

Red Covered Bridge

Built in 1863. On the National Register of Historic Places. Crosses Big Bureau Creek and used to be a part of the Peoria-Galena Trail.

Shadows of the Blue and Grey-Civil War Reenactment. Usually held the second weekend in October annually. Held at City County Park 1 mile north of I 80, Princeton, IL.