It’s been a globally historic 2020 by any measure, but it was local lore that took the spotlight Saturday in Mundelein with the long-awaited return of the Mundelein Heritage Museum.
Back from a two-year hiatus, the museum reopened in a former 1920s-era Soo Line railroad depot at 601 Noel Drive. The museum, owned by the Mundelein Park & Recreation District, had been closed for renovations and updates that include a renewed focus on the community and an added display room for rotating exhibits.
Opened in 1983 as Fort Hill Museum, the museum had languished following the death two years ago of Dorothy “Dottie” Watson, its longtime curator and president of the Historical Society of the Fort Hill Country. The museum and its mission found new life when the village formed the Mundelein Historical Commission to run the museum and serve as its board of directors.
New exhibits highlight early pioneers, one-room schools of Fremont Township, memorabilia from iconic local businesses, military displays from World War I and II, and displays dedicated to the five names of the village — Mechanics Grove, Holcomb, Rockefeller, Area and Mundelein.
Hours will be 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays and 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through December, with group tours available by appointment. Face coverings are required, and no more than 10 people will be allowed in at a time.