Captain Rufus M. Hooker of the 8th Illinois and Connection to Robert E. Lee

Captain Rufus M. Hooker of the 8th Illinois and Connection to Robert E. Lee

The story of Rufus M. Hooker, who mustered into the 8th Illinois Cavalry on September 1st, 1861 as a Captain in St. Charles, IL. Through new research, it has been discovered that Hooker was subsequently the first blood drawn by Confederate General Robert E. Lee when he was killed at the Battle of Mechanicsville on June 26th, 1862.

Remembering the Ordinary People - and Extraordinary Actions - of the Underground Railroad

Remembering the Ordinary People - and Extraordinary Actions - of the Underground Railroad

From all of us at the St. Charles History Museum, we would like to thank the hundreds of visitors we had at our spring exhibit: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Actions: St. Charles and the Underground Railroad. Our dedicated museum staff spent hundreds of hours researching local connections to the freedom-seeking movement of the mid-1800s.

Celebrate Preservation Month with Community Events and Programs

Celebrate Preservation Month with Community Events and Programs

The month of May is designated as National Historic Preservation month, and the St. Charles History Museum will be holding a variety of events and programs in recognition and celebration of the occasion. “This Place Matters” is a national campaign by the National Trust that encourages people to celebrate the places that are meaningful to them and to their communities. 

Fact vs. Fiction: The Story of John Farnsworth and Local Civil War Era Figures

Fact vs. Fiction: The Story of John Farnsworth and Local Civil War Era Figures

Researching the Underground Railroad can be incredibly frustrating at times, as we often run into dead ends due to the scarcity and secrecy of sources. The abolitionist movement was a dangerous cause to stand with, especially to those that were actively helping escaped slaves. Leaving behind evidence of abolitionist activity could have been deadly back then, and now makes research and finding the cold hard truth difficult.