The Monee Historical Society – About Us
Ensuring the Future by Preserving the Past
The Monee Historical Society educates, inspires and enriches the community by preserving and promoting the rich history of the Monee area through its collections, events, and programming.
The Monee Historical Society seeks to become an integral part of the fabric of our growing community and its evolving character by creating meaningful connections to one another through our individual histories and shared aspirations for the future.
The fundamental values we commit ourselves to are:
Integrity and Respect – These are the foundations upon which we build relationships and trust, and by which we hold ourselves accountable.
Excellence – We strive to excel through innovation and creativity to present our local history in a meaningful and accessible way.
Diversity – We embrace diversity and the value it adds to the character of our community.
Education – We value education and lifelong learning as ways to enrich our community and build a better future.
Collaboration – Only by working together and learning from one another will we build meaningful connections that will help shape our future.
Established in 2011 as the "Save the Monee Creamery Foundation," the Monee Historical Society began when like-minded residents organized for a common purpose: to save the historic Monee Creamery Building.
In 2011, the Monee Creamery building was exactly two weeks away from the wrecking ball. An important piece of the history of Monee, as well as all of Will County, would have been lost forever. Located in Firemen's Park, the structure has been at the center of Monee community life for over a century.
A group of concerned citizens, spearheaded by Dave and Christi Holston, Margaret Horne, Rachel White, and Jim and Judie Popp, banded together for a stay of execution. The group's goal was to raise awareness of the demolition plans and formulate a plan of our own to save the mid- 19th century two-story Lockport limestone structure and restore it for use.
In 2016, the Monee Creamery was granted Will County landmark status by virtue of it being one of the last, if not the last, creamery structure in the county constructed out of local Lockport limestone. After a generous grant from the Village of Monee, the Creamery was completely renovated and the work was completed in early 2021. It is now known as the Monee Heritage Center.
The Monee Historical Society grew as a natural extension of the Save the Monee Creamery Foundation. As a group, it has shifted its purpose to include not only the restoration and preservation of the Creamery Building, but also the preservation of all of Monee's history, through archive collection, historical documentation, and community outreach.
The Monee Historical Society envisions the new Heritage Center as a place where we can archive and store historic papers, memorabilia, documents and artifacts of the town's history; a resource for genealogical research; a repository for the Monee Oral History and Veterans Projects and a place to showcase and display elements of Monee village history. We offer programs of general interest focusing on the history of Monee Township and the current projects and activities of the village and township.
Our Facebook and Web pages keep the community apprised of upcoming events and serves as a bulletin board for queries and discussions. We have recently begun to livestream our events on Facebook Live and offer them for later viewing as well as on our YouTube channel.
We welcome contributions from anyone who might have stories, memories, talents, skills, or photos to share. We are always looking for new members to join the historical society and welcome anyone interested to come to our meetings, usually held on the second Thursday of every month at the Monee Heritage Center at 5210 W. Court St in Monee.