The Stone Barn is one of the city's oldest structures: an 1860s-era stone carriage house built by Lemuel Milk, a prominent local figure in the mid-to-late 1800s, whose large mansion once stood just to the east of the carriage house. In the years after Milk's death in 1893, the Stone Barn served as a stable for the Kankakee Fire Department's horses, housed a sign painter's shop, and provided storage for a local hardware store. It was extensively renovated in the 1970s to house a bakery and restaurant. In 1976, it became headquarters for the Junior League, a civic organization for young women. After that group disbanded in 2010, the property was deeded to the Kankakee County Historical Society. Volunteers and staff members spent many hundred man hours preparing the Stone Barn for its new role as a Museum - opening in 2012 as the French Heritage Museum.
Community members can stop in to learn about their genealogy or simply enjoy the museum's educational exhibits.
Future Goals: We want to improve its accessibility and make more use of the beautiful space. Plans to reinvent the 2nd floor will begin within the next few years. Our hope is to make it more available to the community and find a means for it to sustain itself.
We will have our annual Bastille Day fundraising event at this location on Friday, July 14th. This is the French National Day that we have been celebrating with the community for 5 years now. More information about how to attend this year's event will be available within the next week.
Prospective visitors can learn about future presentations and lectures by following us on Facebook or Instagram and/or becoming a Kankakee County Historical Society member.