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  • Fairbury News staff

New exhibit at Echoes

Fairbury's Echoes Museum shown last week along Locust Street downtown.

Have you ever wondered what Fairbury was like in the old days?

If you want a taste of our town’s rich history, you should visit Fairbury Echoes Museum which is dedicated to preserving local history and items from long ago. It offers permanent displays with artifacts from local businesses, schools, churches, organizations, and residents as well as household and clothing items from the museum’s benefactors, Floyd and Marion Stafford. Also on display is a temporary exhibit, “Avoca, Etc.”.

The small town of Avoca was settled before Fairbury, but when Fairbury started growing along the newly-laid railroad tracks, residents began moving out of Avoca and into Fairbury. Now, there is nothing left of Avoca except the Pioneer Methodist Church, Avoca Cemetery, and the memorabilia at Echoes Museum.

Plenty of items are on display, including a Sunday school banner and communion set from the Avoca church, spinning wheel, and a handmade cradle. Look through old schoolbooks used from the 1920s to 1940s or relive the one-room schoolhouse experience with an essay by teacher Mary Frances Glennon Rigsby.

Coming out of storage is a grain cradle from an Avoca farm, Native American artifacts, several typewriters, a court stenographer shorthand machine, two fur coats, a 1965 Admiral radio, and—most impressively—an 1870s wreath “sculpture” made of human hair, which was popular at the time. Most valuable of all is the front page of the 1865 New York Herald, disclosing the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

The exhibit closes in April, so be sure to visit soon!

For the Echoes Museum to continue running smoothly, they need your help. Please save any Prairie Farms milk caps off a gallon or half-gallon container and bring them to Echoes Museum or Heart’s Desire Antiques & Accents. The museum redeems your milk caps through Prairie Farms’ “Our Caps Your Cause” program, which enables them to continue their mission of preserving and presenting local history.

Echoes Museum is located at 126 W. Locust in Fairbury and is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 1 to 4 PM and Saturdays from 9 to 11 AM. If you want to learn more, pcontact the museum by calling (815) 692-2191 or visit their website at

Do you have a story, idea, or suggestion to share with us? If so, please send in your thoughts to or call (815) 692-4500. You can also visit Bobbi McKeon, the Specialty Shops representative at Heart’s Desire on Route 24 in Fairbury.

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