Martin's Gen'L Store Museum
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How the Museum was Established

Building on the momentum of the 1976 Bicentennial, a loosely organized group of community members banded together to preserve, protect, and enhance the hamlet of Millburn located in northeastern Illinois. This small community was established in 1838 and still exists today in very much the same condition that it did 100 years ago... (Millburn was annexed to the Village of Old Mill Creek in 1991.) 

This small group of volunteers became more organized and made things official by later becoming a not-for-profit corporation (HMCA, Inc.). The group set goals and began to discuss ways of accomplishing them.

Historic preservation of the buildings was deemed most important, so the group went about establishing the original, or Central Historic District, in Millburn. The building (photo at left) that has since become our museum was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, along with 17 other structures which comprise the Central Millburn Historic District.

In 1985, Richard Martin (photo at right) willed the Martin's Gen'L Store building to the HMCA with the request that the HMCA organize and operate a 1900's general store museum. Our volunteers have gone about that task ever since. Many of the items in our collection have been donated by the descendants of early Millburn families.

We believe that a museum should be a place for learning and study as well as being fun. We have made our resources available for serious genealogical study. We've helped graduate students do research. We have students from local schools visit. We try to be open on request when we can arrange a volunteer or two to host the visit.

We decided to establish a presence on the Internet to increase access to our collections and awareness of our operations. What you see on these web pages today represents only a portion of the exhibits and items we have on display. The majority of our genealogical archives is posted on this website, however.