Friday, June 9, 2023


Illinois State Dickson Mounds Museum — Views of the past through amazing exhibits

Illinois State Dickson Mounds Museum (Julianne G. Crane)

The Dickson Mounds Museum in west-central Illinois “offers a unique opportunity to explore the world of the American Indian
in an awe inspiring journey through 12,000 years of human experience in
the Illinois River Valley.”

A branch of the Illinois State Museum and a National Historic Site, Dickson Mounds is one of the major on-site archaeological museums in the United States. Visitors encounter innovative interpretive exhibits including:

Dickson Mounds Museum houses multiple exhibit spaces.

River Valley Gallery (right) “explores the character of the Illinois River and traces the interaction between the river and the people who lived along it from the end of the Ice Age to the present day. The story is told through innovative displays and Legacy, a large-screen video production that captures the panorama of the past and leads one to a real-life view of the river valley today.”

– People of the Valley “portrays a sequence of cultures — from Ice-Age hunters to the tribal groups that left Illinois in the 19th century — through artifacts, murals, photographs, and exciting hands-on exhibits.”

‘Reflections on Three Worlds’ exhibit. (Julianne G. Crane)

– Reflections on Three Worlds “reveals the world of Mississippian people whose 800-year-old sites surround the museum today. The exhibits depict the complex life and culture of these people, trace in detail the evidence of archaeology, and lead to a spectacular multimedia event that takes one through a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, symbols, music and voices of the three worlds of Mississippian belief.”

 If you go:

Illinois State Dickson Mounds Museum
10956 North Dickson Mounds Road
Lewistown, IL 61542
60 Miles northwest of Springfield, Routes 78 and 97
Location on MapQuest.
Open year-round, daily; 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas).

Free admission.

To read more of Julianne G. Crane’s writing go to

Click on photos to enlarge. (Julianne G. Crane)

Julianne G. Crane
Julianne G. Crane
Julianne G. Crane writes about the RVing and camping lifestyles for print and online sites. She was been hooked on RVing from her first rig in the mid-1980s. Between 2000-2008, she was a writer for The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Wash. One of her popular columns was Wheel Life about RVing in the Pacific Northwest. In 2008, Crane started publishing RV Wheel She and her husband, Jimmy Smith, keep a homebase in southern Oregon, while they continue to explore North America in their 21-foot 2021 Escape travel trailer. Over the years they have owned every type of RV except a big class A. “Our needs change and thankfully, there’s an RV out there that fits every lifestyle.”


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10 years ago

This is truly a great place to stop. If you are going north or south on I55 it si a wonderful and enlightening experience. Unfortunately, due to state budget cuts, hours have been cut and the upkeep on the exhibits has deteriorated. I love this place, having lived in Central Illinois for many many years. I have a fascination with the mound builder Indians and have read about them extensively. Thanks for letting folks know it is an easy and informative stop in their travels.

Movable Book Lady
10 years ago

Is that the museum at the Cahokia Mounds? If so, I went there a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it.

Julie Smith
10 years ago


Illinois is one our favorite places to go in our RV as well! My husband and I have traveling for over 20 years now, and we always manage to make a stop in Illinois no matter where we're off to. Last year we embarked on our longest journey to date, which included a stop in Chicago, after a minor breakdown in Pennsylvania. Thank goodness we were able to contact a local TPMS supplier (check out!) and get back up on the road.

Thanks for the post, safe travels!
-Julie S.

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