Macktown Living History Education Center
The Forest Preserves of Winnebago County serve as resources for many formal and informal environmental educational experiences. Much of FPWC’s educational programming is provided by non-profit organizations that run educational programs and events at facilities in forest preserves. Volunteers contribute substantial amounts of time and money toward environmental education at District facilities. Prospective volunteers are urged to contact the organization of their interest for further information.
At Macktown Forest Preserve, the Macktown Living History Education Center provides interpretive programs for the two remaining historical structures of what was once the town of Pecatonic. The area around the 1839 Stephen Mack Home and the Whitman Trading Post is designated a National Historical District. Both buildings have been restored as historic museums. A historic recreation of the Stevens Shop, a building known to have existed on the site, has recently been constructed. The Mack House and the Whitman Trading post are open for special events throughout the year and for tours by appointment.
Macktown historic site programs and events also offer two Native American Indian Villages. Our main focus is Woodland Indian displays consisting of three wigwams , hide-drying racks, fire pit, summer kitchen, Three Sisters Garden, Woodland Medicine Wheel Garden, and traditional foods. Additionally, we have Plains Indian displays of tipi’s, fire pit, and drying rack for jerky. We offer interpretive programs for groups of all ages to explore early Native American Indian traditions.
Special events provide visitors with opportunities to travel back in time. Interpreters recreate lifeways of Native American and settlers at events throughout the year. Each April, The Gathering is Macktown’s largest living history event. An ideal time to visit the historic site as history comes to life before your eyes! An additional living history event, Frenchman’s Frolic, happens each October.
Contact Macktown Living History for special programs and field trips for schools and other groups.