Rock County Historical Society

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The Rock County Historical Society is a non-profit organization that aims to enrich and engage the communities in Rock County Wisconsin through preservation and dissemination of the unique history and heritage of our area. The site has 3 buildings: the Helen Jeffris Wood Museum Center, the Charles Tallman Archives and Research Center, and the Lincoln-Tallman House--an 1857 Italianate mansion complete with over 75% of its original furnishings. What makes the Lincoln-Tallman House so unique is its incredible technological advances for its time like gas lighting, his-and-her sinks, central heating system, indoor toilets, and running water. 

In addition to its technological advances, President Abraham Lincoln was a guest for two nights at the Lincoln-Tallman House during his time in Janesville and Beloit. The house's owner, Mr. William Morrison Tallman, was a friend and follower of Lincoln's politics. The house is also speculated to be part of the Underground Railroad. 

 

Next door is the Charles Tallman Archives and Research Center where you may find historic photographs, records, books, newspaper articles, diaries, and much more. Their hours are Wednesday and Thursday 9 am-3 pm and Friday from noon to 3 pm. They may be reached by calling 608-752-5891.

 

Finally there is the Helen Jeffris Wood Museum Center which is home to 3 lovely exhibits including the Irish in Janesville, Breadbasket: Seed to Spoon, and the largest Pickard China exhibit in America. The Helen Jeffris is also where the staff offices are located as well as the gift shop and box office for tour and event ticket purchases. 

 

Our office hours are as follows: 

Off-Season (Tours by appt. Only): Jan 2 – May 31 and Oct 1- Nov 20 – Open Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Tour Season. Tours leave every hour on the hour with the last leaving at 3 pm: June 1 – Sept 30 and Nov 30- December 30– Open seven days a week, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For tour prices, please take a look at our website.