John Marshal House Museum

440 Main St Shawneetown

Travel down to Old Shawneetown/John Marshal House Museum
Southernmost Illinois
Written By Southernmost Illinois

Explore Shawnee Forest Country!

John Marshall built the first brick home in Illinois on the banks of the Ohio River which became the 1st Bank in Illinois Territory. This was the birthplace of commercial banking in Illinois.

A lot of history is found in the John Marshall Museum, from floods, money and old stories passed down from generation to generation, also there are many pictures on the walls of buildings that no longer stand in the historic town.

The paintings of the original owners John Marshall and his wife Amira Leech Marshall hang in the museum. There is a neat hidden trap door in the bank, at first glance you wouldn't know what this little door is, it is a secret door in the floor where the banker would lower down money to a guard in the basement, he would sleep above the money to keep it safe from river pirates and other thieves.

The dining room is set up with antique furniture and kitchen items. Display cases show relics from the town including a 1937 flood diary that shows the rising water levels, and also souvenirs and books you can purchase. Going upstairs, led by a docent dressed in period attire as they did in the 1800s, you will be led to the bedrooms to see how things used to be. From antique clothing to antique beds stuffed with goose feathers, a wash bowl and some of the attire they would wear while walking down the streets of Shawneetown.

You can open the curtains and look across the Ohio River to Kentucky and see the beautiful bridge and the levee that protects the town. The children's rooms have old toys they would have used in those times, we let visitors look and play with them as they did in that time. Walk down the spiral wooden staircase and go outside to walk up the stairs to the levee, taking in the beautiful scenery of the Ohio River, and the bridge. Looking back at the John Marshall Museum you get a sense of peace that relaxes you, with warmth and beauty of how it was back in those times. Life was so simple without technology, just the sun in the sky, the breeze in your hair and your family at your side.

Open May through October: First & Third Sundays – 1pm to 4pm

Other times by appointment Call 618-269-3531 or 618-518-9355

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Travel down to Old Shawneetown

John Marshal House Museum

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