In this original prairie town the first settlers lived in abandoned teepees before their homes were built Pottawatomie Indians lived southwest of Waterman when the first settlers arrived in 1835.
Surveyed and plotted in March of 1872, the town was named in honor of Daniel Waterman, General Solicitor of the Chicago and Iowa Railroad which reached Waterman in December of 1870.
Through the years, Waterman has developed many family traditions and welcomes all to share in its historic claims and family atmosphere.
Waterman Area Heritage Society Museum – Organized in 1994 by a group of citizens who wanted to preserved the history of Waterman and the family heritage of this town in DeKalb County, Illinois. The museum is open Saturday’s from 1-3pm. Check out their facebook page!
Waterman Area Heritage Society Museum is at 180 West Lincoln Highway, Waterman, Illinois 60556 Phone: 815-264-3461
Museum Hours are Saturday 1-3PM or by calling 815-264-7717 for an appointment.
Exhibits A model replica of the Battleship Parade Float of the 1930’s , the USS Illinois and other memorabilia from the Eakle Family of Waterman on loan from the Joey Eakle Clark family. This model was built to scale by Joey’s husband, Jack Clark, in memory of her family. When Joey passed in 2009, the family loaned it to the Waterman Museum for display where it feels right at home.
A display and memorabilia of former Waterman graduate, Clayton Kirkpatrick, Jr., former Editor of the Chicago Tribune.Most of the original equipment from John Kitner’s Barber Shop including chair, counters and mirror, cash register, as well as many posters.
Jack Smiley’s uniform and other items from his days at University of Illinois “Whiz Kid” and professional basketball player.
Memorabilia of Duane Swanson, a member of the U.S. Gold Medal Olympic Basketball team in Berlin in 1936.
There is also an area reserved for items from the DeKalb Ag., whose first production plant was in Waterman.
Phones – We are the only museum in DeKalb County with a telephone display of this magnitude. Phones and artifacts from the early 1900’s to present day. Bill Hinkstan Telephone Pioneer Club and other Waterman area people have donated phones and other telephone related items.
We have the ‘Coverlet’, a flax-spun blanket made in 1830, by Olive Parkhurst Wilcox, mother of Cynthia Wilcox Greeley, and grandmother to Rose Greeley Phelps.
Our display cases were partially funded by the DeKalb County Community Foundation.
For the convenience of all Waterman residents, a 24/7 365-day brush dumpster is located at the 215 W. Adams parking lot. For large quantities of brush, call Village Hall 815-264-3652 for disposal arrangements. YARD WASTE ONLY please! Those dumping trash will be fined. NO BURNING IS ALLOWED!