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Jubilee College State Historic Site reopens for public tours - 9/9/2022

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BRIMFIELD – Jubilee College State Historic Site, one of Illinois’ earliest educational institutions, is reopening for tours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, with the last tour time daily at 4:30 p.m.


The site has not offered regular public hours for nearly a decade.


Jubilee College State Historic Site, operated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, is located 15 miles west of Peoria. Visitors will be able to tour the college building, which features a chapel, school room, dormitory, school offices and a library, as well as view museum exhibits about the history of Jubilee College and an introductory film.


Founded in 1839 by the first Episcopal Bishop of Illinois, Philander Chase, Jubilee College consisted of a college proper with a theological department, a preparatory school for boys and a finishing school for girls. Students had access to the more than 2,000 books in the school library and studied both Latin and Greek, as well as reading, writing and arithmetic.


In 1840, fees for the 44-week school term totaled $100, which included tuition, books, room and board, fuel for heating, and laundry. While the school saw early success, the death of Chase in 1852 brought on a period of instability, and the college shuttered in 1862. The Episcopal Church continued to own the property and periodically leased the buildings to others who operated schools on the site but without success.


The Jubilee College grounds are open daily from 8:30 a.m. to dusk. For more information, call 309-243-9489.