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Building Fort Macomb

April 7 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am

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The City of Macomb, and the Western Illinois Museum will hold “Building Fort Macomb”, a family-friendly celebration of the namesake of our city.  This officially endorsed by Illinois Bicentennial will include hands-on activities to learn about the events that galvanized the development of Macomb and establishment of the State of Illinois. Forts can be built at the Western Illinois Museum anytime between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. The event is free and open to the public. Donations are welcome.

Prior to the celebration, a coloring contest will be held with the winners being announced at the event.  This year contestants are asked to design a flag for Fort Macomb. The Western Illinois Museum will display their creations from March 28th through April 14th and the winner will also be displayed in Macomb’s City Hall. Mayor Mike Inman will award a $25 Macomb Chamber of Commerce Gift Certificate for the most creative design in four age groups at 10:15 a.m. at the April 7th event. Click here to download the entry sheets and contest guidelines.

Families are invited to experience Illinois in the early 1800s with all-age activities such as building cardboard forts, making a flag, marching practice, and visiting with War of 1812 re-enactors depicting militia from Old Fort Madison.  See an 1817 land grant certificate from the collection of the Western Illinois Museum signed by President James Madison and issued to veterans who served for five years.  Guests participating in the activities can earn a copy of the land grant for their participation in the event activities.  The General Macomb Chapter of the DAR, led by local Regent Sarah Curtis, will demonstrate the proper way to display the American flag as well as how to carry and fold the flag.  DAR’s District Regent, Pam Johnson, will portray Ella Park Lawrence who designed and made the first Illinois flag and will share her experiences.  Remember your experience with a selfie taken with a life-size cut out of General Macomb. Participation in all activities is ongoing between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.

General Macomb (April 3, 1782–June 25, 1841) was a key figure in the war of 1812, contributing to a decisive victory at the Battle of Plattsburg.  His stunning victory and his being awarded a Congressional Gold Medal made him a well-known figure in the country.  Naming the town in his honor speaks to Alexander Macomb’s prominence as well as reflecting the fact that the land in the region was issued as payment to the soldiers who volunteered in the War of 1812.

The Western Illinois Museum is located at 201 South Lafayette Street, one block south of Macomb’s Courthouse Square.  For more information contact the Western Illinois Museum at 309.837.2750 or info@westernillinoismuseum.org.

Coloring Contest

Let your colors wave proud!  Design a flag for Fort Macomb just like they did during the War of 1812.

Explore the history of the period to come up with an idea. Then, sketch or paint on the other side of this page a flag that would make General Macomb proud! Make it fun; be creative!

Just a few Rules

  • Submit entries to the Western Illinois Museum at 201 South Lafayette Street, one block south of Macomb’s Courthouse Square. All coloring pages will be on display at the museum and the winners will be displayed at City Hall!
  • Winners will be announced at the Building Fort Macomb event on Saturday, April 7, 2018, at the Western Illinois Museum from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.
  • Winners will be selected by Mayor Mike Inman in four age groups: 3 to 5 years, 6 to 7 years, 8 to 9 years, and 10 years and older. A $25 Macomb Chamber Gift Certificate will be awarded to winners of each age group. It’s free to participate!

Contact the Western Illinois Museum at info@wimuseum.org or (309) 837-2750 with any questions.

If you want to be considered for a prize… ENTRIES are DUE by APRIL 4, 2018

Download the coloring contest guidelines and entry sheet


April 7
9:00 am - 11:00 am
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Western Illinois Museum


Western Illinois Museum
201 South Lafayette Street
Macomb, IL 61455 United States
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