11817 Jubilee College Road
309/243-9489 or 309/243-7492
Access is limited. Call for information.
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Watch the orientation video below.
Jubilee College State Historic Site preserves a remnant of the school founded in 1839 by Philander Chase (1775-1852), the first Episcopal Bishop of Illinois. At one time, Jubilee College occupied a dozen or more structures on a 3,500-acre tract. The school included a theological seminary, a college, a classical preparatory school for boys, and a “seminary” for girls, as well as small farming operations.
The site’s centerpiece is an L-shaped building, the design of which was adapted from an Anglican chapel near London, England. Constructed between 1839 and 1844, the two-story native sandstone building housed the school’s chapel, classrooms, and dormitory space. Today the “restored” building’s chapel wing contains representations of an 1840s Episcopal chapel, a first-story chapel extension that served during the week as classroom space, and a second-floor dormitory room. The recreated schoolmaster’s office and library are located in the larger west wing, which also contains a video theatre and museum exhibits. In 1972 the Jubilee College site was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Jubilee Cemetery, which adjoins the site, is private property.
Visitors are offered guided tours of the chapel/schoolroom/dormitory wing and the recreated library and
schoolmaster’s office. An eight-minute orientation video and museum exhibits outline the building’s history. The college building’s first floor is accessible to persons with disabilities; the second floor is not.
Visitor facilities on the site include a large picnic pavilion and day-use areas with many picnic tables. A 3½ acre lot, located on the southeast corner of the site, contains a variety of Illinois prairie plants. Other smaller plots scattered about the site include an herb garden and a garden planted with flowers chosen especially to attract butterflies.