Contact Information: Jane Berbaum - 217-369-1945 Betty Bensyl - 217-493-3101
Over a period of several years, the Club had been accumulating farm related items
ranging from hand tools to tractor drawn implements. Some items were direct
donations, some on loan, and a few just appeared, a well meaning effort, but lacking an
overall vision. When the museum was formally established in 2003, the museum
volunteers faced the daunting task of identifying, cataloging, and interpreting the
collection of donated, loaned, and borrowed items in the care of the Club. The museum
occupies most of the old Penfield Grade School, with displays of small items in the
second floor classrooms and larger items in the gymnasium and the first floor
The I&I Women's Household display occupies two of those classrooms and showcases
many of the latest home conveniences of the early twentieth century. Chapter 10 of the
IH Collectors group occupies most of a third classroom with a recreation of 1950's era
IHC parts counter, a gathering place for IH enthusiasts during the Historic Farm Days
show in July each year. The remaining room is used for the Corn Items Collectors display
during the summer show.
In the gym, larger machines are on display, including corn shellers, threshing
machines, and of course the two tractors on loan from the Smithsonian, the world's
oldest running gas engine tractor, the 1903 Hart-Parr, and the futuristic 1961
International Harvester HT-341 Turbine Tractor
To accommodate our less mobile visitors, a chairlift has been installed for easier access
to the second floor museum space. The I&I Ladies Auxiliary generously provided the
funds to purchase the chairlift.
Although not a part of the formal museum, the restored log cabin definitely
adds to the grounds around the Penfield School building. Most of this cabin was
recovered during the demolition of a house that had been built around it. The cabin has a
place in history, being the site of an early post office in Champaign County. It has taken
several years to recreate missing pieces and reassemble the cabin to represent it's
original appearance. During the summer 2005 show, the club's sawmill supplied the
rough lumber to complete the installation of cabin's floor. A little "window dressing"
around the cabin gave a good feel of how the post office probably looked in it's day.
In 2016, a one-room schoolhouse was relocated from the Rantoul area to the Penfield grounds. It features a recreation of early rural education.