Lewistown Society for Historical Preservation

The Lewistown Society for Historic Preservation is a non-for-profit 501(c)3 organization that maintains the Rasmussen Blacksmith Shop Museum, Rasmussen Museum, and the Fulton County Narrow Gauge Depot. The mission of the Lewistown Society for Historic Preservation is to discover, preserve, and share the history of Lewistown and the surrounding areas. All Museum hours are by appointment by calling 547-4301. Admission is FREE, but donations are accepted. Donations may be sent to P.O. Box 53, Lewistown, IL 61542.

For more information regarding the Museums or the Lewistown Society for Historical Preservation membership and meetings, please call 309-547-4301 or email: explore.lewistown.history@gmail.com.

PDF (Click image to download a museums brochure for more information).

NGDepot2 Fulton County Narrow Gauge Railroad Presentation
Thomas Van Heuklon, of Macomb, Illinois will offer a 45 minute presentation on the history of the rail line locally known as “The Pea Vine” and offer information on specific towns in Fulton County served by this historic railroad. Mr. Van Heuklon is a professor at Western Illinois University and has conducted extensive research on the Narrow Gauge Railway. Click Here for details on the Event.

The Rasmussen Blacksmith Shop Museum located on Main Street in Lewistown is one of a few historic blacksmith shops in the entire country in its original location.

The blacksmith shop was built in the mid-1830s and Nels Rasmussen purchased the shop in 1880. The sound of the blacksmith’s hammer could be heard until 1969, when the shop closed after the death of Don Rasmussen, Nels’ son. It was, at that time, one of the oldest operating proprietorship in Lewistown still in the same family.

The shop was acquired shortly after its closing by the Lewistown Society for Historic Preservation. Since that time, visitors have been able to experience the building’s long history and operation, including seeing blacksmiths in action. The Rasmussen Blacksmith Shop Museum is a popular stop during the annual Spoon River Scenic Drive Fall Festival.

Today, the blacksmith shop is approaching 200 years old and unfortunately, deterioration of the structure is beginning to threaten the future of this rare Lewistown landmark. To preserve this unique piece of history we need your help. Major renovations will begin soon on the walls and first floor of the historic building. Donations toward this project are now being accepted.


Rasmussen Blacksmith Shop Videos

Rasmussen Blacksmith Shop