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The Staley Museum in Decatur, Illinois

The Staley Museum opened its doors to the public during the summer of 2015. We are excited be a full-fledged member of our community. Here you will find updates and news about the museum and exciting events going on.

The Staley Museum and this web site are both works in progress. We encourage visitors to continue to check back with us and see how we are progressing. We would also like to encourage visitors to the site to share any stories or information they may have regarding Staley history.

Photos, documents, articles and memorabilia are all welcome and appreciated.  Anyone wishing to make a contribution to the Staley museum may contact us through via the Artifact Donation Form found on this site. Also, for anyone in our area who wishes to be a Volunteer at the museum and offer their time and/or expertise, please go to the Volunteer Form and fill out your information so that we may contact you personally. We invite you to Contact Us.

Visit the Staley Museum

2021 Holiday Closings
The Staley Museum will be closed on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day, December 24-25, 2021 and New Years Eve & New Years Day, December 31-January 1.

The Staley Museum is open year-round
Tuesday – Saturday: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Last Sunday of the month (March – November): 1:00 – 4:00 pm.

Admission
Adults: $3
17 & under: $1

Location
361 N. College Street
Decatur, IL

The Staley Story

A.E. Staley was a big man with big dreams and had the determination to make those dreams a reality.  Although he did not arrive on the scene until the 1900’s, his impact of Decatur was such that he is counted as one of the founding fathers.  The largeness of his dreams and of his civic minded generosity has contributed in major ways to the city we know today.

It was A.E.’s pioneering vision in the area of soy beans, both the cultivation and processing, that gave Decatur the name “Soy Bean Capitol of the World.”

In the period of one decade, 1920-1930, A.E. Staley made significant contributions to the community of Decatur, being the driving force behind the creation of Lake Decatur, the Staley viaduct, the Staley Office Building, and the formation of the Decatur Staleys football club, later to become the Chicago Bears.

The story of A.E. Staley is one in which the city of Decatur has the right to feel great pride. It is a story which forms a major part in the industrial and agricultural history of central Illinois. We look forward to sharing that pride and history as we work toward the opening of the Staley Museum.

The Staley Office Building: Inaugurated in April, 1930
Also known as “The Castle in the Cornfields”
Photo courtesy of the Hieronymus Mueller Museum

Staley office building

The Staley Office Building: Inaugurated in April, 1930
Also known as “The Castle in the Cornfields”
Photo courtesy of the Hieronymus Mueller Museum

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Photo shoot today with Chris Withers Photography for a special project coming up for Spencer Films and the The Staley Museum, with details about our upcoming documentary FIELDS OF GOLD, about the life of A. E. Staley. Stay tuned for details! ... See MoreSee Less

January 18th, 8:51 pm
Photo shoot today with Chris Withers Photography for a special project coming up for Spencer Films and the The Staley Museum, with details about our upcoming documentary FIELDS OF GOLD, about the life of A. E. Staley.  Stay tuned for details!Image attachmentImage attachment

Comment on Facebook

Really blessed to have crossed paths with all three of you. Can't wait to work with you on many more exciting projects.

Due to low indoor temperatures, the museum will be closed today.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

We hope you're staying safe and warm!
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January 7th, 12:24 pm

What an amazing photograph!Looking north toward the Staley House (now The Staley Museum ) after an ice storm in 1919.

We're not sure who the ladies are, nor to whom the white dog belongs.

(Photo: Wasson Studio, Collection of the Decatur Public Library)
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January 5th, 4:03 pm
What an amazing photograph!

Comment on Facebook

I remember ice storms like that growing up in Lake Forest!

the dog is Petey .............belongs to Spanky

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the museum will be closed today.
We apologize for any inconvenience.
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January 4th, 11:23 am

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January 1st, 11:00 am
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