News & Events

Upcoming Events

Do Everything – Share Your Story Event
September 24, 2017

For Willard’s 178th birthday, we’re commemorating her “Do Everything” brand of leadership and celebrating the leader in all of us.  Come hear Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky share her journey to leadership, and then share your own story with the Library of Congress StoryCorp project.

Click here to learn more

Evanston Women’s History Walking Tour
October 7, 2017

Discover the revolutionary history of Evanston’s women by viewing the houses and buildings where they worked to transform our cultural landscape. This tour begins at Willard House.

Tours begin at 11:00 AM and last for 90 minutes. The cost is $20 per person/$15 for members, unless otherwise stated. Admission is payable at the door.

Reservations are strongly recommended. RSVP to Kris Hartzell, or 847-475-3410.

Third Thursday Lunchtime Tours
August 17, September 21

For those people who can’t seem to make it to the Museum on Sunday or those who work downtown but live elsewhere, we have added an abbreviated tour to our schedule.  Tours will take place from 12:15 – 12:45 on the third Thursday of each month.  It will be a 1/2 hour tour, first floor only, for half-price ($5). You will see each of the recently restored four rooms and our revamped Annex. You won’t be disappointed!


July 15th provided a sunny day for the Evanston Women’s History walking tour, which included some important places in Willard’s story! If you didn’t have a chance to join, there’s another tour happening in October (see above for details).

Current Exhibits

“Cultivating Character:  The Early Life of Frances E. Willard”IMG_0836

Frances E. Willard (1839-1898) is known today for her work as the charismatic president of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union from 1879 to 1898. But what made her the best-known woman in America at the time of her death in 1898? What forces shaped her?

This exhibit explores how Frances E. Willard’s family, education—both what she received as a student and imparted as a teacher—and religion helped to form the woman who became America’s leading female social reformer of the 1880s and 1890s.

When Willard was fifteen she began keeping journals in which she poured out her soul. From those impassioned entries a detailed description of what she considered important – a loving family, a strong religious faith, and a broad and ongoing education – emerges.

One must cultivate all three elements in order to become a good and worthy person, according to the young Frances Willard, although she feared she would not, could not achieve her goal. “I almost despair, sometimes, of ever coming to be a noble and finished character – and I would rather be this than any or all things in the world.”

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