Jubilee College State Park, Brimfield

#72 of 76 in Nature in Illinois
State Park · Park
Jubilee College State Park is an Illinois state park located 6 miles west of Peoria, Illinois. It contains Jubilee College State Historic Site, a frontier Illinois college active from 1840 to 1862.

Jubilee College, and the frontier community that supported it, was founded in 1839 by Episcopal bishop Philander Chase. Earlier in his career Chase had founded Kenyon College in Ohio.

This was one of the earliest educational enterprises in Illinois. After the Bishop's death, the college closed in 1862. In 1933 the college and grounds, then consisting of 93 acres (38 ha), were presented to the state of Illinois. The site has since been expanded to 3,200 acres (1,295 ha) and includes the original Chase residence and church.

The entire Jubilee College site is still owned by the U.S. state of Illinois. The 90-acre (36 ha) college grounds are operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IAPA), and the surrounding 3,100 acres (1,300 ha) of open space are operated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The State of Illinois occasionally offers guided tours of the centerpiece of Jubilee College, the 1840s building that housed the school's Episcopal chapel, classrooms and dormitory facilities. Restored in the 1970s, one wing contains the recreated schoolmaster's office and library, which also features a video theater and museum exhibits about the college.

The Jubilee College site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

Though the state park is still open, the historic site was closed November 30, 2008. Jubilee College State Historic Site, as well as 17 other historic sites and state parks, was closed by former Governor Rod Blagojevich to help close Illinois' multimillion-dollar budget deficit. The park was reopened by Blagojevich's successor, Pat Quinn, but closed again on October 9, 2009.
However, the natural area surrounding the historic site, Jubilee College State Park contains multi-use trails maintained by volunteer user groups. The trails were originated by equestrians but are shared with hikers and mountain bikers. The state park also contains various camping areas, for which reservations are suggested.
Our Brimfield trip maker website makes visiting Jubilee College State Park and other Brimfield attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
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Jubilee College State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 3.5
15 reviews
  • I have been going here for years, it's so great to have this riding park so close to me!! I believe the park would stay packed if they would offer power hook ups. Which I'm surprised someone hasn't developed these power sources that can be swiped with your card at camping parks if they do not have a host there. Would be a great invention!!!
  • Peaceful clean picnic area with shelter & close restrooms. Both electric & water right by the covered picnic spot we had. Lovely natural scenery every which way you looked. Very enjoyable day out with the family.

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