The Central Illinois Connection Center in Chatsworth, Illinois was built in to connect rural communities by bringing together youth, senior citizens from an assisted living community, businesses, agriculture, attractions, and history. The center is free to the public and has a wide range of fun activities for both children and adults. Visitors can enjoy weekly crafts, hands-on activity stations, educational exhibits, and more.
As you first walk into the center, you’ll notice a large map projected onto the wall depicting Central Illinois communities, from the most well-known cities to the quaint townships. An area for brochures and local businesses can also be seen. One thing that cannot go unnoticed is the floor to ceiling displays. Not a single spot in the room has gone unused. Back-lit panels feature community attractions, a timeline of Central Illinois acts as a wallpaper border, glass-covered openings in the floor peer down into 3-dimensional displays, wooden-framed posters tout communities (and some act as interactive games), and the wallpaper itself is a collage of words related to Central Illinois communities.
The center also houses a full kitchen, bathrooms, and a second floor. The hallway leading to the back showcases the Connection Center’s mission and artwork created by visitors. The restrooms are decorated with farmhouse decor, and jarred foods line the ceiling. An extra restroom was created to look like an outhouse with a wooden door and Stone Seed bucket sink. Even “the John” itself resembles that of an outhouse.
The upstairs is just as exciting as the main floor; It was cleverly recreated to look like the haymow of a barn. In what is now known as ” The Haymow Room,” kids can swing on swings hung from the rafters, play dress up in the Corn Crib, collect styrofoam eggs from the chicken coop, and look out onto the pasture.
The Connection Center is a love letter to rural Central Illinois with a smorgasbord of displays and activities. It’s the perfect place for families and community-minded individuals. Group tours are also available. To schedule a tour, call 815-692-971.