2019 Calendar of Events

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Putting on Ayres

Agnes Ayres, the silent screen star of the 1920, is the subject of a program by the Union County Historical and Genealogy Society on Sunday, Sept. 8.  The event, in St. Joseph Catholic Church Hall on Centennial St., Cobden, begins at 2p.m.

Agnes grew up in Cobden with aunts and uncles living in Anna and grandparents in Carbondale. Her mother, Emma, married Franklin Rendleman of the Mt. Glen/Cobden area in 1895. Ayres is her stage name.

Much has been written about the woman who starred with Rudolph Valentino in “The Sheik” and “the Son of the Sheik.”

Historical Society board member, Judy Travelstead, has discovered that many of the details written about Ayres and her family are not accurate. Travelstead hopes to clarify some of those misconceptions.

The1921 film, “The Sheik,” is going to be shown in its entirety after the program. It is a silent film in black and white and is 86 minutes long.

The event is free and open to the public. Popcorn and soda will be provided.

Floods of Southern Illinois at the Resource and Cultural Center -103 N. Appleknocker (the former Cobden medical clinic). Hours will be Friday/Saturday 10-5p.m.

The Union County Historical Society will conduct a special exhibit titled “Floods of Southern Illinois.” The display will feature photos from the 1898 Shawneetown flood, the floods of 1903, 1912-13, 1937, 1943 and 1993. The photos are from private collections and from the archives of the society. Other historical exhibits are also planned. 

Saturday, Oct. 12: Union County Colorfest. The museum and resale shop will conduct special hours: 10a.m.-5p.m.

November/December: Christmas Shop opens.  Dates to be announced.

December 7: Christmas in the Village (Cobden).  Museum Christmas shop will be open and the Society will conduct a special exhibit at the Resource Center.

All Events at the Union County Museum are free and open to the public.  No Admission charge.

Operated by the Union County Historical & Genealogy Society, 618/893-2865.

Volunteers are always needed to help at the museum and at these events.  

To volunteer:

618/893-2567, 893-2067 or 893-2865


The General Store is usually in operation when the museum is normally open.  This depends on if we have enough volunteers to open both the museum and the store.  Otherwise please use the above dates for official openings of the General Store.