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This museum is the former home of prominent Chicago businessman William Tanner. Curator Dennis Buck hopes to offer an interpretation of the home, as it existed in the 1870-90s, when the Tanner family resided here. Several rooms are available for viewing, and each is meant to portray a realistic picture of how the family lived. The decor is updated throughout the year to reflect the changing seasons. On occasion, the house is designed to show how the family might have prepared for a funeral or wedding. The gas light fixtures are retrofitted to run on electricity these days, but the architecture of the house is well preserved, and evokes a by-gone era.

The Aurora Historical Society also operates an archive here, displaying photos in every medium from glass plate negatives to tintypes. The museum also holds many archival records from the city, the courts and local businesses. Genealogical research is the primary day-to-day function of the museum.

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