Mackinaw High School “Rams”

Mackinaw High School Bldg Built in 1914
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Courtesy of Ted Laidig
Original Mackinaw HS 1890s
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Credit: Lake County Discovery Museum/Curt Teich Postcard Archives – Submitted by Gerry Halpin

The History of Mackinaw High School

Mackinaw (population 1,452) is located in central Illinois about 15 miles east of Pekin and 17 miles west of Bloomington. The town was established in the east-central portion of Tazewell County in 1827. It was, from 1827 to 1831, the county seat of Tazewell County. Illinois Route 9 is the main road through Mackinaw. The Sugar Creek flows to the south of town and the Mackinaw River flows to the north and west of town. Conrail Railroad runs along-side Illinois Route 9 as it passes through Mackinaw as well. The town has a website located at .

It is believed Mackinaw residents began an educational process for their children soon after the village was established. This probably was set in place in the mid- to late-1800’s. At some point a form of high school was established, however the exact year is not known. The high school served the town of Mackinaw through the late 1940’s. It was then that consolidation talks with nearby neighbor to the north, Deer Creek took place. The residents of the two towns agreed to join their school districts at the end of the 1948-49 school year. Deer Creek-Mackinaw School District was established and began in the fall of 1949.

Mackinaw School Building 1890s – 1914
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Submitted by Ted Laidig
Mackinaw High School Building
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Courtesy of Ted Laidig

Ted Laidig tells us the original Mackinaw High School brick building constructed in 1914 was still in use through approximately 2009 as part of the “Dee-Mack” school system. Ted advises “The last of the old school built in 1914 was torn down about 3 years ago (2009) as it was deemed too costly to upgrade to pending state mandates.”  A photo of this school taken by Jon Wheat  in December of 2005 is shown at the bottom of this page.

Mackinaw High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                            mid- to late-1800’s

Brick School building built:         1914

Year consolidated:                    1949

Consolidated to:                        Deer Creek-Mackinaw High School

School Building:                        Still used as part of “Dee-Mack” High School

Mackinaw H.S. nickname:          the “Rams”

School colors:                           Green, Black, & White

School Fight Song:                    unavailable

DeeMac Victory of Princeville – 2005 Playoffs
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Gym & School in Background


The Mackinaw High School Rams competed in basketball and track for sure.  It is possible that baseball, and maybe even football, were also offered.  Conference affiliation as well as the records and coaches of the great teams in Mackinaw High history are being sought.  There is currently no information on the various programs offered at Mackinaw High School.  The only sport listed on the IHSA website ( for Mackinaw High is boys track.

Boys Track

One male athlete at Mackinaw High set a high standard for the many athletes that followed.  A trackster named Russell (first name not listed) brought home a second place medal in the 1927 State Track Meet.  This was under the old one-class system.

1926-27     ?? Russell            High Jump           2ND Place!

Seeking More Information

If you have ANY further information regarding the athletic and other successes attained at Mackinaw High School please write to us via e-mail.  We are looking for a photo of the original high school if possible.  Our e-mail address is  You may also write to us via real mail at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St. 

Chicago,  Il.   60631

Mackinaw Deer Creek Mackinaw HS 2013
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Submitted by Ted Laidig
Mackinaw High School
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Built in 1914 – Now Part of Dee-Mack High School
Inscription on Mackinaw HS Building
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Deer Creek-Mackinaw High School – 2005
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