temporary exhibit

Sears Kit Homes of Downers Grove

Open now in the Montrew Dunham History Center

Downers Grove has a great deal of confirmed Sears Kit Homes, 68 as a matter of fact. Many of the examples here in town have made it nearly to or exceeded the 100-year mark. This new exhibit will explain how these homes were ordered, delivered and built. The centerpiece will be framed examples of Sears Kit Homes that still stand in Downers Grove. Visitors can also explore original advertisements, floor plan options, and the prices people originally paid for these homes.


1846 Israel Blodgett House

The 1846 Israel Blodgett House was built by Israel and Avis Blodgett in 1846 and is one of the oldest houses in Downers Grove. Israel and Avis came to Downers Grove in February 1836 from Amherst, Massachusetts. The family first settled in a small, one-room log cabin while Israel worked as the town's blacksmith. The members of the Blodgett family held abolitionist beliefs, and it is believed that the Blodgett's provided assistance to enslaved people during the Civil War era. The 1846 Blodgett House is recognized by the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

Learn more about the renovation

Victorian Blodgett House

1892 Charles Blodgett House

The Charles Blodgett house was the home of Israel and Avis's youngest son, Charles, and was built in 1892. Charles was a member of the DuPage County Board of Supervisors and was instrumental in the development of the roadway system in Downers Grove. He lived in the home with his wife, Emma, and their four sons. The permanent exhibits in the Charles Blodgett house illustrate life in Downers Grove from the 1890's to the early 20th century. The house also contains the offices of Museum staff, archives, collection storage and a research library.

Late Victorian Period Living: Explore period style rooms that represent what life was like in Downers Grove during the late Victoria era! Rooms include a front drawing room, back sitting room, kitchen, child's bedroom, and an adult bedroom.

Downers Grove Hall of Fame: Located on the second floor of the Victorian Blodgett house, learn about notable figures who have connections to Downers Grove!

Montrew Dunham History Center

Montrew Dunham History Center (reproduction of a former carriage house) is home to our temporary exhibits as well as a permanent exhibit celebrating the history of the Downers Grove Fire Department, including their 1920's original fire engine.
Pumper Fire Truck

1920 White Pumper Fire Truck

On permanent display is the first motorized fire truck the Downers Grove Fire Department owned. Learn about the different parts of the truck and fun facts about the early days of the Department. Try on one of our firefighter outfits and take a picture with the truck!