Hearth & Home: The Significance of Downers Grove's Historic Houses
September 8 to January 5
Houses have been at the center of Downers Grove residents' lives since the 1830s, providing places to eat, sleep, work, play and bond with family. "Hearth and Home" explores the histories of houses built between the 1830s and 1930s and the families, past and present, who turned them into homes.
Temporary exhibitions are displayed in the Museum Annex, and are open to view during Public Tour Hours:
Monday through Friday from 12 to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Exhibit Opening is September 8 from 1 to 3 PM
Enjoy refreshments and meet with Museum staff who curated the exhibit. Local experts will be on site to answer questions about historic home research, recognition programs and preservation.
Pioneer Blodgett HouseThe Pioneer 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 1835 from Amherst, Massachusetts. The family first settled in a small, one-room log cabin while Israel worked as the town's blacksmith. In 1846, the family resided in the pioneer home that is part of the Museum Campus. The members of the Blodgett family held abolitionist beliefs, and it is believed that the Blodgett's provided assistance to runaway slaves during the Civil War era. The house is currently closed due to renovation.
Victorian Blodgett HouseThe Victorian 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 Victorian Blodgett house illustrate life in Downers Grove in the 1890's. The house also contains the offices of Museum staff, archives, collection storage and a research library.
Victorian Living: Explore period style rooms in the Victorian Blodgett house that represent what life was like in Downers Grove in the 1890's! 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!
Homestead BarnThe Barn 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.
1921 White Pumper Fire TruckOn 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!