We try to keep this list of historic house museums for Illinois current, but it is best to check directly with the museums for their hours and other information.

If you know of a historic house museum not in our list, please submit it.

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Ansel B. Cook House

    The Ansel B. Cook House was built by its namesake on the site of the first permanent dwelling in Libertyville. In his will, Cook deeded his home to be used as a library. After a facade reconstruction, Cook Memorial Library opened in 1921. In 1968, following construction of the present Cook Memorial Library, the Cook mansion became the headquarters… Read More

    Bryant Cottage

      Bryant Cottage was built in 1856 as the home of Francis E. Bryant, a local businessman and friend of Stephen A. Douglas. According to Bryant family tradition, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas met in the parlor of Bryant Cottage to plan their famous series of 1858 debates. The cottage is maintained with original and period furnishings, providing a glimps… Read More

      Moore Homestead

        Construction was started on the C. H. Moore Homestead by John and Minerva Moore Bishop. Mr. Bishop was a prosperous grain and lumber dealer in Clinton. Work on the C. H. Moore Homestead was completed in 1867 after the Civil War had ended and life took on a more normal pattern. Soon after this, the Bishops lost their only… Read More

        Cahokia Courthouse

          The Cahokia Courthouse was built as a residence around 1740, when present-day Illinois was a colony of France. In 1793 the structure was purchased by the Common Pleas Court of the United States Northwest Territory and subsequently became a center of territorial political and legal activity. The building is historically significant as the oldest courthouse in Illinois and the… Read More

          Robert R. McCormick House

          Cantigny

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            The Museum is an historic house museum that depicts the country home of a family that made the Chicago Tribune the “World’s Greatest Newspaper.” Built in 1896 for Joseph Medill, the house and grounds, known as Red Oak Farm, first passed to Joseph’s daughter Katherine and then to her youngest son, Robert Rutherford. Robert and his first wife Amy… Read More

            Carl Sandburg State Historic Site

              The Carl Sandburg State Historic Site is the birthplace of Carl Sandburg (1878-1967), a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Lincoln biographer, a children’s author and folk song collector. The small frame home, architecturally significant as a “workingman’s cottage,” contains three rooms—parlor, bedroom, and kitchen. Also on the site is a two-story Greek Revival frame house built in 1858. The house… Read More

              Clarke-Ford Home

                Built in 1836 for Henry B. Clarke, the Clarke House Museum is Chicago’s oldest house. The house shows what life was like for a middle-class family in Chicago during the city’s formative years before the Civil War. Its fascinating history began at a time when family members could see the campfires of Native Americans in the distance. Read More

                Davenport House

                  The Davenport House is historically important for several reasons. First, it reflects the growth in the prosperity of one man, George Davenport. Davenport was a settler, provider, homesteader, businessman and counselor. His history equals the Quad City's history shaping its growth and development. On a much larger scale, it reflects the settling of the West. Read More

                  Cuneo Mansion

                    Construction on the Cuneo Mansion and Gardens began in 1908 and stopped during World War I. It was completed in 1918 as the home of Samuel Insull, an original founder of the General Electric Company, and designed by Chicago architect Benjamin Marshall in the Italianate style. Its gardens and landscaping were designed by world-renowned landscape architect Jens Jensen. In… Read More

                    Dana-Thomas House

                      The Dana-Thomas House (DTH) was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1902 for Susan Lawrence Dana, a forward-thinking socialite living in Springfield, Illinois. The home, the 72nd building designed by Wright, contains the largest collection of site-specific, original Wright art glass and furniture. Wright’s first “blank check” commission, the home has 35 rooms in the 12,000 square feet of… Read More

                      David Davis Mansion

                        On a flat stretch of Illinois prairie—where Yankee pioneers forged their frontier fortunes and Route 66 later carved a path across the rural landscape—stands an elegant Victorian mansion and garden, completed in 1872 for David Davis and his wife, Sarah. The beautifully restored, nineteenth-century estate tells the story of Judge David Davis, whose influence on Abraham Lincoln's legal and… Read More

                        Deere Wiman House

                          In 1872, John Deere's son, Charles, built the Deere-Wiman House for his wife, Mary Little Dickinson Deere, and their daughters, Anna and Katherine, born in 1864 and 1866, respectively. The family named their Swiss Villa style residence Overlook because of its desirable hilltop location above the growing city of Moline, Illinois, and the family business, the John Deere Plow… Read More

                          Dillon Home

                            This 1857 home contains the original furnishings and accessories of P.W. Dillon. The carriage house displays local history exhibits. A vintage locomotive and caboose are displayed on the grounds. Read More

                            Dowling House

                              Galena's oldest house, Dowling House, was built in 1826 by John Dowling. Built of limestone, it was once the only trading post in the city. The Dowling House was equipped with primitive living quarters and hosted many fur traders in years past. Tour guides provide a complete history of the development of the City of Galena and Dowling House… Read More

                              Edwards Place

                                The oldest home in Springfield on its original foundation, Edwards Place tells the story of Benjamin and Helen Edwards and their life at the home from 1843 to 1909. The wonderfully preserved Italianate mansion was one a center for social activity in Springfield. Prominent citizens and politicians such as Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas were entertained at lavish dinner… Read More

                                Ellwood

                                  The story of the Ellwood House reflects the central role of Isaac Ellwood in the development of the barbed wire industry in America. The magnificent estate is also a testimony to three generations of the Ellwood family whose tastes shaped the evolution of the house and grounds. Read More

                                  Emma Kunz House

                                    Built in 1851 for plasterer Jacob Krill and his wife Nancy, the Emma Kunz House stands as a prime example of a “German Street House.” Brick cottages such as these were favored by the German immigrant laborers who lived and worked in Belleville over 150 years ago. Read More

                                    Dawes House

                                      The Dawes House was built in 1894-5 on a two-acre lakeshore site. Designed in the style of French chateaux by Henry Edwards-Ficken of New York, the massive three-and-a- half story structure has twenty-five rooms, six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and eleven fireplaces. The Evanston History Center, located in the historic Charles Gates Dawes House, strives to capture and teach Evanston’s… Read More

                                      Fabyan Villa

                                        The Fabyan Villa was home to Colonel George and Nelle Fabyan from 1905-1939. Riverbank, the name they bestowed upon their property, was initially their summer escape from Chicago. They hired Frank Lloyd Wright in 1907 to enlarge and re-model the existing farmhouse and shortly thereafter, took up permanent residence at the Villa, as they called their home. They acquired… Read More

                                        Fraces Willard House

                                          Built in 1865, and patterned after a design by Andrew J. Downing, this Evanston house was home to Frances Willard (1839-1898). Both author and activist, Frances Willard lived and worked in this house during the years of her presidency of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). For many of those years, the house also served as an informal national… Read More

                                          FLW Home and Studio

                                            The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio (1889/1898) served as Wright's private residence and workplace from 1889 to 1909—the first 20 years of his career. Wright used his home as an architectural laboratory, experimenting with design concepts that contain the seeds of his architectural philosophy. Here he raised six children with his first wife, Catherine Tobin. Read More

                                            Robie House

                                              The Robie House on the University of Chicago campus is considered one of the most important buildings in the history of American architecture. It was created by Frank Lloyd Wright for his client Frederick C. Robie, a forward-thinking businessman. Designed in Wright's Oak Park studio in 1908 and completed in 1910, the building is both a masterpiece of the… Read More

                                              Galena History Museum

                                                The 1858 Daniel A Barrows house was designed for Barrows by William Dennison, the architect who designed the U.S. Grant home on Bouthillier Street. This three-story house was tailored to hold Barrows's large family, consisting of his Wife Anna, one son, five daughters, his mother, and one female servant. Construction on the house was completed in 1859. Read More

                                                Glessner House

                                                  The Glessner family lived in this house for fifty years, through the rise and decline of the Prairie Avenue neighborhood. John Glessner cherished the home as a symbol of happy family life, and the interiors of Glessner House demonstrate the nearly perfect collaboration between the architect and his clients. Designed during the so-called Gilded Age, when America’s newly rich… Read More

                                                  Gov. John Wood Mansion

                                                    The home is headquarters for the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County. Read More

                                                    Oglesby Mansion

                                                      Governor Oglesby had the Mansion built around 1874. The highlight of the Mansion's history is a visit by former Civil War General and United States President Ulysses S. Grant in 1880. From one of the Mansion's verandas Grant spoke to a crowd of people during an encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic, a Civil War veterans' association. Read More

                                                      Graham House

                                                        The Graham Historic House and Museum is a special attraction to residents and visitors who appreciate the preservation of our community’s past. The Graham Historic House recreates the delightful period of history from 1870 to turn of the century. Most furnishings and accessories have been donated or loaned by the people of Momence. Read More

                                                        Carus Mansion

                                                          The stately Hegeler Carus Mansion, a recipient of National Historic Landmark status, is also on the National Register of Historic Places. Virtually unaltered since its completion more than a century ago, the Mansion is at once a family home, an example of high artistic achievement in architecture and interior design, and the site of historic accomplishments in industry, philosophy,… Read More

                                                          Homestead Prairie

                                                            Joseph Trobaugh from Tennessee, his wife Elizabeth born in Illinois and their family were the first known occupants of the house and owned it from 1853 to 1866. Trobaugh was a farmer and sawmill operator. He changed the house by adding rooms and making other renovations. Emanuel Good, a Civil War veteran, along with his wife and children were… Read More

                                                            Hull-House Museum

                                                              Hull-House, Chicago's first social settlement was not only the private home of Jane Addams and other Hull-House residents, but also a place where immigrants of diverse communities gathered to learn, to eat, to debate, and to acquire the tools necessary to put down roots in their new country. Read More

                                                              Flanagan House

                                                                Known in its day as "The Manse on the Hill", Flanagan is the oldest standing residence in Peoria, is virtually unchanged since it was built and offers a spectacular view of the Illinois River Valley. On the National Register of Historic Places, it serves as headquarters to the Daughters of the American Revolution, Peoria Chapter. Read More

                                                                John Deere Historic Site

                                                                  In 1836, John Deere, a blacksmith recently transplanted from Vermont, set up shop in the small Rock River town of Grand Detour, Illinois. The John Deere Historic Site features the home John Deere built, a gift shop, and an archaeological exhibit that shows the site of John Deere's original blacksmith shop. Read More

                                                                  Glidden Homestead

                                                                    The Joseph F. Glidden Homestead & Historical Center includes a home and brick barn built in 1861, by Joseph F. Glidden, inventor of "The Winner" barbed wire (patented Nov. 1874). The features a working Blacksmith Shop in the Old Mill House. Read More

                                                                    Lincoln Home

                                                                      The house that would become the future Lincoln Home was built in 1839 for the Reverend Charles Dresser. Dresser actually married Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd in 1842. When the house was completed, the house stood one-and-a-half stories tall with five rooms including a sleeping loft. Read More

                                                                      Little Brick House

                                                                        Josephine Burtschi, local artist and historian, was born in this house. In 1956 she purchased the house and started restoring it to its original appearance. Over the years, the Little Brick House has been renovated and furnished with period pieces, antiques, and early Vandalia artifacts. Contained within the six rooms are furniture, china, engravings and books acquired from descendants… Read More

                                                                        Prairie Village

                                                                          The three acre complex includes galleries and a historic prairie village. Read More

                                                                          Magnolia Manor

                                                                            Charles A. Galigher was a prominent citizen of Cairo and a milling merchant, who accumulated a fortune by selling flour to the government during the Civil War. Through business transactions, he became a friend of General Ulysses S. Grant, who made his headquarters in Cairo during his siege of the South. Read More

                                                                            Mitchell Mansion

                                                                              The 13 acre museum village has 25 historic buildings and costumed docents to explain them all. Read More

                                                                              Pettengill-Morron House

                                                                                This eleven room historical home museum contains a unique collection of objects from several Peoria families. Upon the death of the final resident, Miss Jean McLean Morron, her family donated the home and all of its contents to the Peoria Historical Society. The home was placed in the National Register of Historic Sites in 1976 and is recognized as… Read More

                                                                                Menard House

                                                                                  The two-story ca. 1815 home is an unusually fine example of French Creole-style architecture, built into gently sloping land at the bottom of a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. Among the notable features are a steep double-hipped roof and a galerie, or porch, that wraps the building’s front façade and gable ends. The ground level contains a small museum… Read More

                                                                                  Pleasant Home

                                                                                  Pleasant Home

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                                                                                    Pleasant Home is a national architectural treasure, designed in 1897 by prominent Prairie Style architect George W. Maher for investment banker and philanthropist John W. Farson. The home is one of the earliest and most distinguished examples of Prairie School architecture and is the finest surviving example of Maher’s work. Though Maher designed more than 300 structures in the… Read More

                                                                                    Reddick Mansion

                                                                                      Built in 1856 for William Reddick. The Architects William B. Olmsted and Peter Nicholson designed a striking combination of brick and limestone facade in the Italianate style, elaborate plaster ceilings, pure white Italian marble fireplaces, and hand grained wood work. The restored rooms return to the grandeur of life in 1875. Read More

                                                                                      Driehaus Museum

                                                                                        Steps away from Chicago's Magnificent Mile, the Driehaus Museum offers visitors a fascinating view of the Samuel M. Nickerson Mansion, one of the few remaining examples of homes erected by the wealthy of America's Gilded Age. The lavish interiors are complemented by stunning examples of period furniture, decorative arts, and stained glass, including a magnificent selection of works by… Read More

                                                                                        Stephenson Historical Museum

                                                                                          The Stephenson County Historical Society's collection is housed in the former home of Oscar and Malvina Snow Taylor. The Taylors were one of Freeport's prominent early families. Descendents of their only son, Oscar Jr., donated the home to the Historical Society in 1944. The home is decorated as it would have been when the Taylors lived there during the… Read More

                                                                                          Illinois Governor's Mansion

                                                                                            The Illinois Executive Mansion is the third-oldest, continuously occupied Governor's home in the nation. Seven Presidents, including Lincoln, have been received here. Three levels are open to the public including four formal parlors; a state dining room; ballroom; four bedrooms, including the Lincoln bedroom; and a library handcrafted from Native American Black Walnut. Read More

                                                                                            Gruenwald House

                                                                                              This three story Second Empire style house was built in 1860. Living history tours present the house as it was when Martin Gruenewald, a local businessman, completed it. The home is decorated with turn of the century furnishings. Read More

                                                                                              Milliken Homestead

                                                                                                The former residence of James and Anna Millikin, founders of Millikin University, Millikin Bank, and Millikin Estate Trust. Construction of the Millikin home began in July 1875, and continued into 1876. The home cost approximately $18,000 to build, but as Mr. Millikin was fond of reminiscing, "The best of carpenters could be had for $1.25 to $1.50 a day Read More

                                                                                                Tinker Cottage

                                                                                                  Rockford, Illinois businessman Robert Hall Tinker built the home in 1865, perching it high on a limestone bluff overlooking Kent Creek. His inspiration came from an 1862 tour of Europe where he fell in love with the architecture of Switzerland. Today the Cottage is one of only a handful of Swiss-style homes remaining in the United States from the… Read More

                                                                                                  Grant Home

                                                                                                    The Italianate structure known as the U. S. Grant Home was built in 1859-60 as a residence by Alexander J. Jackson of Galena. When Ulysses S. Grant returned to the city in 1865 as a Civil War hero, he was presented the house—purchased by a group of prominent local Republicans, including Elihu B. Washburne—as part of the city’s celebration.… Read More

                                                                                                    Fithian Home

                                                                                                      Built in 1855, the house has been restored and furnished in the Victorian style. Abraham Lincoln made a speech from the balcony while campaigning for the U.S. Senate in 1858. He also stayed in one of the bedrooms while visiting friends. Read More

                                                                                                      Victorian House Museum

                                                                                                        Built in 1866, the Victorian House Museum recreates an upper middle class house in late nineteenth century. Situated in historic downtown Belleville, Illinois, the Victorian House Museum features period bedrooms, a dining room, a parlor and a library. Many of the furnishings were made by local craftsmen in St. Clair County, Illinois. The Victorian House Museum also serves as… Read More

                                                                                                        Waukegan History Museum / John C. Haines house

                                                                                                          The Waukegan Historical Society’s headquarters is the Waukegan History Museum located in beautiful Bowen Park. The Museum is the former home of John C. Haines, a past mayor of Chicago, Illinois. The Haines House was built about 1843, making it one of the oldest surviving buildings in Lake County. It was enlarged to its present size in the 1870s.… Read More