There’s a town in Illinois that is home to more historic houses than anywhere else in the state. The town of Galesburg, Illinois is awash with history, and you’ll definitely want to visit.
The history behind these homes is best experienced in person, but this list will tell you where to find them and why they are so great. Scroll on for details.
1. W.S. Purington House
This beautiful two-story home was built in 1886 and it became a landmark in 1988. This is the former home of William Purington who moved to the area from New England. He started the Purington Paving Brick Co., which became one of the largest suppliers of bricks in the world. His family resided in this home until 1926, and it is located at 464 N Prairie St, Galesburg, IL 61401.
2. Carl Sandburg State Historic Site
One of the most famous figures to come from Illinois, Carl Sandburg was a poet, novelist, and reporter who won Pulitzer prizes in history and poetry. He was born and reared in this three-room home, which today also includes a museum and visitor's center. Find it at 331 E. Third St., Galesburg, Illinois and take a tour between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursdays through Sundays.
3. Nehemiah West House
Known as the oldest standing structure in town, this home was built in 1843. The man who built it also helped to develop the town and Knox College. He received the property from the college as a thank you for his efforts. He stayed in the house until 1872, after which it had many owners who kept it in good shape. Find it at 288 N Broad St., Galesburg IL 61401.
4. Edward J. King House
Built in 1895, this gorgeous home belonged to a congressman who served in the House of Representatives for nine years beginning in 1915. The home is also known as the Wedgewood House due to its colored trim. This home has many interesting features including a wheel window on the north and south sides. It is located at 537 North Academy St., Galesburg, IL 61401.
5. George Washington Gale House
This stately home belonged to the founder of Galesburg and Knox College from 1841 to 1870. Over the years, it has been under different ownership and undergone several changes, and in 1990, it became an official landmark of the town. It was purchased in 2006 by Knox College and offers guest accommodations to people visiting the college. Find it at 127 E North St., Galesburg, IL 61401.
6. Smith Moreland Mansion
Built in 1876 by Thomas Smith, this gorgeous landmark featured hooded windows, a large front porch, and a Mansford roof and dormers. The home was purchased in 1927 by John and Caroline Moreland who lived there until 2000. It became a local landmark in 1977 and is located at 455 N Prairie St., Galesburg, IL 61401.
7. Judge Alfred Craig House
Also built in 1876, this ancient home belonged to a prominent figure of the town who served as a judge on the State Supreme Court from 1872 to 1900. Like many other historic figures of Galesburg, he was a graduate of Knox College. Find the home at 153 E North St., Galesburg, IL 61401.
8. John Fahnestock House
Constructed in 1896, this is one of the most historic houses in the whole state. Built in the Queen Anne Victorian style, the home features ornate carvings, double doors, a porch, and other grand amenities. The owner was a partner in a local bookstore, and the home can be found at 591 N Prairie St., Galesburg, IL 61401.
9. John William Lescher House
This grand, three-story home was built in 1893, and the owner was a partner in the local drug store with his brothers. (The store was eventually named Hawthorne Drug Store.) The home has a beautiful front porch, stone foundation, an arched entry way, and large pillars. It is 3,200 square-feet, and you can find it at 534 N Broad St., Galesburg, IL 61401.
10. George Lawrence House and Carriage House
Designed by a local architect, this Victorian mansion housed a Knox College graduate who became a successful attorney in the area. Designated a landmark in 1977, the home has had many owners, including Knox College. In the 1980s, it was restored. Find it at 590 N Prairie St., Galesburg, IL 61401.
11. Avery Ingersoll House
Also the house of the president of Knox College, this stunning building was erected in 1903. It was dedicated the Ingersoll House in 1999. Twenty members of this family attended the college. You can find this big old house at 640 N Prairie St., Galesburg, IL 61401.
12. Isaac Burton House
Built in the Queen Anne Victorian style, this grand home has had many owners over the years. It was restored in 2002 but has been a landmark since 1985. Find it at 756 N Broad St., Galesburg, IL 61401.
13. Thomas R. McClelland House
This historic house belonged to the eighth president of Knox College. He was a proponent of increasing teacher salaries and for high academic standards. Find his house at 656 N Prairie St., Galesburg, IL 61401.
14. JT & Mary Davis McKnight House
The original owners of this house were responsible for the McKnight Industrial Home, which was founded in 1921 to refuge orphaned girls who were often abused in cases of rehousing. The pictured home is located at 486 N Kellogg St., Galesburg, IL 61401 and was likely built in the late 1800s.
If you’ve ever visited any of these historic houses, we’d love to hear from you. Please share your experiences and photos with us below in the comments.
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