Walking tour on Wednesday to look at historical homes on Elgin’s near-west side
FROM SUBMITTED REPORTS September 16, 2013 1:36PM
Built just 11 years after Elgin was settled, this stone cottage at 302 W. Chicago St. is the oldest house on the citys west side and will be featured during a house walk Wednesday evening. It was the home of Nancy Currier Kimball. | DAVE GATHMAN -- SUN-T
Updated: October 18, 2013 6:06AM
ELGIN — A repeat of the “History of the Near West” walking lecture tour is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, starting at Jackson and West Chicago streets in Elgin. And it will include a visit to what is often considered to be Elgin’s oldest surviving house.
Anyone who missed the tour as part of the Gifford Park Historic House tour two weeks ago is welcome to attend.
“The Near West Neighborhood is the heart of Elgin’s oldest settlement west of the Fox River. Though this area is not officially designated as a historic district, it is not for lack of historic significance,” commented a spokesperson for the Near West Neighborhood Association.
Included in the tour will be several prominent homes, including 4 N. Jackson, built in 1875 for John Ranstead, a wealthy attorney and judge. The home, originally built in the Italian Villa style, was redesigned in 1897 by noted Elgin architect W.W. Abell to the Queen Anne style it has today.
The cobblestone home at 302 W. Chicago St. is the Nancy Currier Kimball home. Nancy was the matriarch of the Kimball family that settled Elgin’s west side, and for whom the Kimball Street bridge is named. Her sons, Samuel and William, who both became mayors of Elgin, had this home built for their mother in 1846.
Often referred to as Elgin’s oldest existing home, it is certainly the oldest on the west side.
The tour will last about 45 minutes and will include information on many of the older homes in the area.