Blodgett Family Reunion
19th century Blodgett family reunion with their house on Maple Ave. in the background
(Photo courtesy of Peter Burley, great-great grandson of Avis & Israel Blodgett)

Photo of 812 Randall circa 1960

Photo of 812 Randall 2006

In 1846 Israel and Avis Blodgett replaced the family's earlier log cabin located at what is now known as 831 Maple Avenue with a simple one-and-a-half story frame structure. The Blodgett family lived at that time where the Downers Grove Historical Museum is currently located. Not only is their second home one of the oldest houses in the Village, but it also has great cultural significance as an active stopover point on the Underground Railroad.

This two-bedroom house was completed in 1849. Now one of the oldest houses in the village, the 1846 Blodgett House, with rustic hand-hewn black walnut joists, and simple clapboard structure, reflects early pioneer style, living space, and craftsmanship. Before the turn of the 20th century, the 1846 Blodgett House was moved to a new location toward the south end of the Blodgett property, now identified as 812 Randall Street. Between the time when the 1846 Blodgett House was moved and now, the house underwent changes as it was adapted to the march of progress. A second wing, on the east side of the house, was added to create more room and siding was added later, improving its insulation but disguising its historic appearance.

The Downers Grove Heritage Preservation Corporation, dba "1846 Blodgett House", acquired the 1846 Blodgett House in February 2008 as a donation from Christopher Salman.  Under a license from the Downers Grove Park District and with generous community support, the Heritage Preservation Corporation then carried out initial restoration and renovation work in order to make the House suitable as a gift to the community for the Park District to own and operate it as a public museum. 

The newer wing and the front porch, which were not present during the time period of interest, were removed.  The House was then moved back to be just west of its original location on Maple Avenue now within the Museum Campus.  Its exterior appearance was restored to match what we know about its appearance in the time period 1846 to 1865. 

In January 2012 the Park District accepted ownership of the House as a donation from the Heritage Preservation Corporation.  Restoration and renovation work on the House is continuing as funding becomes available.  








Site created, designed, and managed courtesy of Corridor Communications