Avis Blodgett

Isreal Blodgett

The history of the 1846 Blodgett House has been created by the people who lived there and the events that took place there. To understand the building's true significance we need to learn about these people and the events of their lives. Israel and Avis Blodgett were very early residents, moving to Downers Grove in 1836. The Blodgett family played an important role in early Downers Grove history. Israel Porter Blodgett, Sr. operated a blacksmith shop, and is credited with developing the self-scouring plow used to turn the Illinois prairie. His second son, Israel Porter, Jr., helped to construct a much-needed sawmill. The Blodgetts were also known to enjoy a close connection with Native Americans in the region. And what of the events that happened in the house? Perhaps the role of the house and the Blodgett family in the Underground Railroad is most significant. Several members of the Blodgett family were active in the abolitionist cause. The 1846 Blodgett House itself is documented as an active stopover on the Underground Railroad that led from slavery to freedom.


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