Last updated: 12/31/2012
Lombard, Illinois
Street Address
23 W Maple St
Lombard, IL 60148
Mailing Address
Lombard, IL 60148
phone: 630-629-1885
e-mail: info@lombardhistory.org
web: www.lombardhistory.org/
Hours
23 W Maple, Victorian Cottage
Holiday Closings: The Cottage will close December 17 - February 3.
Sunday, Wednesday, Friday1 PM - 4 PM
355 E. Parkside, Sheldon Peck Homestead
The Peck will close from December 2 - January 20
Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday1 PM - 4 PM
The Underground Railroad
Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday1 PM - 4 PM
(Extended summer hours: Tues & Thurs: 10am - 4pm, Sun 1 - 4pm)
Admissions
Free. Suggested donation $2/person.
Free. Donations Accepted.
Services
Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
Staff
Jeanne Schultz Angel, Executive Director
Leslie Sulla, Board President
Description

Victorian Cottage Museum

The Victorian Cottage Museum (formerly known as the Lombard Historical Museum) is an 1882 historic house museum that provides information and examples of a middle-class Victorian household as part of the history of Lombard.

The museum features four period rooms with décor from 1870-1885. In addition, the site also has an 1870 two-story carriage house that stores our archive and collection, a c.1860 three-seated privy, and Colonel Plum’s garden shed, originally on the site of Lilacia Park. Be sure to stop by the Emporium for gifts, Lombard souvenirs, and exhibits on Lombard history.

Directions: The Cottage is located at 23 W. Maple in Lombard, a few houses west of Main Street. We are across the street from the Helen Plum Library.

Sheldon Peck Homestead

The Sheldon Peck Homestead is an 1839 historic house museum that offers visitors information on the pioneer way of life in Babcock’s Grove through exhibits, living history, educational programs, and outreach programs. The Village of Lombard has designated the Sheldon Peck Homestead as a local landmark.

n August 2011, the Sheldon Peck Homestead was inducted into the Network to Freedom – a list of verified Underground Railroad locations. Staff and volunteers worked over several years researching the Underground Railroad, genealogy and property lines near the Homestead, and Sheldon Peck’s art.

Sheldon Peck, a nationally recognized primitive folk art portrait painter, built the clapboard house in 1839 and resided there with his family until his death in 1868. Peck was a well-known advocate of the anti-slavery and temperance causes and the house is a verifiable safe house for freedom seekers prior to the Civil War. In addition, Peck was also an advocate for public education and the house is the site of the first public school in the area.

Remarkably, the Peck family continually owned the house from 1839 until the mid 1990s when it was restored as a museum.

Directions: The Homestead is located at 355 E. Parkside in Lombard, on the south west corner of Parkside and Grace Street - directly west of Lombard Common Park and Paradise Bay.

The Underground Railroad in Babcock's Grove

Sheldon Peck used his homestead in Babcock's Grove (now Lombard) to help Underground Railroad travelers. He was a radical abolitionist as were many of the townspeople in the area. Sheldon's youngest son, Frank Peck (born 1853), recalls as many as seven slaves at a time hidden in the house. Frank's diary tells of Old Charley, a memorable older slave who stayed at the Peck House on his way to freedom, and how little Frank sat on his knee asking him questions

Come to the Peck Homestead to see the portrait we believe is Old Charley, painted by Sheldon's daughter Susan! The locations where slaves were hidden at this site are not known. It is quite possible that Sheldon let them rest in the barn until they headed further north. With the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law in 1850, Peck risked fines and imprisonment by carrying out the duties of "station master." Underground Railroad activities ceased with the passage of the 13th Amendment after the Civil War.

Directions: The Homestead is located at 355 E. Parkside in Lombard, on the south west corner of Parkside and Grace Street - directly west of Lombard Common Park and Paradise Bay.

Mission

The mission of the Society is to collect, preserve, interpret, and promote the history of Lombard and to advocate for our community’s heritage.

History

Founded in 1970, the Lombard Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit membership-based organization located in Lombard, Illinois. It operates two historic house museums and maintains an archive and artifact collection for research and interpretation. The LHS museums are primarily supported by a portion of the hotel/motel tax of Lombard. The LHS is governed by the Board of Management and operated by staff which includes one full-time director, three part-time employees, and dozens of regular volunteers and docents.

Lombard is located 20 miles west of Chicago's Loop in DuPage County, and was incorporated in 1869. The town was known as Babcock's Grove before 1869. It was settled in the 1830s following the removal of American Indians from northern Illinois after the Black Hawk War. The Galena and Chicago Union Railroad first stopped in Lombard in 1849, forming a bedroom community for Chicago businessmen. In 1927, Col. William Plum bequeathed his world-renowned lilac collection and house to be the Village's first public park (designed by Jens Jensen) and library. Due to this gift, Lombard has since been known as the "Lilac Village" and in May 2010 celebrated the 80th Anniversary of Lilac Time festivities.

Research Collections

Society Archives & Researching

The Archives are temporarily closed due to Carriage House construction. Please contact us with your research requests. Call 630/629-1885

Educational Programs
  • School Programs: We are now accepting bookings for the current school year.All of our programs meet Common Core Standards
  • Girl Scout Programs: Bring your scout troop to a pioneer or Victorian-themed program! Our Girl Scout programs run between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 pm and last about 90 minutes. Programs can be scheduled on Tuesdays through Fridays at the Victorian Cottage or the Sheldon Peck Homestead.
  • Pioneer Birthday Parties: Celebrate your next birthday at the Sheldon Peck Homestead. We provide two-hour Pioneer party packages with your choice of pioneer activities. Parties are offered on Saturdays from 1 - 3 pm or 4 - 6 pm, or during the week.
  • Victorian Tea Birthday Parties: Do you have a child who loves tea parties? We offer Victorian Tea Party-themed birthday parties from May through October. Parties include a Victorian activity such as fan decoration and language, hat decorating, and Victorian clothing styles. Finger sandwiches, cupcakes, and tea of course. Children may also learn about Victorian manners.
  • 8th Veteran Reserve Corps: The Corps is open to men and women ages 16 years and older who exhibit an interest, ability, and willingness to learn and pass information about Camp Douglas and the Veteran Reserve Corps. The group will meet at least once a month and participate in Civil War re-enactments. The annual dues are $15. Appropriate uniforms are not included and must be purchased separately. For more information, call us at 630-629-1885.
  • Sweet's Civil War Encampment: We'll host another encampment in July 2013. Details are being worked out.
Services

Event Rentals

We also offer rentals for wedding and baby showers, anniversary parties, or other celebration opportunities.

Membership

As a member of the Lombard Historical Society , you ensure future growth and development of the Society's mission, and you receive the Society newsletter. Membership dues are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. The Lombard Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Gift Shop

Special Event Rental

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