September 12, 2014

Oldest House

A piece of the past has been torn down to make way for the future.

What had been the oldest house in Naperville, on the corner of Franklin and West, is now a development site for two new houses.

The home was built in 1833 by Captain John Stevens who is believed to have sailed here with Joseph Naper, the Founder of Naperville.

Though the original center portion of the house was still standing, the rest of it had been altered many times.

“To bring it back to any particular time period would be quite cost prohibited and if the family is not interested in preserving than it’s hard for government bodies or private outside parties to come in and try to preserve it,” said Bryan Ogg, Curator of Research for Naper Settlement.

Though the house was demolished, some family material was preserved at Naper Settlement.

On the Northeast side of town, another aging structure is awaiting its fate.

This 19th century farm house was once home to many Naperville notables. Built by Jacob Snibley in 1852, it was then sold to Nicholas Stenger, whose family brewed beer until the late 1800’s. Oleson Drive namesake, Peter Oleson, then took ownership in 1904 for his growing dairy farm, which was operational until the late sixties.

But now a proposal has been put forward to city council to tear the .6 acre limestone structure down and build new homes in its place.

That was put on hold, until Naperville Park District and Naper settlement had a chance to look over the site to decide whether it is worth purchasing and preserving.

Though the park district did a tour and decided against salvaging the site, Naper Settlement has yet to make their decision.


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