Restored Home in Waukegan

Victorian home painted in a goldenrod, trimmed in olive green and red, porch ceilings painted sky blue

Now we return to our Waukegan Trip.  The Haines Museum in Bowen Park opened and we got to tour it.  It’s operated by the Waukegan Historical Society.   This home was originally built as a one room cabin to go with the farm that is now Bowen Park.  Over the years with various owners it was added onto it until it because the Victorian home you see now.

Mayor Hull of Chicago and his family lived there as their summer home until the great fire then lived there full time.  I learned that back then there were yearly elections for mayor.  CAN YOU IMAGINE YEARLY ELECTIONS? Always being bombarded by the campaign trail, all the calls from the various parties and interests groups.  The constant ads… it’d never end.  The mayor would never be a leader but a figure head and it’d open up for another machine that stayed in tact to actually run the city.  Oh wait… that’s what happened in the Chicago Political Machine.

Information poster shows a young boy from the 30s in a zippered sweater and dungarees holding a small bouquet of wildflowers

Okay back to the house, it’s restored to its Victorian period to go with the architecture.  It was the center of the Bowen Country Club.  Here is where the children would be taught the ways of society.  It was thought part of the barrier of improving oneself was not understanding the societal  norms of table manners, dances, polite conversation, etc.  I think honestly some that still holds true today knowing how to behave in the boardroom as well as the local bar is key to advancement. Today there is a room dedicated to the club and those kids it helped in so many ways not just the social graces classes in the house.

None of the items in the house are from the original owners.  They are from the correct time period and exemplify the types of things the home would have contained in this 1870s time period.  The last addition was the red parlor, a more formal parlor, and the master bedroom.  The master bedroom now contains a bed and settee set that Abraham Lincoln used during his visit to Waukegan.  The room is dedicated to him.

Servants entrance with will worn torn screen door and dirty clapboard, still painted red

There were exhibits to the Waukegan area residents Alfred Gustafson and James Elsbury who died on the Titantic.  There was an exhibit honoring Waukegan son Jack Benny, which explained why there was a Jack Benny art center (where the unhelpful lady was).  There was also a time line of Waukegan events including when their town got curb side recycling!  YAY!  From there I’ve added the Genesee Theater as a place I want to visit for a photo post.

Also I noticed that all their doors were painted red.  I had to get photos of each one to add to my red door collection!  Heck some day I might make a poster of doors to sanctuary – all red doors I’ve photographed.  I have to say of all the doors my favorite one on the Haines Museum was the servant’s door with the aged screen.  Some doors to sanctuary aren’t ornate but are well used.

Enough explaining – now for the photos.

Victorian house in beige trimmed in red & olive with porch ceilings sky blue.  Mike taking a giant step on the main front porch.

I am not sure what Mike is doing here. Mugging for the ever present camera I’d guess. What I like here is you can see the Victorian paint scheme. It is restored to the paint of the time and it’s colors we might not put together – sky blue, olive green, red, light almost white butter cream. Also note the number of doors there – all red.

A red velvet chair with a knitting basket full of yarn balls sits next to a marble table.
This was the formal parlor. Still there’s the lady’s knitting basket.
A bowl painted with a fall scene is matted with red velvet and framed with a gold leaf frame

According to the information booklet in the room, bowl painting was one of the acceptable forms of expression for ladies of the era. This one was framed to hang on the wall.

a side view down the wall to show the convex shape of the bowl

Here you can see the bowl that was framed.

Tea pot is in foreground looking across plate setting on a cherry wood table to large flower arrangement sitting on sidebar across the room

Like many homes of the era they ate in formal style.

three dimensional flowers under glass framed and hung on the wall.

This is the peach parlor what we’d call a family room today. Not as formal as the red parlor and where the family would gather to entertain themselves. I had to include this other acceptable art form for ladies – hair art. It seems they cleaned out their brushes and combs using the gathered hair to make flowers, and other designs. They were used in framed things such as this or in jewelry. I’d seen memento mortem jewelry using a lock of hair from a dead loved one under glass in a piece of jewelry but not hair used like this.

What is now presented as a study was originally the only structure.

What is presented here as a study/library was originally the one room cabin of the farm.

Cook's domain with a large iron stove preparing breakfast on top and warming clothes irons on the side

This one of several shots of the servant area. Here was the cooks domain of course. I can’t imagine cooking on one of those things or heat irons like that.

ornate maple bed with at small children's table in front set with toy china.

The children’s room had many interesting toys of the time period.

Wind-up squirrel

Wind-up squirrel

a walnut wardrobe built into the space between the outer wall and the room's fireplace

This is a unique feature of a Victorian home. Here in the master bedroom is a built-in walnut wardrobe. It reminds me of such ones I’ve seen in Captain’s quarters on tall ships of the line.

a walnut sleigh style bed with a handmade quilt over it and an oval framed print of Lincoln hanging above the head board at the foot is a travel trunk with a black tall hat

This sleigh bed came from the Ferry Home in Waukegan that was located on the corner of Juliand & County Streets in April 1860 when Abraham Lincoln stayed with the Ferry family. During his visit he slept in this bed. It is now displayed in the main bedroom of the Hull house along with the horse hair settee set that was also in Ferry’s home during his visit.

Okay that’s MORE than enough here. Please if you are as interested in restored homes as I am click any of the images here to jump over to my Flickr account and see many more displays and details from the museum.

One thought on “Restored Home in Waukegan

  1. Pingback: Historic Buildings By The Railroad « Mary Louise Eklund

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