Visit Chicago Illinois
Visit Chicago Illinois
View of the History Gallery Located in the Pre-Emption House in Naperville, Illinois

Naper Settlement

523 South Webster Street

Naperville, Illinois 60540


Written by Julie Greiner
Visitors to Naper Settlement journey through history to a time when pioneer and Victorian homes were the norm. Set on 13 park-like acres, Naper Settlement's mission is to collect, preserve and authentically interpret community life in a 19th century town. Naperville Heritage Society works with Naper Settlement to preserve the
local history for future generations. Each year over 110,000 guests visit the museum. One can relive scenes from a bygone era by trying their hand at crafts, games and old-fashioned chores. History comes alive in a way guests never forget.

The Pioneer Log House at Naper Settlement

The Log House is a typical 1830's pioneer home. The Log House is the only building not original to Naperville. The house came from Jonesboro, Illinois and was dismantled and shipped to Naperville. The chimney is of quarry stone from the local quarry of Naperville. A log
Pioneer Log House in the Naper Settlement
cabin is a small house of crude construction intended as a temporary dwelling, of unhewn logs. This type of structure does not include windows... just a hole at the top for the smoke. This log home has two hung doors, plank rather than dirt floor, stone fireplace, separate sleeping loft and white-washed walls - all of which constitute it to be luxurious for the period.

Pinecraig - The Martin-Mitchell Mansion

Pinecraig was built by George Martin III in 1883. The exterior of the house is a mix of at least six different architectural styles - Victorian Eclectic. The Martin Mitchell Mansion is currently under restoration
along with the carriage house. Much research and planning has gone into this process and upon completion the buildings will look as they did at the end of the 19th century. In 1936, the Martin Mitchell Mansion and approximately 100 surrounding acres of land was bequeathed to the City of Naperville by Caroline Martin Mitchell, the last descendent of one of Naperville's founding families.

The Pre-Emption House

Originally the pre-emption house was built in 1834 and stood in the center of Naperville as the first hotel and tavern west of
View of the Martin-Mitchell Mansion in Naperville, Illinois
Chicago. The building was then annexed and served as the county courthouse, sample from for local breweries and as a marketplace for monthly horse trading. The building was torn down in 1946, but was later reconstructed in its original state at the present site. Today the Pre-Emption House serves as the visitor center and gateway to Naper Settlement. The building houses exhibitions, classroom activities and programs and the Tavern in the new structure is once again a meeting place. The Museum Store is at the end of the building and the History Gallery with interactive exhibits is on the lower
View of the Pre-Emption House of the Naper Settlement

The Naper Settlement Print Shop

The Print Shop was reconstructed with its wide windows to let in light for typesetting by hand. This is a typical print shop of the 19th century. The Clarion paper reached the newsstands in 1868. This is a working print shop, producing various printed materials for Naper Settlement's use.

The Naper Settlement is a museum that serves northeastern Illinois as a unique educational and and cultural resource. As a "living village" learning laboratory, Naper Settlement interprets and re-creates 19th century domestic, craft and commercial life in an interactive setting. For information on tours and events call (630) 420-6010.

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Last Updated: September 23, 2015