Local DeKalb historian and library employee Steve Bigolin has created a self-guided walking tour for patrons. This will be the first of multiple walking tours that will cover different areas of DeKalb. We hope that you enjoy getting to know more about the history of our beautiful community!
Self-Guided Walking Tour #1 – North First to North Fourth: Locust Street to Fisk Avenue
210 North First – 1864 – Second Empire Architecture
Designed and built by Eli B. Gilbert, as his own residence. It has belonged to the family for the past 156 years.
211 North First – 1869 – Italianite Architecture
This home was built by Lewis M. McEwen. He was once a farmer, then in the coal and lumber business. The house remained in the family for 95 years.
404 North First – 1916 – Georgian Colonial Revival Architecture
Frank Anderson and his brother, Andrew, were partners in Anderson Brothers Clothing Store for many years. The residence was built to compete with his brother’s house at 233 Augusta.
417 North First – 1899 – Tudor Revival Architecture
Built for Perry Ellwood, youngest son of Issac Elwood of barbed wire fame. Designed by Charles E. Brush, architect of Altgeld Hall at NIU. Donated to Ellwood House in 2011.
145 Fisk – 1922 – Institutional Gothic Architecture
St. Mary’s Hospital cost $175,000 when new. It has sat empty since 1992.
202 Fisk – circa 1888
The William G. Earle House. Heh was a high-ranking official with the I.L. Ellwood Manufacturing Company. George F. Barber of Knoxville, Tennessee designed the house, which originally stood at 417 North Second Street. It was moved in 1990 to prevent its demolition.
428 North Second – circa 1888
Judge William L. Pond House. Attributed to George F. Barber. Restored and painted in a decorative multiple color scheme in the late 1970s.
205 Pine – 1857 – Midwest Greek Revival Architecture
Gurler House. Originally constructed for Ellzey and Alida Young. Purchased for $5,000 in December of 1892 by dairy and creamery owner George Gurler. It remained in the family for 85 years. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
319 North Second – circa 1884
Clinton Rosette House. He was Editor of the Daily Chronicle for 30 years, and then briefly the paper’s owner. Clinton Rosette Middle School on North First Street is named for him. He was one of the founders of NIU.
303 North Second – 1896 – Dutch Colonial Revival Architecture
This home was beautifully restored in the late 1980s. Its original owner was Bailey Rosette, a younger brother of Clinton Rosette. Bailey worked for a time at the Chronicle, then started his own paper, The DeKalb Advertiser.