History and Historic Preservation
St. Charles would not be what it is today without the help of its community. In honor of the City’s 185th Anniversary, this month we will be looking back (and ahead) at the history of volunteerism that has shaped our image of St. Charles over the years.
April’s Landmark of the Month is the Franklin Curtis House. This house is located at 516 N 3rd Ave, and was designated as a landmark last year. Franklin Curtis built this English Cottage style home on Terra Cotta foundation in 1926, and the garage was added sometime later. Shortly after 2008, an addition was added to the east side elevation. Mr. Curtis lived in the home until 1941, when he sold it to George E. Thompson. Mr. Thompson was the superintendent of St. Charles schools from 1919- 1958. He lived in the home until his retirement. Thompson middle school was named in his honor.
March’s Landmark of the Month is the Burchell House. Located at 203 N 3rd Avenue, the Burchell House was designated as a landmark last October. Peter Burchell built this home in the Italianate style in 1855. The home stayed in the Burchell family until it was sold in 1877 to Terrance Ryan. Ryan was a Civil War veteran and Kane County States Attorney. Other notable owners include Judge William D. Barry, an acquaintance of Abraham Lincoln, and George Thompson, WWI veteran and Superintendent of schools in St. Charles. In 2016, the current homeowners took on a large renovation project.
With Restaurant Week approaching, it is only fitting that we focus on some restaurants that have shaped our past. Let’s look back and pay homage to some of the local restaurants whose history is embedded in the history of St. Charles itself.
To celebrate the 25th year of Historic Preservation in St. Charles, every month the City will be highlighting one recently landmarked structure as the “Landmark of the Month.” February’s Landmark of the Month is the Elisha Freeman House. Located at 515 Walnut St., the Elisha Freeman House is the City’s 49th landmarked home. This brick home was designed and built in the Greek Revival style by Mr. Freeman in 1853. Sometime later, a brick smoke house was added to the property. This smoke house is potentially the last remaining one in St. Charles. Elisha Freeman was a prominent St.