Our region is rich with landmarks that provide insight about our shared history. Among them are historical homes, from humble log cabins to resplendent mansions. See if you can identify the city and county in which each of these 12 homes exists. Your options are provided in the box and each is used once. Unless noted, all homes are open for tours; check websites for seasons, hours and costs. No peeking! Answers posted below.
A. Belvidere, Boone Co.
B. DeKalb, DeKalb Co.
C. Galena, Jo Daviess Co.
D. Dixon, Lee Co.
E. Oregon, Ogle Co.
F. Cedarville, Stephenson Co.
G. Rockford, Winnebago Co.
H. Cassville, Grant Co.
I. New Glarus, Green Co.
J. Mineral Point, Iowa Co.
K. Janesville, Rock Co.
L. Lake Geneva, Walworth Co.
___1. Stronghold Castle is a European-style manor house built by Chicago publishing mogul Walter Strong as a summer house for his family. Completed in 1929, the home is surrounded by more than 350 wooded acres overlooking the Rock River.
___2. Ellwood House Museum offers a glimpse of how wealthy entrepreneur Isaac Ellwood lived during the late 1800s, after co-founding the world’s first barbed wire factory with Joseph Glidden.
___3. The two-story Duxstad Cabin, now located inside a museum, was built in 1840 from hand-hewn logs pinned together with two-inch wooden pegs. It has one-foot-thick walls and is furnished with period items, offering an authentic idea of what local pioneer living looked like.
___4. The Italianate-style Lincoln-Tallman House was home to the William Tallman family from 1857 to 1915. Tallman was an attorney from the East Coast and a friend of Abraham Lincoln, who spent a few nights in the home in 1859, a year before he became president. The house offered many luxuries for its time, including central heat, running water, gas pipes for lighting and an indoor privy.
___5. Tinker Swiss Cottage was inspired by architecture that charmed businessman Robert H. Tinker during his 1862 visit to Europe. He built his whimsical estate on a limestone bluff and connected it to the home of his neighbor and future wife, Mary Dorr Manny, using a suspension bridge. Visitors passing through town by train enjoyed stopping to admire his elegant, formal gardens.
___6. This Italianate-style brick home was presented as a gift to General Ulysses S. Grant by grateful townspeople after his triumphant return from the Civil War in 1865. He was elected president a few years later. Many of the furnishings are original and were used by the Grant family.
___7. Yet another home in our region was occupied by a would-be U.S. president – 40th President Ronald Reagan. Beginning when he was 9 years old, his family rented a modest two-story, three-bedroom Queen Anne-style home. Three years later they were forced to find less-expensive accommodations. Reagan lived here with parents Jack and Nelle, and brother Neil, who was three years older.
___8. Although this home is privately owned and not open to the public, visitors often locate and admire the childhood home of Jane Addams, built in 1854 by her father. A nearby museum located in an early schoolhouse pays homage to Addams, an internationally famous humanitarian and social work pioneer. Addams graduated from what is now Rockford University in 1881, and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.
___9. Once the 2,000-acre country estate of Wisconsin’s first governor, Nelson Dewey, who anchored it with a Gothic Revival home completed in 1868, Stonefield today includes 30 buildings that house the state’s largest collection of farm tools, models and machinery. Visitors learn about colorful personalities who contributed to local agriculture and Wisconsin’s status as “America’s Dairyland.”
___10. Pendarvis House is a restored limestone cottage built in the early 1830s by settlers from Cornwall, England, who came to the U.S. in search of mining opportunities. In the 1930s, history lovers rallied to save the vanishing structures, many of which are now open to the public.
___11. Black Point Estate is a 20-room lakeside “cottage” built in 1888 by Chicago beer magnate Conrad Seipp. Most visitors reach it by boat. Its Queen Anne architecture and intact Victorian furnishings collection is among the best in the Midwest; the estate and gardens were named among the 10 best home-estate tours in the U.S. by Fodor’s Travel.
___12. This 1845 Swiss log cabin and 13 other period buildings tell the story of how 100 immigrants from Switzerland built a new life in the U.S. There’s an 1890s cheese factory, one-room schoolhouse, firehouse, general store, log church and more.