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Tour the Buildings
The Halfway House, a brick two-story building relocated to Naper Settlement in 1975, stood on the south side of Route 65 west of Route 59 on the present site of the Westfield Fox Valley Shopping Center, half way between the towns of Naperville and Aurora. Built in 1843 of bricks sun-baked on the site, the house once served as a stopping-off place for weary travelers from the west heading to and from Chicago, due to the warm hospitality of the farm family who lived there.
This brick farmhouse with working windmill, smokehouse and barn, represents a typical northern Illinois farm. Take a peek into a re-created 19th century farm cellar. Farm families would have stored their fall harvest foods such as potatoes, turnips and apples, in a cellar like this one, preserving them for the winter ahead.
The Halfway House was to be demolished to make way for the new mall complex. In cooperation with Naperville Heritage Society, the firms of Marshall Field and Company, Sears Roebuck and Company and Urban Development Corporation funded the move.
As a child, Mrs. Helena Zentmeyer Wackerlin often rode with her parents from Aurora to Naperville to visit her grandparents. The red brick house, halfway to Naperville, served as a milestone on the journey. They would wave to the family occupying the house, and Helena developed a special feeling for the place. It was this nostalgia that prompted her to offer to fund the restoration of the house when she learned it would be placed at Naper Settlement. She proposed to make it the repository of the heirloom furniture she inherited from the Zentmeyers and Bauers, early settlers in this area. The completely restored and beautifully furnished home was dedicated in 1981.
Volunteers & Donations
With deep appreciation, we acknowledge the generous
volunteers and donors
who provided the necessary resources between 1975 and 1981 that made the relocation and restoration of these farm structures a reality. Their commitment and partnership in preserving these buildings continues to show the important part agriculture played in our heritage.
523 S. Webster St., Naperville, IL 60540 • 630.420.6010 • Fax: 630.305.4044
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