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The Ottawa Historic and Scouting Heritage Museum is hosting its third House Walk on Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Ottawa Historical and Scouting Heritage Museum is hosting its third Historic House Walk on Sunday, November 19, 2017.  Ticket holders to this event are invited to tour the following:


The Hossack House – 210 West Prospect Avenue – Ottawa, IL
In the early to mid 1850’s, noted abolitionist John Hossack engaged the services of Architect Sylvanus Grow to design his new home, which was to be built on the south bluff overlooking the Illinois River in Ottawa, IL. The home was completed ca. 1854-1855. It was rumored to be a stop on the Underground Railroad. That beautiful home has graced that spot on Ottawa’s south bluff and has been a landmark to generations of Ottawans. In the 1920’s and 1930’s, the Federal Government sent staff here to photograph it, and do historical research on it. In 1972, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. And, in late February 2017, a devastating tornado brutally attacked it and damaged it severely, ripping off most of its roof and leaving it open to the winds and heavy rain that followed in the wake of the tornado.  Homeowners Rich and Kyla Mennecke went to work immediately and began the home’s restoration. They have done an outstanding job and the home is once again sound and secure. Open for the house walk 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Alfred Rabenstein home – 407 Fourth Avenue – Ottawa, IL – built in 1929
Al Rabenstein started his retail career in 1895 at the age of 14 when he went to work for J. E. Scott Company. When Carson and Pirie added J. E. Scott to their company, it became Carson, Pirie and Scott. In August of 1923, Alfred Rabenstein started his own retail business specializing in floor coverings and decorative fabrics. The beautiful woodwork in the interior of the home is believed to have come from Sanders Brothers here in Ottawa. Current owners are Mr. and Mrs. Earl Lecki. The home is available for viewing 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

306 DeSoto

The John Gillman home – 306 DeSoto Street – Ottawa, IL
In 1884, this large house was the home of the John Gilman family. John’s brother, William, came to Ottawa in 1855 and began the business of manufacturing corn shellers and cultivators for the farming trade. The business grew and prospered. It eventually evolved into the King and Hamilton Company. John became a partner in the firm in 1875 and served as its President for several years.  The current owner is Ottawa’s Mayor Robert Eschbach. The house is available for viewing 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Henry House – 603 E. Main Street – Ottawa, IL
Believed to have been built ca. 1885, significant features of this two-story wood frame home are front gable bays with bulls eye trim, stained glass transom, wraparound front porch with square brick piers and knee walls (historic alteration ca. 1910). As early as 1902, Mary C. Henry was a resident at this address. She was still a resident there when she married Dr. Philip C. Clune on June 1, 1911. They continued to live in the home for many years, along with Mary’s sister, Elizabeth Henry. When Mary died in 1928, the ownership seems to have passed to Elizabeth sometime thereafter. Elizabeth died intestate in 1941, with a somewhat large estate that was tied up in probate for many years.  Current owners of the home are John and Pat Hoagland. THIS HOME IS AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING 11:30 A.M. TO 4 P.M. ONLY.

The Ottawa Historical and Scouting Heritage Museum – 1100 Canal Street – Ottawa, IL
The museum is open to attendees of the Historic House Walk and will feature a special photographic exhibit of the tornado damage to the Hossack House and the renovation process. Ticket holders will be served refreshments at the museum as well.

Tickets to this event are $20 and may be purchased at the museum (1100 Canal Street), Handy Foods on West Main Street or Herman’s Package Store on West Main Street. Questions may be directed to Mollie Perrot, Executive Director, at 815.433-1361.