Beith House Museum
On the west bank of the Fox River sits the original Beith House. The exact location is 8 Indiana Street, St. Charles, IL 60174. The Beith House is named after William Beith, who was a prominent Kane County stone mason. This Greek Revival home was built in 1850. The river stone home is one of the few examples in the area that has not been changed or altered much, whereas many other local structures have been covered in stucco.
After years of neglect, in the year 1980, the Beith House was restored to operate as a Preservation Study House. The home is a modern example of fully interior and exterior restoration procedures, as well as displaying the decorative arts of the mid-19th century.
Some of the museum’s educational-based attractions include the outdoor Archeology Box, many “old house mysteries”, the gallery of local architecture and more. There are multiple exhibits available to the public on the first floor. The exhibits and tours are entertaining for guests of all ages. The William Beith House is a registered historic place.
History of the William Beith House
William Beith came to St. Charles in 1843 from Scotland. He built this house between 1845 and 1850 as a home for his family. He had building skills because he was a prominent local builder. The Preservation Partners of Fox Valley restored this home in 1980 to operate it as a museum of house preservation. On December 7th, 1983, the United States Department of the Interior recognized the house as a historic place. Currently, the home serves as a headquarters for Preservation Partners.
Architecture in St. Charles, IL
The architecture of the two-story home falls under the Greek Revival category. Facing the Fox River is the main door, which faces directly east. The front door has windows to the right and above it. The facade facing south has two windows on each floor, whereas the north side has one window on each floor. Brick has filled in two windows that originally adorned the main structure. At the time of construction, a small, one-story attachment that faces east was added on.
Beith was a noted abolitionist and it is thought that the large brick cistern in the basement, with its bricked-in opening, may have been a tunnel from the river that was part of the Underground Railroad.
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