* on National Register
of Historic Places
Bryant Durant (1807-1898) built this house in 1843, just prior to his marriage to Jerusha Shurtleff. Durant came to Chicago from Massachussetts in 1837 to join his brother, James, in a business venture. A bricklayer by trade, Durant built his Greek Revival home with locally-made bricks.
The Durants lived at this residence until 1880, when they moved in with their daughter, Emma, in St. Charles. Godfrey and Christina Peterson rented and eventually bought the farm from the Durants in 1886. A kitchen and bathroom addition was built by the petersons at this time. The home stayed in the Peterson family until 1934 when it was purchased by Archibald and Faye Sheldon. The Sheldons used the residence as a caretaker's cottage. In 1968, Mrs. Sheldon deeded the land to the Kane County Forest Preserve Commission.
the years, the condition of the home had significantly deteriorated.
Interest in restoring the historical building flourished
in the early 1970s. The local Questers, a national organization
of women interested in the study, restoration, and preservation
of historical furniture and buildings, began to work in
cooperation with the Kane County Forest Preserve Commission
in restoring the building. After extensive restoration work,
the Durant-Peterson house opened as a museum of 19th century
life. Visitors can experience middle class farm life and
learn how early settlers lived by speaking with knowledgeable
docents on Sundays in February and every Sunday from June
15th through August 30th. The Durant-Peterson House, now
operated and maintained by Preservation Partners of the
Fox Valley, hosts tours for school groups throughout the
school year, and special events.
photographs, see these sources,
more fully described in the Bibliography.
Buildings Vertical File
Shirley. "Home Sweet Home Revisited." St. Charles Chronicle
3 Feb. 1988, Our Towns:8:1.
Durant-Peterson House, St. Charles, Illinois...A Stepback
in Time. St. Charles: Restorations of Kane County.
Cindy. "Docents Keep Their Depictions as Real as the 19th
Century." Kane County Chronicle 24 Mar. 1992, Hist.
to Live Again at Durant House." St. Charles Chronicle
4 Oct. 1972.
to Restore Bryant Durant Home." Beacon News 30