New exhibit celebrates the 125th anniversary of the Victorian Blodgett House
Aug 03, 2017 11:51AM
By Ben Scott
Museum Curator Zachary Bishop places a plexi-glass exhibit case over Dr. Franklin Roe’s account book from 1896. Roe, a Downers Grove physician in the 19th century, treated Israel Blodgett Junior’s wife and daughter.
DOWNERS GROVE—To celebrate the 125th anniversary of the
Victorian Blodgett House, the Downers Grove Museum has developed a temporary exhibit
that explores the history of the Blodgett family and their significant impact
on the growth of Downers Grove, the State of Illinois and the United States.
Blodgetts: 100 Years of Family History will be on display from August 9 to
December in the Downers Grove Museum annex located at 831 Maple Ave. in Downers
A free exhibit opening reception with light refreshments will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. on August 9. Regular museum hours are Monday to Wednesday noon to 4 p.m., Thursday and Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free and donations are appreciated.
The exhibit explores the lives of Israel, Avis, and their eight children as they traveled from Amherst, Massachusetts to Downers Grove, IL. Each Blodgett family member participated in significant events of the 19th century, including the Underground Railroad, the formation of the Republican Party, the California Gold Rush, the Civil War and the 1893 World’s Fair.
The exhibit features rare objects from the 19th century and early 20th century, including a rifle-musket that was used in the Civil War, two Medals of Honors awarded to Wells Blodgett, a steel plow from 1909, and a Grand Army of the Republic medal. For the first time in many years, the exhibit will display two documents from the museum’s collection that Abraham Lincoln signed.
The exhibit also features reproductions of historic images of the Pioneer Blodgett House, land plats, and Blodgett family portraits. In addition, a reproduction of Lester Schrader’s painting, “The Slave Hunter,” will be on display, courtesy of the Naperville Heritage Society. Also, see the battles and locations fought by three Blodgett family members fought during the Civil War.
For more information about the Downers Grove Museum and exhibits, visit www.dgparks.org or call 630.963.1309.