Welcome riders! This page is your guide to the Historic House Bike Tour of Lombard!
This is the map for our historic house bike tour of Lombard. The route is subject to change based on traffic or weather conditions.
Plum amassed over three hundred different lilac cultivars during his lifetime. Mrs. Helen Plum passed away in 1924 and Colonel Plum in 1927. In his will, he bequeathed his garden of lilacs and the Plum’s house of many years to the Village of Lombard and the emergent park district. Later, the Lombard Park District worked with renowned landscape architect, Jens Jensen, to design Lilacia Park, with Plum’s lilacs as its focus, for future generations of flower lovers. In 2011, visiting leaders of the International Lilac Society proclaimed Lilacia Park one of the best maintained lilac collections they had seen. In 2019, the park was named to the National Register of Historic Places.
J B Hull House – 1852 / moved in 1924 – Midwest Farmhouse Architecture
Built by Ansel and Drucilla Russell in 1852, the Hulls came here in 1845 from New York and owned the home for 31 years from 1854 to 1885. Fanny and Joseph Hull sold to Albert and Louisa Graue (no relation to the Graue mill), who then sold to Dietrich and Mathilda Fleege who had the house moved from 125 East St. Charles Road in 1924 so that Park Avenue could be extended north. Joseph Bernard Hull’s parents emigrated from England to Connecticut and then to New York where J.B. was born during the War of 1812. The Hulls were one of the earliest settlers in the area arriving in 1845, after passing
through Chicago from New York with their two daughters
150 N Main St
1885 - Dr. Charles Oleson House / The Santa Claus House – Queen Anne Dr. Oleson, a native of Portland, Maine and a Civil War veteran, was the first trained doctor in Lombard. He graduated from Harvard Medical School.
After his first wife, Abbie, passed away, he married his second wife, Mary Scott Hayden, with whom he fathered four more children. It is claimed that Dr. Oleson purchased a railcar load of lumber to build his house with reportedly the same craftsmen and tradesmen as had built his daughter’s house next door at 124 N Main Street.
Anecdote: The five bedroom six bath house reportedly has 57 windows, 3,800 square feet of living space and 1,000 miles of trim. A bay window on the north side overlooks the Illinois Prairie Path.
Sheldon Peck Homestead
1837 to 1939 – Sheldon Peck Homestead – New England Farm House
using Post & Beam construction - Oldest existing home in Lombard
Remodeled and stuccoed in 1910 by Frank Peck, the Sheldon Peck’s son,
the house has been restored to its original clapboard exterior and shake
Sheldon Peck supported his large family (12 children) by farming, raising
Merion sheep and painting portraits. The first school in Lombard met here with the teacher’s salary paid for by Peck. An ardent opponent to slavery, Peck was a conductor, and his home a
station, on the Underground Railroad in the years before the Civil War.
This home was lived in continuously by Peck descendants until it was
donated to the Lombard Historical Society. Peck’s son, Charles, became a successful artist in his own right and was a founder of the Chicago Academy of Design, now the Art Institute of
It is recognized by the National Park Service Network to Freedom as a
verified stop on the Underground Railroad and by the Illinois State
Historical Society with a marker recognizing Peck’s role as an abolitionist
and folk art painter.
“Orphan Annie Birthplace”
This is the house where Harold Gray, a young Tribune cartoonist and assistant to Sidney Smith, the creator of “The Gumps,” was living when he first began developing the Little Orphan Annie character.
The house was originally “shingled” all over, not just the roof; hence the style name “Shingle Style.” Shingle houses were popular for only a short time, between 1890 and 1900. This style appealed to buyers who did not
want the ornamentation common to the Queen Anne Style, but multiple gables were common features. Generally, it was an “East Coast” style choice, but it eventually spread coast to coast, across the country.
The original owners, Harry & Eleanore Leffingwell, were Harold Gray’s aunt and uncle, and the parents of Ed Leffingwell, a cartoonist and creator of the “Little Joe” comic strip in 1933 about a teenager on a cattle ranch. Ed
Leffingwell died in 1936 and the strip was taken over by his brother, Robert, and continued until 1972.
James Ashby House – 1 ½ story
Gable Front Cottage – Original contractor, Charles Assman
James Ashby was the Lombard railroad agent and a railroad electrician.
His married his first wife Martha in 1900. She died in 1919 & he married his
second wife, Iva in 1920. The family was living in the house until at least
Pretty natural woodwork including open turning stairway, built in bench and
ten foot ceilings.
Samuel Lumbard House / aka Hidden House
Considered to be an outstanding example of the Tudor Revival style with ½
timber framed exterior with excellent integrity. The house is known as the
“Hidden House” as it is set off the street in the middle of the block & is not
visible from the street when the trees and shrubs are in leaf.
Samuel J Lumbard was a lawyer & leading citizen of Lombard in the early
20th century. He also was a real estate developer. Formerly of Chicago &
Oak Park, Lumbard moved to Lombard in 1900 and lived in town until his
death in 1932. He grew peonies on the 11 acres of former farmland, some
of the 90 acres originally owned by the Peck family. In the 1920s, Lumbard
decided to reduce the size of his parcel and sold the remainder of Henry
Interesting anecdote: Over the years and many owners, it is reported by
one owner, refusing to be identified, that buyers of those lots had nine
months to dig up peonies from the original estate for their yards.
In 1935, it was occupied by Elizabeth Hill, who ran a private school in the
house, the legitimacy of which neighbors objected to.
10 East Washington Roath House
Samuel Lumbard bought the lot after 1905 & built a house between 1908 & '10. The Roath family may have been the first family to own the house, but the 1910 census does not show any such family.
Built by Samuel Lumbard with hand-picked lumber, this house has a double bay window and a large wrap around verandah. The kitchen originally had a pantry and ½ bath and a third floor ballroom/games room with built in benches circling the room – now gone - and a self-contained apartment.
Babcock's Grove Cemetery / Lombard Cemetery
The Lombard Cemetery (formerly Babcock’s Grove Cemetery) began as a
community burial plot in 1851 for Babcock’s Grove. The owner of the land,
Reuben Mink, officially donated the property to the community, establishing
the Babcock’s Grove Cemetery Association. After 1869, when Babcock’s
Grove became Lombard, it became the Lombard Cemetery Association.
The first burial was on July 11, 1851, although the headstone no longer
remains. Over the years, many of Lombard’s most notable residents,
including Sheldon and Harriet Peck, William Hammerschmidt, Christia
Reade and Charles Assman have been buried here. It features many
historic stones with images and symbols that were common during the
100 West Washington
100 West Washington Boulevard is aptly and proudly named: The Tribune
Prize Winner. As part of a post-WW2 initiative, the Chicago Tribune created
a competition to identify the future of affordable housing. It was called the
Chicagoland Home Prize Competition. And in 1947, the home before you
had been built and opened to the public for viewing. An article in the
Tribune reported that 14,000 people toured the home during the open
house. It was fully decorated and furnished by Popular Home magazine.
Watercolor paintings by Chicago artists were also used for decoration. And
a comment on the home was made by Mrs. Harley Lichtenberger of the
Lombard Woman's Club, noting that the ample closet space met the
standards of efficient housekeeping. Another comment was made by Mrs.
Louis Huston of the Villa Park Woman’s Club. She said, quote, “The house
is so cleverly arranged that the master bedroom can be used as a sitting
room. When the young people of the family have guests, their parents will
have their own quarters for listening to the radio, reading, playing cards, or
John Schuetz House – Built by William Assman
An example of a classic gable-front workman’s cottage with simple lines and details. This was an affordable house style and was the first type to appear in many small and large towns across America after the Civil War.
Usually executed with balloon framing, it was easy to enlarge with additions. This frame cottage has clapboard siding and 2 over 2 windows on the first floor, typical of post-Civil War design.
The home rests on a fieldstone foundation measuring three feet thick. The first owner, John Schuetz, was a sailor and a rope-maker. The house has seen three generations of the Schuetz family.
William Assman House
The house is now double its original size but looks much the same from the front.
William Assman was a carpenter who not only built houses, but also produced much of the finished interior woodwork for several Maple Street houses. He was one of a number of German craftsmen who came to Lombard in 1877 with his brother Henry and his cousin George.
His workshop was in the 2-story barn behind his half-brother Henry’s house. His son, Charles, had a planing mill down the street. Charles’ house still stands at 426 West Maple Street.