Start on the Northeast corner of Webster & West State Streets
Governor Duncan Home
#4 Duncan Place
This 3-story, 17-room mansion was built in 1834 for Illinois Governor Joseph Duncan, his wife Elizabeth and their growing family. It served as the official Governor's Mansion during his term of office, 1834-38, and is the only structure left in the state that served in that capacity outside Springfield. The mansion is owned and operated by the Rev. James Caldwell Chapter NSDAR. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, has been fully restored, and houses many of the original Duncan family furnishings.
Guided tours are available during regular hours. All other tours may be scheduled by calling the Jacksonville Area Visitors & Conventions Bureau. Group tours are welcome. Regular hours are Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Memorial Day to Labor Day. There is an adult donation of $2.00, students 6-12 $1.00, with children under the age of 7 admitted free of charge. This tour of Jacksonville's historic district begins in Duncan Park, site of Governor Joseph Duncan's home. There are two parts to this tour. The main part covers West State and West College streets. An extension, beginning in the center of the tour, covers architecturally and historically significant buildings further east on West State Street. This extension adds 7/10 of a mile to the tour.
Dr. Owen Long House
1047 West State Street
This home built in 1864 or 65 is pure Italianate in style. Dr. Owen M. Long who bought the home was on intimate terms with Abraham Lincoln. Ulysses S. Grant and Stephen A. Douglas. Mr. James T. King, who bought the home in 1881 for $4,000 hunted with Theodore Roosevelt.
The William Hook House
1042 West State Street
This home is an excellent example of Shingle Style architecture. An adaptation of the Free style, Queen Anne plan, the house is solid brick covered with shingles. William Spencer Hook bought this property in 1888. He and his brother, Marcus, played a prominent role in the development of the Streetcar Railway System in Jacksonville and also in Los Angeles. Upon William’s death, his sister, Fannie, became the mistress. Legend says that she would sit in the upstairs window and check the "passing" passing of the trolley cars and woe to the conductor that passed the house a few minutes behind schedule. Fannie, attired in trousers and smoking cigars, could chew out the conductors with the best of them!
The Clay House
1019 West State Street
Only the northeast wing of the original structure remains of the Clay house. Built in 1834, it sat on six acres of land, the entire city block! The home was owned by Porter Clay, (half brother of Henry Clay) his wife, and stepson, John J. Hardin. Many famous people visited this home, including Henry Clay and Daniel Webster. The house was later the home of William D. Sanders, D.D., professor at IC and founder of the Young Ladies Athenaeum in 1864.
The Bateman House
907 West State Street
This house was built in 1851 and sold to Newton Bateman, the famous educator. The architectural style is Gothic Revival and was originally of Board-and-Batten construction. Some of the decorated vergeboards can be seen at the front of the house and the steep rooflines.
*Turn south on Westminster 1 block to West College. Continue west on West College. (For the extended tour, continue east on W. State Street.)
The Judge Henry B. McClure House
919 West College
Built in the late 1850's, this home has passed from a simple Greek Revival of the early 50’s to an enlarged, late 1860's Italianate structure.
*Continue west to Park Street turning south on the east side of Park.
The Octagon House
222 Park Street
Rufus C. Crampton, professor of mathematics and astronomy at IC from 1853-1888, built this house from a design developed by Orson Squire Fowler, the nation’s leading phrenologist. Octagonal houses may well be the first truly American architecture.
The Fayerweather House
248 Park Street
Built in 1852, the Fayerweather house is one of the Gothic Revival Style. This style is illustrated by its bay windows on the north and south ends of the house. The house was built by Julian M. Sturtevant who came to Jacksonville, married Elizabeth M. Fayerweather and became a teacher at Illinois College in 1829. He was appointed president of that College in 1844.
The Samuel Adams House
1120 West College Street
Built in the early 1840's by Dr. Samuel Adams, this house is a classic example of Greek Revival style of architecture. The original walnut siding is on the rear and sides of the structure.
1101 W. College
Illinois College is one of the oldest college west of the Alleghenies. A location for the college was secured in 1828 by the Reverend John M. Ellis and Thomas Lippincott. Illinois College granted the first degrees in the State of Illinois in 1835. Richard Yates, later to become Civil War governor of the state, was one of two graduates in that first class. The first medical school in the state was operated by Illinois College in "Old Beecher Hall" from 1842-1848. "Old Beecher Hall" was erected in 1829 and is still in use on the campus, the oldest building in Illinois. Originally a college for men, Illinois College became coeducational in 1903.
*Continue west past Illinois College to Webster. Turn north on Webster.
Illinois School for the Deaf
125 North Webster
Of the three state charitable institutions in Jacksonville, the Illinois School for the Deaf is the oldest, being established in February of 1839, opening in 1845 with 2 students. A residential school for the hearing impaired children, the Illinois School for the Deaf is one of the oldest and largest schools for the deaf in the United States.
*Continue north to West State Street.
The JW Lathrop House
817 West State Street
John W. Lathrop, a prominent advocate of anti-slavery practices has this two-story, brick, Greek Revival style home built in 1846. It became the home of pioneer cattle king John T. Alexander on August 3, 1857.
The Augustus Ayers House
876 West State Street
This three-story red brick Italianate house was built by Augustus E. Ayers in approximately 1857. The ground floor contained a huge parlor (on the right) with two marble fireplaces and an enormous mirror that reaches from the molding nearly to the floor. The mirror is now in the Mac Murray Reception room.
The Moore House
856 West State Street
Henry Owsley built this early Italianate home in 1853. In 1857 he sold the house to Joshua Moore. It remained in the Moore family for the next 117 years. In the northwest bedroom window, Joshua Moore's children etched their names in the glass, using their mother’s diamond ring, while they were quarantined with scarlet fever.
George M. Chambers House
829 W. State Street
The eclectic blend of Greek Revival, with tones of Late Federal, mark this architectural structure. The back portion, consisting of four rooms, was built in 1841. The eight rooms at the front were added in 1846. Since the addition in 1846, virtually no architectural changes have been made in the house.
The Rockwell House
724 West State Street
Jacksonville’s first doctor, Ero Chandler, had this house built between 1828 & 1835. The exterior siding and the woodwork inside are black walnut. The original leaded glass in the sidelights and transom brought to Jacksonville from New England can still be seen. Dr. Chandler donated the land for the Jacksonville Female Academy. Mr. Rockwell bought the house in 1838, and it has been known as the Rockwell House ever since. Mr. Rockwell was the first County Clerk of Morgan County, holding office for 20 years, one of the first official postmasters of Jacksonville and a member of the Morganian Society of 1823, an organization "adverse to slavery."