302 W Chicago Street
302 W Chicago Street 1
302 W Chicago Street 2
Photo provided courtesy of Old Elgin;
A Pictorial History
Our tour begins with Elgin's oldest existing home, built in 1846. According to a published report on May 14, 1847 in the Elgin Courier, William C. and Samuel J Kimball had the home built by Mr. Grow and then deeded the completed structure to their mother, Nancy Currier Kimball as her home. Several news accounts mention the wide oak plank flooring milled from the local forests. The original address was 68 Bridge St. The home featured six rooms and a basement.

Nancy Currier Kimball lived to be 101 years old, passing away in 1888 in the house. The home then went to the Thiers family, who lived there until 1950. It was the Thiers family that added the wood structure to the west giving the house two addresses, 302 and 306 W Chicago. This was probably done in the 1920's, when there was a housing shortage across the country.

The building has passed through a series of owners in the second half of the 20th century, some lived there, and others did not. At this time, it is not clear when the house was divided into 5 units. The building was gutted by a fire in 1991.

The City of Elgin purchased the home in 2009 with the intent to renovate the structure and return it to a single family home. It will be the location of the Near Westside R.O.P.E. officer's house. This program places police officers in housing within their "beat."

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