West Chicago Historical Society/Kruse House Museum

West Chicago Historical Society/Kruse House Museum The West Chicago Historical Society oversees the care of the Kruse House Museum. The Kruse House is

We are all set up and ready to see you! Come enjoy some community, treats, a wonderful house tour and purchase a mum or ...
09/09/2023

We are all set up and ready to see you! Come enjoy some community, treats, a wonderful house tour and purchase a mum or buy a raffle ticket to take home a special prize! Ice Cream Social today 12-3pm!! Tickets just $5 and parking at West Chicago City Hall, 475 Main Street.

Our   is to this wonderful picture of Fred and Bertha Kruse, the parents of Celia Kruse, who donated her family home to ...
09/01/2023

Our is to this wonderful picture of Fred and Bertha Kruse, the parents of Celia Kruse, who donated her family home to us and that we now preserve as a house museum. This image was taken sometime prior to 1896 when the Village of Turner changed its name to West Chicago. The photograph card is part of the large number of family photographs in our collection.

Fred Kruse was born in Turner Junction on December 23, 1874. Fred was one of eight children born to German immigrant parents who had settled here. At the time of their immigration, Germans were coming to this area in larger numbers and by 1880 they had formed the majority of our residents, creating a bilingual community on the southwest side of the railroad tracks.

Shortly after graduating from high school, Fred met and married Bertha Johanna Augusta Buchert, an immigrant from what was then a northern part of Germany, but today is part of Poland. Bertha and her family had immigrated to the United States and settled in Turner Junction when she was still a child. Bertha and Fred welcomed their only child, a daughter, Celia Leona Kruse, on August 14, 1896. The Buchert family was a very close knit family, always living near each other.

When the Kruse family built their home at 527 Main Street in 1917 (our Kruse House Museum), Bertha’s parents built a home right next door. The Four Square style home of the Kruse family is the only one still standing of the four similarly styled homes that used to stand directly to the west of Main Street and Route 59.

Bertha and her four sisters were extremely close and shared many days together tending to the families gardens of their Main Street homes. Bertha was also fairly protective of her daughter, and it is said that she and her mother walked Celia to school every day. Bertha and her family also loved to travel and took many pictures along the way. As immigrants, exploring their adopted country by car was a luxury they were happy to enjoy.

As many of our residents in the first half of the late 1800s and early 1900s did, Fred Kruse worked for the railroad. He started with the Chicago & North Western Railroad as a crossing flagman and worked his way up the chain, being promoted to a track laborer, a car repairer, then a passenger baggageman and eventually collector- a coveted job, as it was inside the cars and was much safer and cleaner work. Work on the railroad was stressful though, no matter what position one held.

Fred Kruse, sadly died of a heart attack while on the job, shortly after his train pulled into the depot in Chicago. He collapsed as he was readying the train for its return to West Chicago, and his return home. Ironically on that day, the engineer of the train happened to be Fred’s brother, John. John spoke to his brother just a few minutes before Fred passed away. In an even stranger twist of fate, John died of the same ailment on his way to work, just less than one year later.

After Fred’s death, Bertha and their daughter, Celia lived in the Kruse home on Main Street together until Bertha’s death in 1955. Celia never married and remained in the home until her death on Christmas day in 1975. She bequeathed the house to the West Chicago Historical Society-a testament to how important her family was and evidence of her desire to see the history of her community preserved. Since 1979 we have operated the Kruse home as a house museum. It still contains its original period furnishings and Kruse family heirlooms.

We are open today 11am-3pm! And if you haven’t visited us this year, you’re in for a treat. We’ve recently reinterpreted...
08/12/2023

We are open today 11am-3pm! And if you haven’t visited us this year, you’re in for a treat. We’ve recently reinterpreted the basement with a more correct interpretation of how the Kruse family lived. We know that they took most of their meals in the basement of the house in this set up, you can now visit it during your tour. Stop in and see us! We are free!

Are you making your weekend plans? The Kruse House Museum is open this Saturday 11am-3pm! Our house museum is free to to...
06/14/2023

Are you making your weekend plans? The Kruse House Museum is open this Saturday 11am-3pm! Our house museum is free to tour and you can pick up your KDRMA Passport to Adventure!

The Kruse House Museum is open the second and Thursday Saturdays May-September from 11am-3pm.

Have you seen our 2023 Kruse House Museum display ”Oh The Places We’ve Been” featuring fun souvenirs from the past? Tomo...
06/09/2023

Have you seen our 2023 Kruse House Museum display ”Oh The Places We’ve Been” featuring fun souvenirs from the past? Tomorrow is the second Saturday of the month so we’ll be open 11am-3pm! Stop in and see us!

Happy Spring! This picture is of Celia Kruse in front of her family home, now the Kruse House Museum, admiring her beaut...
03/20/2023

Happy Spring! This picture is of Celia Kruse in front of her family home, now the Kruse House Museum, admiring her beautiful flowers:)

We are so grateful to the Garden Club for the wonderful care they take of our Kruse House historic garden!
03/16/2023

We are so grateful to the Garden Club for the wonderful care they take of our Kruse House historic garden!

It's the last open Saturday of the season! Stop in to the Kruse House Museum today from 11am-3pm and learn about the Kru...
09/17/2022

It's the last open Saturday of the season! Stop in to the Kruse House Museum today from 11am-3pm and learn about the Kruse Family and view their beautiful 1917 four-square home! Free!

Photograph of Celia Kruse, the only child of Fred and Bertha Kruse, who left the home to the West Chicago Historical Society to be run as a museum. Celia, her mother, and other female relatives cared greatly for their gardens and grounds, a task still done today by the West Chicago Garden Club.

Thank you to everyone who came out to our Ice Cream Social Fundraiser last Saturday! It was a beautiful day to return t...
09/15/2022

Thank you to everyone who came out to our Ice Cream Social Fundraiser last Saturday! It was a beautiful day to return to this wonderful event! Thank you to everyone who volunteered to make it such a success!!

A big thank you to Prosek's Greenhouse for the beautiful mums for our Ice Cream Social today! You can take your own home...
09/10/2022

A big thank you to Prosek's Greenhouse for the beautiful mums for our Ice Cream Social today! You can take your own home for $10! See you all at noon!

It’s the third Saturday of the month which means the Kruse House Museum is open today 11am-3pm! Stop in and see us! We a...
08/20/2022

It’s the third Saturday of the month which means the Kruse House Museum is open today 11am-3pm! Stop in and see us! We are free and also have beautiful gardens to explore if the rain holds off!

SAVE THE DATE: Ice Cream Social, Saturday, September 10thAll are invited to our Ice Cream Social on Saturday, September ...
07/30/2022

SAVE THE DATE: Ice Cream Social, Saturday, September 10th

All are invited to our Ice Cream Social on Saturday, September 10th from noon-3:00p.m. A slice of homemade cake or pie and ice cream with a refreshing drink are waiting for you during this fundraiser to support the Kruse House Museum! Spend the afternoon with us, meeting with friends, sitting on the lawn and viewing the Kruse House Gardens. The West Chicago Garden Club continues to do a wonderful job maintaining the fabulous surroundings of the Kruse House. At the Ice Cream Social there will also be a door prize and tickets for purchase for a chance on other prizes.

Tickets are $5.00 each and can be purchased in advanced from a Historical Society Board Member, at the Kruse House Museum, the West Chicago City Museum or at the entrance of the Kruse House on the day o the event.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Want to help out with the event , cook a cake or pie, or donate an item to the silent auction? Be sure to reach out to us at (630) 231-0564.

It’s the second Saturday of the month! Stop in and see us and pick up a KDRMA Passport to Adventure booklet if you haven...
06/11/2022

It’s the second Saturday of the month! Stop in and see us and pick up a KDRMA Passport to Adventure booklet if you haven’t gotten one yet! We are open 11am-3pm on the second and third Saturdays of the month! And FREE!

We love to see this 💜 🌺
06/02/2022

We love to see this 💜 🌺

Are you coming to West Chicago’s Blooming Fest today? Well if you are in town, make sure to stop by the Kruse House! We ...
05/21/2022

Are you coming to West Chicago’s Blooming Fest today? Well if you are in town, make sure to stop by the Kruse House! We are open for tours today 11am-3pm! Visit this beautiful Foursquare home with original furnishings.

💜🌸
05/11/2022

💜🌸

Warm weather is here and the flowers are blooming! We love to see our gardens come to life thanks to the West Chicago Ga...
05/11/2022

Warm weather is here and the flowers are blooming! We love to see our gardens come to life thanks to the West Chicago Garden Club. Be sure to check them out this Saturday AND for the first time since 2019 the Kruse House will be open this Saturday from 11am-3pm.

We will be open through September on the 2nd and 3rd Saturdays of the months, and free!

Let’s hope for some warmer weather for us to all enjoy this beautifully cared for garden:)
05/04/2022

Let’s hope for some warmer weather for us to all enjoy this beautifully cared for garden:)

A huge thank you to the Garden Club for continuing their work on our beautiful gardens. We appreciate all they do so muc...
05/02/2022

A huge thank you to the Garden Club for continuing their work on our beautiful gardens. We appreciate all they do so much and are so excited to see this tree grow!

It’s a BEEautiful day to explore the Kruse House Gardens so wonderfully maintained by the West Chicago Garden Club! We c...
09/18/2021

It’s a BEEautiful day to explore the Kruse House Gardens so wonderfully maintained by the West Chicago Garden Club! We can’t thank them enough for all their work on the gardens and their wonderful Bees this season!

We can't wait to see the bees arrive in our gardens! Thanks to the Garden Club for their continued work in our historic ...
04/05/2021

We can't wait to see the bees arrive in our gardens! Thanks to the Garden Club for their continued work in our historic garden and for great projects like this!

This summer, the West Chicago Garden Club will fill the Kruse Garden with Bees created by our amazing artists. We want to provide a small taste without spoiling the surprise of the completed Bees, so here is a "quilt" of small details. The full set of Bees will be unveiled in May and the garden will be buzzing throughout the summer.

Did you miss our the West Chicago history presentation yesterday all about the trains that built West Chicago? Check out...
03/18/2021

Did you miss our the West Chicago history presentation yesterday all about the trains that built West Chicago? Check out the recording here and join us in April for part two!

Watch the recording from the March 17, 2021, Town Hall Share: The Trains that Built West Chicago

08/23/2020
Thank you for supporting West Chicago history!
03/10/2019

Thank you for supporting West Chicago history!

02/14/2019

A beautiful winter in West Chicago!

Thank you for a great 2018 season at the Kruse House Museum! If you missed our display “A Tip of the Hat,” you can enjoy...
10/07/2018

Thank you for a great 2018 season at the Kruse House Museum! If you missed our display “A Tip of the Hat,” you can enjoy it here!

Kruse House Museum, West Chicago, IL. 2018 Display. "A Tip Of The Hat"

03/27/2018
What a great painting from today's Art in the Garden! Thank you Maggie!
06/25/2017

What a great painting from today's Art in the Garden! Thank you Maggie!

Celia's Shed 8x10 plein air knife painting. I changed it a little to bring out the focal point of the hydrangeas.

Come join us at Art in the Garden!
06/24/2017

Come join us at Art in the Garden!

03/28/2017

Thank you to everyone who came to our "Hamilton's Women" Tea Fundraiser on Sunday! We had a great turnout to support West Chicago history! Thanks to everyone for their support and thank you to Leslie Goddard for a great program!

West Chicago Historical Society

Spring is here which means Tea Time is right around the corner! Join us for our annual spring tea fundraiser to support ...
02/23/2017

Spring is here which means Tea Time is right around the corner! Join us for our annual spring tea fundraiser to support West Chicago history!

Contact the Friends of the West Chicago City Museum for tickets!

Gray skies are going to clear up... Come on out and join us for the silent action from noon-3pm!
09/10/2016

Gray skies are going to clear up... Come on out and join us for the silent action from noon-3pm!

08/27/2016

Thanks to KDRMA for sharing our great house museum! Stop in tomorrow from 11am-3pm to see the Kruse House and our 2016 summer display "99 bottles..." Free!

Kruse House Museum is operated by the West Chicago Historical Society. The Kruse House Museum, built in 1917 is an example of "four square" architecture.

06/23/2016

Have you been to the Kruse House Museum yet this summer? Stop by this Saturday we are open from 11am-3pm! and we are free!

Did you miss our All Aboard! display this past season, check it out here!
09/29/2015

Did you miss our All Aboard! display this past season, check it out here!

The 2015 display at the Kruse House Museum in West Chicago, Illinois.

This Saturday!
09/07/2015

This Saturday!

08/08/2015

We are open today 11-3pm! Stop in and see our 2015 exhibit "All Aboard" before it closes in a month! We are always FREE!

07/24/2015

Have you seen our All Aboard train exhibit yet? Stop in tomorrow from 11am-3pm! We are always FREE!

07/11/2015

We are open today until 3pm! Stop in and see our exhibit All Aboard!!!

Thanks to everyone who came out today to support West Chicago history! And thank you to the Tea Ladies for a wonderful p...
05/31/2015

Thanks to everyone who came out today to support West Chicago history! And thank you to the Tea Ladies for a wonderful presentation on Downton Abbey and the fashions of the time!

Address

527 Main Street
West Chicago, IL
60185

Opening Hours

9am - 5pm

Telephone

(630) 231-0564

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