Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Naper Settlement
Naper Settlement

Naper Settlement

Naper Settlement, the only nineteenth-century outdoor historic village in metropolitan Chicago, began in 1969 as a cooperative effort between the Naperville Heritage Society, a volunteer organization committed to historic preservation, and the city of Naperville to preserve examples of that city's heritage as an agricultural village before development completely transformed Naperville into a “technoburb.” The 13-acre “living village” in downtown Naperville encompasses 27 historic relocated, recreated, or restored structures, including a Gothic revival church (1864), operational blacksmith and print shops, the first hotel built west of Chicago, and the Martin Mitchell house (1883), deeded to the city in 1936 and for many years Naperville's historical museum. A professional staff and nine hundred volunteers provide interactive exhibits six days a week to more than 93,000 visitors per year (1998), maintain over 20,000 historical artifacts, and conduct numerous educational programs and special events.