22 May Harry & Myrtle Albee House

13018 Maple Ave Built in 1878 Photographs by BIHS Executive Director Kevin Brown   The Albee House, built in 1878, was the home of Harry and Myrtle Albee. The family occupied the home until 1942. It was in that year that Myrtle Albee offered her home and its contents to the...

09 Aug Ernest & Irene Rauch House

2517 Orchard Street Built in 1924 Ferdinand W.C. Roeddiger, Architect Photographs by BIHS Executive Director Kevin Brown   Bungalows are much loved in our area, with a truly unique twist to the housing style known as the "Chicago Bungalow."  The original bungalows were influenced by Arts and Crafts design from California, but in...

09 Aug Fred & Mamie Dorman House

2451 Oak Street Built in 1903 Photographs by BIHS Executive Director Kevin Brown     This residence, built in 1903 by Fred and Mamie Dorman, is an outstanding example of a worker's cottage.  Small, narrow homes like the Dorman House were often built on stone foundations and employed "balloon framing" - an innovative...

25 Jul Herman & Louise Seyfarth House

2518 New Street Built in 1888 Photographs by BIHS Executive Director Kevin Brown   Three pioneer Blue Island families: Seyfarth, Krueger, and McCord - intertwined by marriage - lived at this address continuously for more than a century.  Herman Seyfarth was the general delivery foreman for the U.S. Post Office.  Louise was a...

25 Jul Paul & Caryl Klenk House

12914 Elm Street Built in 1926 Photographs by BIHS Executive Director Kevin Brown     This house, located in Blue Island's "Highland Square" neighborhood, was built by Paul T. Klenk, the then-sitting Mayor of Blue Island, and his wife Caryl in 1926. The Klenks hired Chicago-based architectural firm Doerr, Linquist, and Doerr to design...

25 Jul Conrad & Matilda Kich House

2551 York Street Built in 1878 Photographs by BIHS Executive Director Kevin Brown   Conrad Kich arrived in Blue Island in 1849 at age 11.  His father, Peter, was among the first Germans to settle in Blue Island.  Kich worked as a "section boss" for the Chicago, Rock Island, & Pacific...

25 Jul Walter Johnston House

12944 Elm Street Built circa 1930 Photographs by BIHS Executive Director Kevin Brown     Blue Island's prosperity is connected with railroads.  With the coming of the Chicago, Rock Island, & Pacific Railroad, Blue Island developed from a rural enclave to a prosperous city.  Walter Johnston was the son of a...

25 Jul Heber & Laura Rexford House

Burr Oak Avenue Built in 1840 Photographs by BIHS Executive Director, Kevin Brown   This residence was home to two generations of Blue Island's founding family, the Rexfords.  Heber S. Rexford, brother of first settler Norman Rexford, settled permanently in Blue Island in 1844, delivering mail for the United States...

21 Jul Olde Western Avenue

Photographs by Joyce Sheldon   In 1896 a fire destroyed much of Blue Island’s commercial district. The fire did not cross the Calumet feeder canal and the area known today as the Olde Western Historic District was left intact.   The two block district contains the home of Stephen Jones,...

21 Jul Blue Island Opera House

13114 Western Avenue Built in 1908 Photographs by BIHS Executive Director Kevin Brown   The Blue Island Opera House was built by John L. Zacharias, Blue Island’s first mayor and founder of the First National Bank of Blue Island.   The Opera House replaced Robinson Hall, an enormous 1850s wood structure that...