Russell Heacock Farmhouse

2824 Burr Oak Avenue

Built c. 1839


This house was built by one of Blue Island’s early farming families and was later occupied by Norman Rexford, who retired to farm here after selling the Blue Island House Hotel in 1852.


Norman and Julia Rexford are the honored pioneers of Blue Island, the first to build a home and make permanent location on “the blue island” in 1835. The Rexford’s Blue Island House opened in 1836, providing lodging and refreshment for wagon traffic, troops, and settlers moving along the Vincennes Trail into and out of Chicago. It also served as the social center for a farming region that stretched as far as twenty miles to the south, west, and east of Blue Island.


The hotel, which was located on Western Avenue between Grove and Fulton Streets, was destroyed by a fire in 1858.


After the home left the Rexfords hands the Swanson family operated a dairy from this site for many years.


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