The 1892 Charles Blodgett House on Maple Avenue has served as the Downers Museum since 1976. The museum, located in Pauline Wandschneider Park, is owned and operated by the Downers Grove Park District. The house selected by the Downers Grove Historical Society as the Historic Site of the Year for 2013.
Charles Blodgett built this home at time when Downers Grove residents were building larger homes and looking to expand and modernize the Village. The third Blodgett family home to be built on this site. The land was purchased in 1835 by his father, Israel Blodgett.
In the 1950s and 60s, the home became a unique place to visit because it’s owner, Martin McGowan, filled it with taxidermied animals that he accumulated while hunting on five continents. Martin gave tours of the house to a maximum of 50 people at one time.
The house became a historical museum in 1976 due to the joint effort of the Downers Grove Park District and the Historical Society. For the past 40 years, Historical Society members and Park District staff have used the home to educate all Downers Grove residents about their community’s history by organizing and creating exhibits, programs, research resources, and special events.