• Gatto's
  • Wine Cellar
  • Giordano's
  • Tivoli
  • Toys on Main
  • Gilbert Park
  • Caribou Coffee
  • Scoobys
  • Starbucks
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 Upcoming Events

  • 5th Annual Historic Photo Tour – Aug. 6 – 31
  • “Living Cemetery” , Sat. Oct. 25  – 10:00 to 12:00 p.m.- Main St. Cemetery
  • October 15th – The 2014 Christmas Ornament will be available – watch this site for distribution locations
  • May 2-3, 2015 – Founders Day Weekend


We are dedicated to the history and heritage of Downers Grove, Illinois

The Downers Grove Historical Society is an independent, non-profit volunteer organization which was incorporated in 1968. We are dedicated to keeping history alive for future generations by preserving and promoting the heritage of Downers Grove. We seek to foster an understanding, awareness, and appreciation of our town's history and architecture through education, community programs, publications, and acknowledgement of historic sites. We rely solely on public support to continue these efforts.

We are dedicated to the history and heritage of Downers Grove, Illinois



Answers to the Mystery Postcard Questions

  • THE BLUE PRINT Today this is the parking lot north of the vacant building at 5100 Forest Ave. In 1907, Mertz & Mochel Hardware Co. signed a 1 year contract with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad for the rights to use the land and tracks at the left of this photo.  Here the store would side track a railcar full of merchandise, for a very limited amount of time, until it was unloaded and taken to the store’s warehouse.  Foote Ave. today is Forest Ave. and the depot indicated no longer exists.
  • MURAL ON WALL In the Post Office Lobby, 920 Curtiss. Painted in 1940 as a  WPA Project.
  • DAMAGED TRAIN DEPOT On April 3, 1947 at 10:41 p.m., the Chicago bound Twin City Zephyr, travelling at 70 mph “was derailed at the Main St. crossing, causing the diesel locomotive to burst into flames, plough through the tracks for over 300  yards.  The diesel, swaying wildly, spun over on its side, skidded past the depot and sprawled grotesquely across the three main tracks.  The first and second coaches jackknifed and crashed against the now deserted depot building and west canopy.” Quote courtesy: DOWNERS GROVE 1832-1982 by Montrew Dunham and Pauline Wandschneider.
  • EAST GROVE DEPOT The area around the Fairview Ave. depot was once called East Grove.  This building is the first depot to be built on the location.


Help make history matter. Become a member today!

When you become a member of the Downers Grove Historical Society, you join those who are supporting the efforts to preserve, protect and share our rich heritage. Your membership supports a vital cultural resource and preserves our town's history - now, and for future generations.