From its origins as a frontier outpost in 1831 until its position as a thriving town at the end of the 19th century, Naper, Illinois embodies the history of the Midwest during the formative decades of that time. This 12-acre park is set around the Martin Mitchell Mansion (a large, beautiful house built in 1883 from local stone), but now includes several historical buildings from the period - saved from destruction and moved here to create this interpretive center. Visitors can see many artifacts from that time, including agricultural machinery, a real print shop, a blacksmith's workshop and even an old fire station. One of the gems is the Century Memorial Chapel, originally the local St. John's Episcopal Church. Interpreter-guides in period costume explain the history and workings of these living exhibitions.
It's not just a static museum, though. Throughout the year, Naper Settlement offers such festivals as the two-day Civil War Days, Oktoberfest, All Hallows Eve and the "Naper Nights" summer outdoor music performances.
Small neighborhood bakeshop serving artisan breads, fresh sandwiches, homemade soups and salads,... Read more