Beaubien’s Tavern was unique as it was a gathering place for the new residents of Lisle and the Potawatomi people as well as people passing through. The Tavern is one of the oldest timber frame structures still standing in DuPage County. It was built in the 1830s but it was not owned by Mark Beaubien until 1841.
Our Waycar #14584 was built in 1881 at the Burlington Shops adjacent to the Aurora Roundhouse in downtown Aurora, IL. It served as the living quarters, dining area, and workspace for the crew of the train. Anywhere between 8 and 16 people could have occupied this space during travel.
Lisle’s first train depot was built in 1864 but was destroyed by fire about 10 years later. The building, that now stands on our campus, was built in 1874 and designed to handle shipping goods to and from Lisle on the Aurora to Chicago railroad line. This line was built and operated by the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad (established 1855) – which would eventually become the Burlington Northern then the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroad of today.
The Netzley/Yender House serves as an example of the type of dwelling that was typical in mid-1800s Lisle. It served as a home but also provided the space for “cottage industry” and would eventually see the transition from subsistence farming to commercial agriculture in the early 20th century. In 1910, George Yender purchased the house and farm from a descendant of the Netzleys.
The Barn is the only building on the museum site that is not originally from Lisle. It was brought here from central Wisconsin. The Barn’s layout is based on a type of livestock barn, with a large open area for animals to live on the first floor and a hay loft on the partial second floor. Skilled volunteers designed the space to serve as a workshop, shared between woodworkers and blacksmiths.