Historic Haight Village opens its doors for tours Sept. 10-11

Event marks the first time in 10 years the Village has held a tour; eight different homes to be featured

For the first time in 10 years, the residents of Haight Village will be opening their homes to the public Sept. 10-11. The tour features eight homes in one of Rockford’s oldest treasures. Most of the neighborhood’s homes boast ages of 100 to 150 years.

The eight homes opening for this year’s tour are 322 and 404 S. First St.; 319 S. Second St.; 307, 315, and 320 S. Third St.; 624 1/2 Grove St.; and 219 Kishwaukee St. Each home will feature a historical expert to give a history of the home and answer any questions about that particular house.

Haight Village is named for Daniel Shaw Haight, who in 1835 became the first settler on the east side of the river. Today, Haight Village provides a visual history of Rockford’s early architectural styles. The 14-block area was designated the city’s first historic district in 1980, and in 1987 became Rockford’s only residential National Register Historic District.

The Derwent Home at 404 S. First St. was built in 1865 by Edmund Derwent, who ran a flour milling company on the Rock River.

319 S. Second St. is one of the newest additions to Haight Village. It was moved from 1121 3rd Ave. after more than 130 years in 1982, protecting it from demolition after papers from a World War I congressman were found in the attic.

307 S. Third St. was built in 1878 by Joseph R. Moxley. Moxley, a tinsmith, rose through the ranks to become president of Palmer Hardware.

The Queen Anne-style home at 315 S. Third St. was built in 1886 by Thomas Reber, a lumberman who served as president of the Rockford Lumber and Fuel Company until his retirement in 1928. The Reber home was ravaged by fire a few years ago, destroying much of the interior. A lot of hard work has gone into restoring this home by its current owner.

320 S. Third St., the Frank Brown home built in 1906, serves as the home of the Natural Land Institute.

624 Grove St. was originally built in the late 1850s on the land now occupied by the Natural Land Institute. The home was moved in the early 1900s, and is the only two-family home on the tour.

Tickets are available for $15 at the Natural Land Institute, which is part of the tour, on the days of the event. The tours take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 11.

For more info on tickets or the Haight Village Home Tour, visit www.haightvillage.org.

From the Sept. 7-13, 2005, issue

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