History of 411 Linden

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The Winnetka Historical Society Museum is a Gothic Revival home built on land originally owned by Charles Peck, considered to be the founder of modern Winnetka. 

Built as early as 1859, 411 Linden Street was used as a residence until 2001 when the Society purchased it to use as its headquarters and museum. The house, with its pitched roof, gingerbread decorations, and original tear drop windows, was likely first occupied by members of the Densmore family.

Solymon Densmore, owner of a manufacturing shop located just a block away from the house at Cherry Street and Linden Avenue, acquired the property in 1877. The house remained in his family through 1900; it was home to one of his sons and then his granddaughter.  The letter D (for Densmore) can still be seen over several of the doors and windows.

During the next century the house changed hands about a dozen times. A letter from Victoria Carpenter Burke, who grew up at 411 Linden  reported that the next owners, Albert and Emelie King, made a number of improvements to the property including finishing the living room, remodeling the kitchen and dining room, and adding a lavatory under the stairs.

Since 2001, the Historical Society has made preserving the home a priority. The building’s infrastructure has been updated to make visiting and working safe and comfortable and to provide the proper environment for preserving archives and artifacts.