Log House History

LH move

Schmidt-Burnham Log House

Research indicates that the Schmidt-Burnham log house is the oldest log structure in Cook County still in use and that it was most likely built in 1837 by early settlers in the area. It is also distinguished as the only home in the area to be continuously occupied for nearly 165 years.

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Anita Willets-Burnham

Originally located on the grounds of Indian Hill Club, local artist and author, Anita Willets Burnham, “discovered” the log house while on a painting trip in the spring of 1914.  She purchased the home in 1917, relocated it to 1407 Tower Road and restored it to its original condition, adding two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a kitchen.

Anita’s daughter, Ann Hibbard Burnham Smith, gifted this historic structure to the Society upon her death in 2001.  The log house was officially donated to the Society in spring 2003, when the house was moved to Crow Island Woods, just west of Crow Island School, on land provided by the Winnetka Park District.

In June of 2005, the Schmidt-Burnham Log House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register is the Nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. The basis for the listing was the significance of Anita Willets Burnham’s life as an artist and writer.