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The doors to history

Ottawa museum hosts inaugural housewalk

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

OTTAWA – Five historical homes in Ottawa will open their doors to the public to provide a glimpse into their past.

The Ottawa Historical and Scouting Heritage Museum, 1100 Canal St., Ottawa, will hold its inaugural Historic Housewalk Tour from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 29. The five historic homes may be visited by ticket holders.

Advance tickets are $20 each and available at the museum, the Book Mouse, Handy Foods and the La Salle County Genealogy Guild. On the day of the housewalk, tickets will only be available at the museum for $25 each.

Questions may be directed to Mollie Perrot at 815-433-1361 or to scouter07@hotmail.com. Please mention “housewalk” in the subject line.

The historical homes of Gustav Kneussl, 617 Illinois Ave., and Maximillian Kneussl, 623 Illinois Ave., Gustav’s father, both of whom owned a thriving drug store business in downtown Ottawa during the late 1800s, early 1900s. The Max Kneussl home was operated at Heinz Boarding House for many years.

The former home of Charles Geiger at 809 Ottawa Ave. is another home that will be opened during the housewalk. Many local residents will remember Geiger’s Grocery Store in downtown Ottawa.

The former home of another Ottawa grocer, James W. McMullen, is down the street at 1304 Ottawa Ave. McMullen’s store was in the 700 block of La Salle, near the First National Bank, in the early 1900s.

The home of La Salle County Probate Judge Albert T. Lardin, who lived at 1312 Ottawa Ave., will also be part of the historical tour.

Iron Horse Carriages will provide horse-drawn carriage rides on Ottawa Avenue to ticket holders from noon to 3:30 p.m. the day of the housewalk. 

There will also be a special exhibit at the Ottawa Historical and Scouting Heritage museum relating to other homes in this area and museum admission is included in the housewalk ticket.

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