The 1843 Durant House Museum is operated by P.P.F.V. and maintained by the Forest Preserve District of Kane County.

Docents in the kitchen of the Durant House evoke the reality of

19th-century life on the prairie.

A Brief History...

     In 1837, Bryant Durant moved from Massachusetts to northern Illinois. Shortly after wedding Jerusha Shurtleff in 1843, the newlyweds built this prairie farmhouse.


In the 1880s, the property was purchased by Godfrey and Christina Petersen, and they added a modern Victorian kitchen to the house. The addition is still present and is interpreted as part of the Durant House history.


The Durant-Peterson House was rescued in the early 1970s after decades of neglect. Visionary members of a local Questers antique study group recognized the homestead's value as a vital component of our shared history and have since restored it, with "authenticity" as their mission.. 


Today, the Durant House is fondly recognized as Kane County's own "Little House on the Prairie." The Museum functions as a house in all seasons, with special programs throughout the year designed to highlight a prairie family's routines of work and play. From October's Heirloom Apple Fest to Textile Day in July- every season exudes a unique history experience.


Costumed docents and Prairie Children bring the past to life and interpret our pioneer heritage in this nationally recognized historic site.The Durant House Museum beckons visitors of all ages and interests to enjoy an unforgettable trip back in time.




           The Durant House all ready for the Candlelight event


Durant House Museum hours


Sunday 1-4 pm and Thursday 1-4 pm

Admission Donation:

Adults $2 and Children $1

Upcoming Events

2013 Program Schedule


Sunday the 4th and 18th: Picklepalooza (preserving)

29th: Last Thursday open for public tours


1st : Bread and Butter

15th: Hearth Cooking


6th: Heirloom Apple Fest


Saturday and Sunday 7th & 8th: Candle Light





School Groups




Tours are designed to meet local curriculum requirements. Available throughout the year, by appointment.

Visits to the Durant House Museum can be coordinated with tours of the one-room Pioneer Sholes School.

Fee: $4 per student; $25.00 minimum per class

   For more information or to schedule your tour,

        call 630.377.6424 or email duranthouse1843@yahoo.com


Scout Programs

Brownies and Scouts troops can choose from 4 badge programs at the Durant House Museum. Programs can be specifically tailored to fullfill unlisted badge guidelines; in addition the visit can be enhanced with a trip to Pioneer Sholes School.

Cub Scout programs are also available.

Availability:  September through May, by appointment.

Fee: $4-$8 per Scout, depending on the program.



Photo courtesy of Jay King

Volunteer Opportunities

       ~ make a difference in your community, help preserve our communities' past ~

Volunteers are always sought to serve as docents for regular Living-History tours, helping out with special events.  Our docents are key to communicating and preserving the Durant House Museum's legacy.

Prior experience is not necessary. Full training is provided at the museum and arranged to work with volunteers’ schedules as much as possible. We offer a diverse and flexible schedule, ranging from afternoons in the summer to school groups throughout the year.


To learn more or volunteer at the 1843 Durant House Museum,

call 630.377.6424 or email duranthouse1843@yahoo.com


    Junior Docent Program




An enthusiastic corps of junior docents bring the Durant House to life with lively spirits, authentic dress, and expertise in games and chores of the 19th-century. Unofficially known as "Durant Prairie Children", these young people serve as adjunct staff during public hours and special events, helping share the Durant legacy and 1840's prairie life with the community. 

    For information, contact Alice Maupin

     call 630.377.6424 or email duranthouse1843@yahoo.com


Museum Location


The Durant House is situated on its original site within the LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve in St. Charles.  The Preserve is located on Dean Street 1/4 mile west of Randall Rd.  Dean Street is 1/4 mile north of Route 64.

After entering LeRoy Oakes, continue on for approximately ½ mile until you see the one-room Pioneer Sholes School on your right. As you pass the school, you will see a reddish-brown brick building on your left- this is the Durant House Museum.

Click here to print directions

Note: MapQuest directs you to the Preserve's entrance- from there, follow the above instructions

to locate the Museum.

Durant House Address:

37W700 Dean Street, Saint Charles, IL 60175



        Button, button ....do you have buttons?

The Durant House Museum's program, "Stitch It Together" has long been a favorite for children's groups and Scout troops.  However, due to it's popularity, we are experiencing a severe button shortage!  If you have buttons to spare, please drop them off at any of our sites:

Durant House, Beith House or Fabyan Villa.


Interested in supporting Preservation Partners mission?

Find out how you can help preserve our community's heritage and benefits for members  on our  Advocacy and Resources page.



P.O. Box 903  |   St. Charles, IL 60174   |   Telephone: 630-377-6424  |   Facsimile: 630-377-6424   |   info@PPFV.org
Copyright © 2013 Preservation Partners of the Fox Valley