A couple of weeks ago, a really lovely historic home on a large lot in Lincoln Square listed. The house not only pre-dates the Great Chicago Fire, but it turns out that the house may actually be one of the oldest in Chicago. According to Crain’s, the original tax records show that a house on the property was built in 1849. It’s not exactly certain if the same house that hit the market two weeks ago is the same house, but either way, the home that does stand today was completed in the 1850s at the latest. However, out in the suburbs, there is one house that is also 166 years old and also on the market. The house at 2330 Coach Road in Long Grove, IL is one of the oldest houses in the Chicagoland area that is on the market. It’s also available to rent as well — for $2,200 per month. While its exterior certainly looks to be of very old construction, the interior has been completely renovated over the decades. While it may be common to find mid-19th century homes in cities on the East Coast, these houses in the Chicago area are about as old as they get out here.
This is about as old as it gets in the Chicago market. The northern parts of Illinois were not really settled until the 1830s. Illinois was declared a state in 1818 but a majority of the population lived in the central and southern parts as new residents came from the east via routes like the Ohio River. It wasn’t until the United States government got involved in planning and eventually constructing a canal in the northeastern part of the state to connect the Chicago River to the Des Plaines River (making a path from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River) that settlers started arriving in larger numbers. Of course, once people started coming, things started changing: the Illinois & Michigan Canal opened in 1848, the first railroad in and out of Chicago opened in 1848, and Chicago started growing quickly (growing over 500% from 1840 to 1850, 274% from 1850 to 1860, and 167% from 1860 to 1870).