Dimmitt’s Grove Historic Neighborhood [welcome-letter]
Walking Tour [map here]
1. 611 E. Washington: Craftsman style. Designed by architect A.L. Pillsbury in 1908. First owned by Omar Rawston.
- 702 E. Front: Shingle style. Designed by Pillsbury and built c. 1901; it is known as the Darrah House. It is a cross gable three story house.
The 400-700 blocks of East Grove Street became a National Register of Historic Places District in 1986.
- 401 E. Grove: Built in 1874 by Dr. D.O. Moore who used the house as both his home and medical office.
- 407 E. Grove: Italianate. Built in 1868 by Lawrence Weldon, a lawyer who had earlier traveled the 8th Judicial Circuit with Reuben Benjamin (of 510 E. Grove), David Davis and Abraham Lincoln. Ulysses Grant was a guest of the Weldons in July of 1881.
- 409 E. Grove: Queen Anne. Built in 1885 by Edward Gridley, the house was sold to John Foster in 1903 and has been owned by the same family ever since. John Foster’s daughter, Alice Foster Light and her husband, Huber, often entertained his sister, Margaret Illington (the famous actress and wife of Major Bowes), here.
- 421 E. Grove: Italianate. Built in 1870 by John Roush, a wholesale grocer. The porches were later remodeled in a Colonial Revival style.
- 503 E. Grove: Four-square. Built in 1903 by H.W. Kelley who worked for the Campbell-Holton Company, wholesale grocers. It is one of the many houses in Dimmit’s Grove designed by A. Pillsbury.
- 505 & 507 (Queen Anne) and 509 (Italianate) Grove: These three lots, along with 501 and 503 E. Grove, were once occupied by the Conover Female Academy, a boarding school for girls. The house at 509 was built by George Brand in 1885. Brand is said to have built 505 (c. 1893) and 507 (c. 1895) for his children.
- 510 E. Grove: Greek Revival. Built in 1854 by John Routt, who later moved out west and became governor of Colorado. It was bought by Reuben Benjamin in 1856. Benjamin was influential in creating the 1870 Illinois Constitution, and was nationally known for arguing the Grange Cases before the Supreme Court.
- 701 E. Grove: Queen Anne. Designed by George Miller for George Cox, Secretary-Treasurer and General Manager of the Hungarian Roller Mill Co.
- 512 E. Taylor: Built by John Routt in 1857 as a story-and-a half side gable and was remodeled c. 1911. Once home to William Dimmitt’s granddaughter, Marie Litta (b. Marie von Elsner). Marie Litta was America’s best-known opera star when she died in 1885 at the age of 27. Our neighborhood park is named for her.
- 611 E. Taylor: Greek Revival. Built c. 1836 by William Dimmitt, an original settler of “Bloomington Grove” and one of the first developers here. He raised 10 children in this house. The original brick façade was covered by stucco and sleeping porches added in 1909.
- 701 E. Taylor: Italianate. Known as the Scott-Vrooman mansion, the original part of the house was built in 1869 by Eliel Barber. Julia Green Scott bought the house in 1873, remodeling and enlarging the mansion in 1900. Mrs. Scott was prominent in the D.A.R. and served as its national president.
- 709 E. Taylor: the Eliel Barber house was built c. 1851. The house is thought to be the only known building in the state of Illinois using the vertical plank method of structural support.
- Lincoln Oak (next to 708 E. Jackson): The original Lincoln Oak died in 1976 and was replaced. A tablet was affixed to the oak reading “I have heard Stephen A. Douglas and Abraham Lincoln at different times speak from a platform erected under the shade of this tree.”
- 708 E. Jackson: Originally this building was a carriage house for the Scott-Vrooman mansion. The structure was built by Eliel Barber c. 1873.
- 502 S. Clayton: Built in 1872 for John Hamilton, a lawyer and statesman who was elected state senator in 1876, lieutenant governor of Illinois in 1880, and as governor for 18 moths, 1883-84.
- 307 S. Gridley: Italianate. The Tipton House was built c. 1860 and is of wood frame and clapboard construction.
- Marie Litta Park (Corner of Gridley and Jackson): Marie Litta Park was developed by the Dimmitt’s Grove Neighborhood Association in conjunction with Bloomington Parks and Recreation in 1988.