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Where to research my property?

You can research the history of your property at the following locations:  

Downers Grove Public Library, 1050 Curtiss Street, Downers Grove, 630.960.1200

The library has a local history collection that is a good source of information, including:

  • City directories from 1927-1928 and 1951-1952.  Directories list residents, occupations, and street addresses.
  • Telephone directories
  • Historical atlases identifying landowners and subdivisions
  • Local histories
  • Some community organization histories
  • Local newspapers on microfilm
  • Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps from 1892 - 1947 on microfilm.  These maps were created to determine fire insurance rates and can be used to approximate the construction date of your house.  The library's collection of Sanborn maps is focused on the historic center of the Village.
  • Complete bibliographies linked from the library website at www.dglibrary.org/research underneath Local History, including Downers Grove History - 1830s to the 21st Century and Tracing the History of Your House

Downers Grove Park District Museum, 831 Maple Avenue, Downers Grove, 630.963.1309  

The Museum's collection includes:  

  • Local histories
  • Some community organization histories
  • Files on prominent early families and their properties in Downers Grove
  • Historic photographs
  • Historical atlases identifying landowners and subdivisions
  • Historical maps
  • City directories beginning in 1903
  • Telephone directories

Downers Grove Historical Society Centennial Home Program 

Several homes over 100 years of age received a plaque designating them as Centennial Homes by the Downers Grove Historical Society. 

DuPage County Historical Museum, 102 E. Wesley St., Wheaton, IL  630.682.7343

The museum has a home history research material collection which includes a number of books and magazines.

Township Assessors

Each of the assessor's websites has a property search function which allows you to access some general data about your property.  The information typically includes a construction date and size of the house and parcel.  The assessor's office may also have property record cards which may have more historical information related to the house since its construction.  Contact the office and ask to review the cards.

DuPage County Recorder, 421 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton, IL 630.407.5400

The Recorder's office is a good location to find out who previously owned your home.  The online search will net records, such as deeds and mortgages, going back about twenty years.  The office will have records dating back much further than what is available online.  

http://www.dupageco.org/recorder/generic.cfm?doc_id=332