Sunday, May 28, 2023

Marker Details

The marker is located on the grounds of the Sheldon Peck Homestead, 355 E. Parkside Avenue, Lombard.
Dedication Date:
Dedication By:
The Sheldon Peck Homestead, the Lombard Historical Society, the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, and the Illinois State Historical Society

Marker Description:

Built in 1839 and lived in by the Peck family until 1996, the Peck Homestead is significant locally, for the state of Illinois, and nationally as the home of Sheldon Peck, a radical abolitionist, keeper of a documented URR Station and prolific itinerant portrait painter. Its period of significance begins in 1839 and ends in 1868, the year of Sheldon Peck’s death.

Peck had numerous friends and business associates involved in the URR. In addition, several anti-slavery meetings were held at the Homestead and Peck was an agent for the Western Citizen, an anti-slavery newspaper published in Chicago.

Peck’s URR activity was documented in a memoir kept by his youngest son Frank. It includes accounts of Peck harboring freedom seekers on the URR in the 1850s. Frank’s memoir describes Old Charley, a freedom seeker who stopped at the Homestead. It also included lyrics to a slave spiritual song that Old Charley taught Frank. In addition, a painting by Sheldon’s daughter Susan is believed to be of a freedom seeker that stopped at the Peck house.

The Homestead was donated to the Lombard Historical Society by a great-great grandson of Sheldon Peck, from whom the village purchased the land to keep the house on this original site.

Since 1999, the Homestead has been a public museum and is operated by the Lombard Historical Society, a 501(c)(3) not for profit.

The Peck Homestead is registered on the National Park Service Network to Freedom as a verified stop on the Underground Railroad (URR).


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