Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Gillett House

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Institution Name: Illinois College
Original/Historic Place Name: Gillett House
Location on Campus: 1005 Grove St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1832original construction
Designer: unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Gothic revival, Regionalist/Vernacular (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: brick
Walls: wood
Roof: asphalt shingles
1832-2001private residence
2001-2004other (bed and breakfast)
2004-present (2006)academic department building (a focal point for study of the Underground Railroad and research on local history)

The Gillett House was built in 1832 and provided temporary sanctuary for freedom-seeking slaves on the Underground Railroad. It is named for its original owner, Bezaleel Gillett, a physician and merchant who helped found Trinity Church in Jacksonville, the first Episcopal church in Illinois. The structure was converted into a Bed and Breakfast in 2001 and was acquired by Illinois College in 2004. Preliminary plans call for Gillett House to be used as a focal point for study of the Underground Railroad and research on local history.


Caine, L. Vernon. To Heights Beyond. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1986.

Frank, Charles E. Pioneer's Progress: Illinois College, 1829-1979. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1979.

Hopper, Doris Broehl. David A. Smith: Abolitionist, Patron of Learning, Prairie Lawyer. Jacksonville, IL: Branstiter Printing Company, 2003

Rammelkamp, Charles H. Illinois College, a Centennial History: 1829-1929. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1928.

Yeager, Iver F. Julian M. Sturtevant--1805-1886: President of Illinois College, Ardent Churchman, Reflective Author. Jacksonville, IL: Trustees of Illinois College, 1999.

Yeager, Iver F., ed. Sesquicentennial Papers--Illinois College. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1982.


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