• frances willard slider

    Visionary Feminist

    Social Justice Advocate

    Political Activist

  • rest-cottage

    National Historic Landmark

    Original “Rest Cottage” Portion Built in 1865

    Part of “Old Timers Row” - Evanston’s Oldest Neighborhood

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Please note that Willard House is closed for tours at this time due to interior restoration work. However, SEE BELOW for updates on progress and upcoming events.

Announcements and Updates

Restoration Update

The painting of the trim in the Office, Hall, and Parlor is now complete.  The Hall and Parlor have trim that is painted brown, while the Office is a green-blue color.  We surmise here that when Willard got the money for writing her autobiography in 1889, she asked Mother how she would like to re-decorate the Hall and Parlor (and Dining Room), but they deferred to Anna Gordon who was the resident of the Office at the time.

In addition, historic finishes artisan Mat Weil did a fantastic job on the picture rail in the Parlor and in the Office.  The Parlor has a copper metallic in its center, while the Office uses gold leaf. (And the Dining Room uses bronze metallic!)

We have begun receiving shipments of wallpaper for each of the rooms – installing the wallpaper will be the next set of projects.  The wool is being dyed for the carpets as well.  Stay tuned…


What: Opening Reception Of Inequality And Influence: Inspiring Women Of Evanston, Past And Present

When: Friday, August 26, 2016, 5:30-7:00 pm

Where: Noyes Cultural Art Center, 927 Noyes Street


What: Willard Bust Installation Ceremony

When: Friday, August 26, 2016, 7:00-7:15 pm

Where: Evanston Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Avenue


What: Walking Tour through Evanston’s Amazing Women’s History

When: Saturday, September 17, 2016, 11 am-12:30 pm

Where: Willard House, 1730 Chicago Avenue


What: Evanston Public Library’s History Book Discussion Group

When: Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 7:00 pm

Where: Evanston Public Library, Main Branch, 1703 Orrington Avenue


What: Celebrating Frances Willard’s 177th birthday

When: Sunday, September 25, 2016, 2:oo-4:00 pm

Where: Willard House, 1730 Chicago Avenue


Please go to our News & Events page for more details.


Featured Collections Object

This music box was given to Frances Willard as a memorial gift after Mother Willard passed away in 1892.  It was made in Geneva, Switzerland and has a “double mandoline effect”.  It was given to Willard in 1894 by Countess Somers, the mother of Willard’s close friend and British counterpart Lady Henry Somerset. Knowing that Willard thought of purchasing a small music box Countess Somers told her that she would like to give her a music box and she told her that she might select the music it should play. Willard at once said “I had not thought that such a thing were possible but if I can have just exactly the music I would most prize in a music box it would be the six hymns that Mother loved the best.” The list was furnished for the manufacturers as it appears in the music box, but when Lady Henry arranged the music she did not recollect that the English tune for “Nearer My God to Thee” is different from the American tune for that hymn, hence the one on the list is unfamiliar to most Americans.

You can listen to a recording of the music box by clicking on the Play button below.


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