628 S. 7th Street (At Cook), Springfield, IL 62703
Free parking across Cook St. (217) 492-5929
Built circa 1837, the Elijah Iles House has survived nearly intact for 182 years and is the oldest such structure in Springfield. The Greek revival cottage, built by Elijah Iles (one of the four men who founded the city), is little changed since the day he moved in. A timber framed structure on a raised brick foundation, it has three levels: a ground-level basement, the main floor, and a finished attic which provided sleeping quarters. The interior woodwork is original and makes extensive use of black walnut. To make room for a new church, the house was moved in 1910 and refurbished and modernized with the installation of electricity, plumbing and radiator heating. In 1977, the House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural and historic significance. In 1998, the House was moved again to its present location and fully restored, funded almost entirely by private donations. In 2005, with the restoration was complete, the House was open to the public; regular tours are given on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons from April through October. The upper levels house an extensive collection of pre-Civil War furniture, and the lower level houses the Farrell and Ann Gay Museum of Springfield History, currently exhibiting wristwatches, pocket watches and clocks manufactured by the Illinois Watch Company, a major Springfield factory which operated from 1878 until 1934.