Richmond’s Historic Homes & Buildings
Richmond contains a great wealth of architecturally significant historic homes. These residences range in age from approximately 150 years to the more recent homes of 75 years. The architectural styles range from the earlier Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate and Second Empire to the later Stick-style, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Foursquare and Bungalow.
These structures have retained much of their original integrity due to the pattern of development of the village. Most of these homes are centrally-located in the original plat or in the older additions to Richmond. The older section of town remains primarily as it was 75 years ago, since most of the new construction has been surrounding these areas. Also, due to the Richmond fire of 1902 when 20 of the downtown structures were lost (see the 1968 McHenry County History for details), the village of Richmond suffered a major commercial development setback.
The following article attempts to provide additional information concerning a sampling of the significant structures. However, this certainly does not include all the significant structures due to space limitations. There are several others that are as important as the following featured homes.
As a footnote, I was asked to provide some personal information as to how this project got started. I am a seventh-generation descendant of the original farming settler of North Prairie, Illinois. My ancestors are from the Rosecrans, Russell and North Prairie area of northern Lake County just east of Richmond on Route 173. Although I was so impressed with the family homes of my youth, there are only a few pictures and sketchy memories that remain, as most of these homes have been lost to disrepair and new development.
After purchasing a Queen Anne home in Richmond (the L. B. Covell house), we have spent several years with the ongoing restoration and the research of our house’s “past.” Since there are several houses connected by family ties, the project started to expand to include other homes to a point now where I have information compiled ranging from limited to thorough on a good portion of the older homes of Richmond.
The information presented here has been compiled from and verified through the use of the available reference materials as follows:
- McHenry County History books (1877, 1885, 1922 and 1968 editions)
- McHenry County census records (1840, 1860 and 1870)
- Cemetery records for Richmond, Mound Prairie and Burton Townships
- McHenry County Grantor and Grantee Indexes and deed records
Although deed research has been my primary source of information, it should be noted that this effort (which is still continuing) would not be possible without the “clues,” family information and recollections of some of the townspeople to which I extend my sincere thanks. Particularly, the resources and encouragement of Irene Borre have helped to make this a much more thorough document. (—Gail Drabant)