History of the Crawford House

Settlers of Dixon, Illinois

This Italianate style house, owned by Joseph and Huldah Crawford, was built in 1854. Joseph Crawford, one of the early settlers in Dixon, was a professional surveyor who was responsible for all the surveys along the Rock River from Rockford to Rock Island. He was prominent in Illinois politics and in business in Dixon during the mid 19th century. He represented Lee and Whiteside counties in the state Legislature in 1849-1850 and in 1853-1854. Later, in 1873, he was elected to the first of his three terms as mayor of Dixon. In the summer of 1860 he had the honor of taking Abraham Lincoln for a ride on the road which was later named the Lincoln Highway. This magnificent mansion was owned by the Crawford family until the middle of the 20th century.
The southern style wrap around porch with 16 pillars was added on around 1890 or 1900 along with the kitchen and upstairs servant quarters.

In the early 1950's the house was remodeled to become Rest Haven Convalescent Home featuring 13 spacious bedrooms. The law firm of Hornsby and Wadsworth occupied the home from 1967 until 1972 when it once again became a private residence. The historic home opened to the public in 1998 as the Crawford House Inn, a Victorian bed and breakfast.

A few months after the newspaper announcement of the Crawford House becoming a B&B, Lyn, the innkeeper received a phone call from one of the Crawford family relatives. The caller was a cousin who lived in southern Illinois. She wanted to congratulate the new owners for opening her family home to the public as a B&B and to offer a calling card which belonged to Huldah Crawford. The caller was coming up north in a few months for a college reunion and was very excited about seeing the Inn. She mailed the card so she would not forget to get it to Lyn. Unfortunately Lyn would never meet the caller as she passed away at her reunion in Wisconsin. The calling card is exhibited in the first parlor next to a picture of Joseph Crawford.

Early Photos

The exact dates of photos are unknown.