There’s a special celebration happening on Sunday, Aug. 21, as the Homewood Historical Society marks the 125th anniversary of the Dorband-Howe House.
Between 2 and 4 p.m. guests will be given free tours and enjoy an ice cream social at the house, 2035 W. 183rd St.
The last two families to live in the house were the Christian Dorband family and the Charles Albee Howe family.
The house was built in 1891 with “HOMEWOOD” stamped brick. It was built as a workingman’s cottage for employees of the Homewood Brickyards, one of the village’s early businesses.
When the house’s last resident, Hertha Howe, died in 1983, Homewood Federal Savings & Loan, now where US Bank stands at 183rd Street and Dixie Highway, wanted to knock down the building to make room for more parking. Elaine Egdorf, co-founder of the Homewood Historical Society, helped save the home with assistance from the village and the historical society’s first 47 charter members.
“We fought to save it. We had public hearings, initiated a landmark preservation ordinance naming the house and the Gottschalk House as local landmarks when only about 30 municipalities in the state had ordinances,” Egdorf said.
Their efforts made headlines for years, “and the savings and loan threatened to sue. The bank has changed ownership at least three or four times and we are still here,” she added.
The Homewood Historical Society was the last occupant of Central School before it was demolished in 1985 to make way for the Marie Irwin Community Center.
“We leased two classrooms on the second floor to store the inherited contents of the Howe House until we learned if the house would be saved from demolition. The lease for the Howe House was signed in June (1985),” Egdorf recalled. The Dorband-Howe House opened as a museum in 1987.
Egdorf will also share the story of the Dorband-Howe House at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 14 at the Homewood Historical Society’s meeting at the Homewood Public Library. For additional information, call 708-799-1896 or visit homewoodhistoricalsociety.com.