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Historic Property


Frances Willard House Museum 

WCTU's Frances Willard House Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

This National Historic Landmark is located in the city of Evanston, about 20 miles north of Chicago. It was the home of Frances Willard, her family, and the longtime headquarters of the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union was built by her father, Josiah Willard in 1865. The house was designed by Mr. Willard in the English cottage style and shows the influence of Andrew Jackson Downing. The exterior and the interior have been carefully preserved with the furnishings as Miss Willard left it. 

Rest Cottage, as Frances Willard called it, is a two-story, 17 room example of Carpenter Gothic architecture. The house is actually a double dwelling, created by an addition in April 1878, shortly after the death of Oliver Willard, Frances' brother, to provide a home for his widow and four children. 

The entire property became, 1728 and 1730 Chicago Avenue, became the property of the NATIONAL WCTU in accordance with the provisions in Miss Willard's will.

The rooms of Rest Cottage are preserved with their furnishings, as they were used by Miss Willard and her mother. The entire place is open to the public. There is a charm about the entire complex but one feels the intimate home-life, and strength of character of her in whose foot-steps we continue to follow.


The Dining Room contains the table and chairs used by the Willard family. Often a bowl of flowers were placed in the center of the table. Just as beautiful now is the ginger jar, a gift from a Chinese friend. 

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