Naper Settlement is a family-friendly outdoor history museum featuring 12 acres of learning and interactive opportunities for all ages. Located in downtown Naperville, Naper Settlement is just steps away from dining, shopping and the Riverwalk. Visitors will be immersed in history as they learn about the past and how it relates to the present, from pioneer times to today. Highlights include special events and programs and activities year-round, both on- and off-site. Each year, 140,400 visitors, including 35,000 northern Illinois schoolchildren, experience living history at Naper Settlement.
Naper Settlement was established in 1969 by a group of individuals who were interested in saving the Civil War-era St. John’s Episcopal Church from possible demolition. The group, called the Naperville Heritage Society, was a grassroots effort of community members who raised the funds, both in cash and in-kind, to have the historic church transferred to the grounds of the Martin Mitchell Mansion. Read more about the history of Naper Settlement.
Overview & Establishment
Naper Settlement is an outdoor 19th century living history museum that serves northeastern Illinois as a unique educational and cultural resource. The village tells the story of how life changed throughout the 19th century for the people of northern Illinois in towns such as Naperville.
During this era, Naper’s Settlement was transformed from a pioneer outpost in 1831 to a bustling turn-of-the century community. Through its costumed interpreters and 30 historic buildings located on the 12-acre grounds, history is brought to life with educational and hands-on activities for 150,000 visitors each year.
Naper Settlement was established in 1969 by a group of individuals who were interested in saving St. John’s Episcopal Church from demolition. The group, called the Naperville Heritage Society, was a grassroots effort of community members who raised the funds to have the historic church transferred to the grounds of the Martin Mitchell Mansion. The church has been renamed Century Memorial Chapel and is the site of many special events, from weddings to recitals.