Montgomery's Settlers Cottage museum opened for the summer season on Tuesday.
Settler's Cottage is the village's oldest structure, built around 1840 by settler Daniel Gray, Montgomery's founder. In 2003, the village purchased the deteriorated home, and planned to demolish it to make way for the new Village Hall.
But a dedicated group of historic preservationists suggested a different path, which the village ended up taking—Settler's Cottage was preserved, and the Historic Preservation Commission was tasked with raising the money to renovate it. No taxpayer money has been spent on the project—a combination of grants and donations helped the commission restore the exterior and interior.
Now, Settler's Cottage remains in front of Village Hall, and houses artifacts, newspaper articles and photos detailing Montgomery's history. On Tuesday, commission members Pat Torrance and Barbara Peck welcomed visitors for the first time this year.
"I came here to pay a water bill," said Diane Alexander of Montgomery. "I saw that small building, and I said, 'What could be in there?'"
She was impressed with what she found inside.
"I'm amazed at the history of this town," she said.
Settler's Cottage Museum will be open only once more in May: Sunday, May 15, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. The Historic Preservation Commission will set the rest of summer's schedule on Monday. School groups and other interested parties can arrange to visit the museum by calling Debbie Buchanan at 630-896-8080 x 1114.