1820 Col. Benjamin Stephenson House

The 1820 Col. Benjamin Stephenson House opens an enchanting window on cultural, political, and architectural developments during the early history of Illinois. Built-in 1820 by skilled craftsmen and the Stephenson family’s indentured servants, it was constructed using native materials from the region. The two-story Federal Style home is an excellent example of architecture from this early period and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Illinois State Historic Preservation Agency includes it among only a handful of homes built in the first quarter of the 19th century that remain standing in Illinois. It is also considered the oldest brick home in Madison County, Illinois.

Today, the renovated Stephenson House is a hands-on learning center, bustling with activities from the Stephenson Era that will entertain and educate visitors of all ages. Trained docents in period dress provide tours of the house and gardens. Visitors might see bread baking in the kitchen’s beehive oven, a leatherworker constructing a shooting bag, children playing period games, or a political discussion about the future of the territory in the parlor. The rebuilt summer kitchen recreates cooking techniques and recipes from the day. The sights, smells, and sounds are designed to increase awareness of the region’s cultural heritage and provide a real-life glimpse of Edwardsville in the 1820s.

The beautiful home at 409 South Buchanan Street serves as a permanent reminder of the people who gave extraordinary service to our country, state, and city in the early days of the 19th century. It is a timeless community treasure, enriching the lives of present and future generations.

Contact Information

RoxAnn Raisner
Reservations and Information:

409 South Buchanan Street, Edwardsville, Illinois 62025, United States

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Other Information

  • Hours Open

    Due to Covid-19, we are currently operating on reduced hours. / RESERVATIONS ARE CURRENTLY REQUIRED AT THIS TIME / JANUARY-FEBRUARY Saturday & Sunday 11 am.-2 pm / OR By Appointment / MARCH-DECEMBER / Monday - Wednesday: Closed / Thursday - Sunday: 11 am-2 pm
  • Seasons Open

    The site is open January and February weekends only. The remainder of the year we are open Thursday-Sundays
  • Prices and Fees

    Adults: $6 / Children (6-12 yrs): $3 / Free for children five years old and younger
  • Accessibility

    All lower levels are handicap accessible. We also have a portable wheelchair ramp to access our orientation room and gift shop. The site is very hands-on so the visiually impaired are encouraged to touch.
  • Pet Friendly Notes

    Pets are not allowed inside the museum