The Sheldon Peck Homestead, a historic house museum located in Lombard, IL (formerly Babcock's Grove) is 20 miles east of downtown Chicago. Built in 1839, the house was home to Sheldon Peck, a nationally-known folk art painter, who was involved in the Underground Railroad. Peck's Underground Railroad activity was documented in a memoir kept by his youngest son Frank. It included accounts of Peck harboring Freedom Seekers on the Underground Railroad in the 1850s. Frank's memoir describes Old Charley, a Freedom Seeker who stopped at the Peck House. It also included lyrics to a slave spiritual song that Old Charley taught Frank. In addition, a painting by Sheldon's daughter Susan is believed to be of a Freedom Seeker that stopped at the Peck House.
Peck was publicly considered a ―radical abolitionist and had numerous friends and business associates involved in the Underground Railroad. In addition, several anti-slavery meetings were held at the Peck Homestead and Peck was an ―agent for the Western Citizen, an anti-slavery newspaper published in Chicago. Since 1999 the Peck Homestead has been a public museum and is operated by the Lombard Historical Society, a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit.
Visitor Information: Currently open to public.
Location: 355 E. Parkside, Lombard, DuPage, 60148
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: Lombard Historical Society
Location Type: Site
Freedom Seekers: Old Charley (IL, c. 1850)
UGRR Operatives: Sheldon Peck