Ellwood-Nehring House opens for public tours

The Ellwood-Nehring House is shown here in 1905. The historic DeKalb home will open to the public May 29.
The Ellwood-Nehring House is shown here in 1905. The historic DeKalb home will open to the public May 29.

DeKALB – The official public opening of the Ellwood-Nehring House will be marked with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5:15 p.m. Thursday, May 29. The first floor of the English Tudor style home at 417 N. First St. in DeKalb will be open for free tours until 6 p.m. Volunteer tour guides will be stationed in several rooms to answer questions and share the history of the site.

Volunteers will also be located at the Berg Garden, the new rain garden, at the stone water tower and butterfly garden, and at the Little House (1891 Playhouse). At each location, guests can learn the history, creation, restoration, or planting of the area. Many community members, private foundations, governmental agencies, and granting organizations were involved in the expansion of activities at the museum, and the Ellwood House Association would like to share the changes with the public through this interior and exterior open house event.

The Ellwood-Nehring House was built in 1899 for Perry and May Ellwood, and most likely given to the couple by Perry’s parents, Isaac and Harriet Ellwood. Perry and May lived in the home for a decade before they inherited the Ellwood House mansion. When they moved into the significantly larger home, Perry’s brother Will purchased the 1899 house. The home was sold to Paul M. Nehring in 1942.

In December 2011, Shirley Hamilton Nehring donated the home to the Ellwood House Association. More than 70 years after being sold by the Ellwoods to Nehring, the home is reunited with the Ellwood estate and can be interpreted and operated as a part of the greater museum site by the Ellwood House Association.

At 6 p.m., the annual meeting of the board of directors of the Ellwood House Association will take place in the Visitor Center. After the brief business meeting, they will open the exhibit "New Acquisitions: Furniture from the Jacob Haish Mansion." Limited onsite parking is available, but visitors are invited to locate street parking in adjacent neighborhoods.

For more information, call 815-756-4609 or visit

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