Ellwood House reopens galleries

Ellwood House Museum Visitor Center

Courtesy of Audrey King

Ellwood House Museum Visitor Center

Brandon Montemayor , Contributor

DeKALB — DeKalb’s historic Ellwood House and the Ellwood House galleries have reopened. The museum, which spans ten acres, has reopened to the public after a year of being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The estate, 420 Linden Place, was built in 1879 and is a showcase of the gallery’s namesake, Isaac Ellwood and of the DeKalb barbed wire industry, said Audrey King, curator of education and interpretation at the museum. 

The museum reopens for the first time since closing the mansion and gallery in March 2020. 

“Because of the way the mansion has to be cleaned, with the historic surfaces, we couldn’t use the cleaners that were necessary during (COVID-19),” King said.

She said they are now sanitizing the building daily as well as in between guests.

Tours will be an hour long and visitors will be required to wear masks, according to a museum news release. Guests must also reserve tickets a day in advance. Each household is allowed 10 tickets, according to the release. Tours are being held Wednesdays through Saturdays.

This will secure guests access to levels of the Patience Ellwood Towle Visitor Center, four galleries, which feature exhibits on the Ellwood family, barbed wire history and a brand-new exhibit, “Crimson Days: The Early History of NIU,” according to the museum’s release.

Tickets to visit the museum are free and can be booked via Eventbrite. For additional information on the Ellwood House Museum, visit the museum website.