Charles H. Hibbard House

Charles H. Hibbard House
The Charles H. Hibbard "Cupola" House in Marengo, Illinois.
Location: Marengo, Illinois, McHenry County, Illinois, USA
Coordinates: 42°14′53.89″N 88°36′45.46″W / 42.2483028°N 88.6126278°W / 42.2483028; -88.6126278Coordinates: 42°14′53.89″N 88°36′45.46″W / 42.2483028°N 88.6126278°W / 42.2483028; -88.6126278
Built: 1846.[2]
Architectural style: Italianate[1]
Governing body: Private ownership
NRHP Reference#: 79003113[1]
Added to NRHP: February 14, 1979[1]

The Charles H. Hibbard House, in the McHenry County city of Marengo, Illinois, has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979. The home, also known as the Cupola House, stood unoccupied on Grant Highway as of January 2007. In recent years the home had been classified by the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois (LPCI) as one of the state's threatened landmarks. In 2003 the property was listed on LPCI's "top ten most endangered" list.[3] Some time after its 2003 the home underwent some renovation and no longer appears dilapidated on its exterior, as it did in a 2003 photo featured by the LPCI.[2] Until 2003, despite being on the National Register, the home was not listed as a landmark by the city of Marengo.[4]


The home is a distinctive example of Italianate architecture. The home's namesake as Cupola House comes from the octagonal cupola on its roof which provides ventilation and it is thought served as a lookout tower during the Civil War. the first floor has two back bedrooms believed to have been servant's quarters at one tme. Upstairs, on the second floor, there are six bedrooms, a long hallway, a back staircase and bathroom.[5]


The Hibbard House has a fairly illustrious history, as houses go. Construction began in 1846 at the behest of Charles Hibbard, in 1847 the home was complete and the Hibbard's moved in. The home was constructed as an exact replica of Hibbard's childhood home and contains 14 rooms. Construction cost somewhere around $16,000. The property that the home is on was purchased as a 7-acre (28,000 m2) plot from Christopher Sponable. Hibbard came to Marengo by way of Charleston, South Carolina. He was one of Marengo's first storekeepers and was a known horticulturalist who was renowned for his produce. During the Civil War it is thought that the home was used as a safe stop for runaway slaves. The cupola played a key role in that if it was safe to stop, for food and lodging, a light would be hung in the cupola window.[5] The home also contained a secret, underground room in the yard, it had a hidden entrance near the front porch.[5]

Hibbard died in Lawson, Missouri in 1872 and by 1874 the home was owned by Joseph Dietz who ran a machine shop in Marengo around 1877. Interestingly, Dietz married Caroline Sponable, the first white child to be born in Seneca Township. Dietz owned the home until 1894 when records show that A.H. (C.H or H.L.) Hale bought the home and held it until 1950. A local teacher, Jane Stanford, purchased the home in 1950 and owned it until 1955. Stanford was well known as an educator and community leader. Mr. and Mrs. Francis (Mary) Muzzy owned the home from 1956 to 1980. Jane Stanford's niece, Mary Stanford Muzzy (daughter of Charles Stanford, Jane's brother) and her husband purchased the home from her aunt's estate. Mary S. Muzzy Neal has owned the home since 1980. Mary Susan Neal lives in California and created a life there since before 1972 when she was amitted the state bar of California as an attorney.


  1. ^ a b c NRIS Database[dead link], National Register of Historic Places, retrieved Jan. 2007.
  2. ^ a b Statewide Endangered Archive: 1995-2005, Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois, Official site, Photo of Hibbard House, Retrieved Jan. 2007.
  3. ^ Statewide Endangered Archive: 1995-2005, Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois, Official site, Retrieved Jan. 2007.
  4. ^ Existing Landmarks in Marengo, Illinois, (PDF), Marengo Historical Preservation Commission, City of Marengo.
  5. ^ a b c Cupola House, All about Marengo, City of Marengo, Official site.

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