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Taylor House



Oscar Taylor and Malvina Snow were married in 1842, and made their first home

in a cottage on Adams Street in Freeport. Oscar was admitted to the bar in 1850

and opened a bank in 1851. In 1857, he hired the Chicago architectural firm of

Boyington and Wheelock to design a home for his growing family. Wheelock also

designed Freeport's Brewster House Hotel where Abraham Lincoln stayed when 

in town for the Lincoln Douglas debate. The Taylor home was built from locally

quarried limestone with walls two feet thick. The property was originally 17 acres

(now 3 acres) and the Taylors planted many of the trees and shrubs that remain

today. The home was named "Bohemiana," which reflected the free-spirited and

artistic souls who lived there. The Taylors had five children; four daughters and one

son. Many famous people of the day visited the Taylors at Bohemiana.  They include

Horace Mann, Horace Greeley, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edward Everett Hale,  and 

Jane Addams. The house was opened as a museum in 1944. Today, the house is

furnished to reflect the early years of the family.  










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