24022 (409) W. Lockport Street – Congregational Church (1850)
Built on a lot purchased in July 1849 for $40, this wood-framed structure sits on a limestone foundation with wood clapboard siding dating from 1906. It is recognized as the oldest continually used church in Will County and was completed in 1850.
The central entry is the original portion of the building and is historically significant due to its use as an enlistment center during the Civil War. On April 15,1861, the day after Fort Sumter fell, the Church threw open its doors after services and began registering men. Over 70 enlisted and within 10 days were on their way to Cairo, Illinois to be trained as part of Captain Edward McAllister’s 10th Illinois Infantry Regiment.
The east wing was added in 1906 and the west wing was added in the 1990s. The wings have classical pilasters and tall stained glass windows. A rear addition in 2002, was built in a compatible Greek Revival style, and greatly expanded the building. It is not readily apparent from most of Lockport Street. The church’s steeple was struck by lightning in October 1887 causing minor damage and knocking the Pastor, who was cooking his evening supper at the cast iron stove, to the floor. The existing spire was rebuilt in 1973 to match its historic appearance but has aluminum siding.