Due to Covid-19 the Banwarth is currently closed for tours.


The Story of the Banwarth House

The original home was built in 1868 and stood a few hundred yards from its current location. The coming of the railroad in Elizabeth forced the house to be moved. In 1876 an addition was completed, making the house double in size. The ownership of the building itself stayed within the Banwarth family for nearly a century. ​​​​

Karl & Wilhemina Banwarth​
Mr. Karl Banwarth was born in Baden, Germany, where he lived mostly upon a farm until eighteen years of age. He then began his apprenticeship as a blacksmith and machinist, serving for three years. Later he traveled all over Germany, following his trade as a journeyman, and in the spring of 1867 took passage on a steamer bound for the United States.

​He made his way directly to Jo Daviess County, settling in Hanover, Illinois. Upon leaving Hanover Mr. Banwarth began a business for himself as a blacksmith in Elizabeth. He purchased the house and businesses of Mr. John Helmick which still stands as the 1876 Banwarth House & Museum.

Mr Banwarth married Miss Wilhemina Himmelreich. Together they had four children, Caroline, Charles, Minnie and Annie (who died in infancy).


Step back in time to 1876, when Grant was President and Queen Victoria ruled the British Empire. Enjoy an informative guided tour of the Banwarth family home and experience what everyday life was like during America's centennial year. Tours are available every Saturday from 10am until 3pm. Our delightful and knowledgeable guides will take you on a 40 minute tour of the historical Banwarth family home. Special group tours are available by appointment, call for available times.



1876 Banwarth House & Museum

408 E. Sycamore St.

Elizabeth, IL 61028

(815) 858-2014


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