2110 1st Street, East Carondolet
618/332-1782


Open:
Tours available by request. Please call for more information.


 

The Martin-Boismenue House, a traditional one-story French Creole residence built ca. 1790, is considered one of the oldest surviving residences in Illinois. The builder utilized the French poteau sur solle (“post-on-sill”) technique, in which squared-log outer walls rest upright on a log sill mounted on a stone foundation. Galeries, or broad porches common in French Creole architecture, are on the building’s north and south sides.

The “restored” building’s first floor consists of two sparsely finished rooms, each containing a fireplace for heating. An enclosed staircase leads to a large attic. The half-basement, accessible by a staircase under the south galerie, contains a third fireplace, likely used for cooking. In 1989 the home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Visitors are guided through the building, including the attic and cellar. Tours emphasize the history of the building and preservation efforts, construction technique, and the Martins as a typical farm family. The building is not accessible to persons with disabilities.