In 2008, the gardens underwent a thorough renovation, spearheaded by BGHS members, master gardeners from the University of Illinois extension service, and Camp MOSH volunteers. The gardens were featured on the June 17, 2011 Kankakee Kultivators’ Garden Tour.
The Letourneau Home Museum sits on property owned by the village of Bourbonnais.
The grounds were named after Adrien Richard, one of the founding members of the Bourbonnais Grove Historical Society and its first president (1975).
An accountant by trade, Richard was local historian and author by vocation and has contributed much to the preservation of Bourbonnais history, as well as that of Maternity BVM Parish.
The preserve contains an arboretum, which was established in 1988. The arboretum’s trees, shrubs, and perennials were chosen for their native qualities to the area.
The original structure of the George R. Letourneau Home Museum was located at 261North Main Street in Bourbonnais and served as the first post office of "Bulbonnus Grove".
Letourneau and his wife, Elodie, purchased the home in 1852 and made several renovations and additions to accommodate the six daughters, five sons and one grandson they raised there.
In 1986, the house was considered for demolition as a firefighter's training exercise. Due to the efforts of the Bourbonnais Grove Historical Society, it was moved to its present location, 698 Stratford Drive East, Bourbonnais, Illinois, on June 20, 1986 and was restored.
The home was placed on the State Historic Landmark Registry in 2011.
Today the Letourneau home contains many artifacts from Bourbonnais' past. The home is maintained by the Bourbonnais Grove Historical Society and is open to the public on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month, March - December, or by appointment.
Copyright © BOURBONNAIS GROVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY. All rights reserved.