On the Boards | Byron Museum of History Engineering Upgrades
Built in 1843, the Lucius and Emily Read house was a focal point for activity in the young community of Byron, Illinois. The home hosted a variety of congregational activities and was a hub for Lucius’ own business endeavors. Known as fierce abolitionists, the Read family provided a safe haven for those on their journey north as part of the Underground Railroad until 1862, and the museum offers visitors exhibits and experiences to understand the house’s role in helping people reach their freedom. The home is one of the oldest structures in Byron.
The Read House was a residence until 1945 when it was bought to become a restaurant. The tavern operated until 1988 when it was purchased again and put in the care of the Museum District in 1990. Now a fully functioning museum honoring Byron’s rich history and life in America during the 1800s, the Read House and the building next door house exhibit areas, work spaces and an archive room.
The engineers at Bailey Edward are working with the Byron History Museum to perform a gut remodel of the old American Legion Hall, an adjoining facility owned by the museum. The Legion Hall serves as a meeting hall, but its primary function is hosting weekly bingo for the Byron community. BE’s engineers are gutting the inside of the hall and providing all new electrical and HVAC for the space. Surrounding the perimeter of the hall will be artifacts from the museum, illuminated by special lighting. BE and the Byron History Museum are excited to update these areas and to better engage with the community, and provide the community with access to Byron’s rich history.