This home was saved from demolition, moved and restored through the generosity of a local developer, the city of Aurora, and many fantastic volunteers and contractors. The home was purchased by a preservation minded buyer who resides in the home and continues to preserve this important piece of Aurora's history.
History of the McArthur House
In the 150 years since its original construction, the home has witnessed the transformation of the centuries. One of Aurora's earliest homes, it was built in the early 1840s by Alexander McArthur, a cooper who immigrated to America from Scotland. Only the second house on River Street, its original location, the home saw the very beginnings of the Town of West Aurora.
After marrying Eliza McFarlane aboard a ship in a New York harbor and staying briefly in Rochester, Alexander's son John brought his bride to live in this home. At that point, the building housed 14 people, prompting John to add a second story to the house during the Civil War to accommodate the demands placed on the home by its growing family. This home even merited a visit from legendary detective Allen Pinkerton and his wife, who were entertained thereafter being stranded on the prairie.
Since the McArthur family owned the residence, it has been home to Fremont Taylor, jeweler and watchmaker, and George Phelps, a barber. Later it was used as rental property, became a restaurant and served as a bus depot for Continental Trailways.
In addition to changes in use, the home has experienced many physical changes. Besides the addition of the second story (around the Civil War), a shed was added to the building and may have functioned as a workshop or retail space for its owners. Truly, this home has seen incredible changes, especially its recent restoration to its 1840s appearance.