191. Century Memorial Chapel

Although the cannon blasts and gunshots of Civil War battles were not heard in Naperville, the war was heavy on the hearts of its citizens when this church was built in 1864. 365 young men volunteered during the course of the war; some of those young men didn’t live to see home again. Church was a place to renew faith when Napervillians were consumed with fear for their loved ones. But along with devastation, the war brought prosperity to towns like Naperville. Demand for grain and livestock was high and so were the prices. Business was good—so good that the congregation of St. John’s could finally build their own church, rather than making do with space borrowed from neighboring churches as they had for the 25 years previous. This Gothic revival church served the congregation until the late 1960s. In 1972, the parishioners moved into a new, larger building. The old wood church had been sold and was threatened by new development when the Naperville Heritage Society had it deconsecrated, renamed it Century Memorial Chapel, and relocated the building to the grounds of the newly developed Naper Settlement in 1970.