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A Tour of Ronald Reagan’s Boyhood Home in Dixon, Illinois

Ronald Reagan house - Dixon, IL
Dixon, Illinois is most famous for being the hometown location of 40th President, Ronald Reagan. The Reagan’s lived in the Dixon home for 3 years, between 1920-1923, making Ronald 9 at the time of move in. The house opened to the public in the mid 80’s. Tours currently run from April to October each year.

The house is located at 816 S. Hennepin Ave. Dixon, IL 61021. In 2002, when the house was named a National Historic site, the street was renamed Reagan Way.

Reagan Way in Dixon, IL
Before the guided tour, you will watch a 10 minute video. Next, the tour guide will take you through each room of the Reagan house, giving information about Reagan’s early and later life. During the tour, I had the opportunity to learn plenty of new & interesting facts ( I never knew that Reagan was an announcer for the Chicago Cubs!)

None of the original furniture remains in the house, however, it has been remodeled to resemble the look of a 1920s residence. Take a look below at my photo gallery of the house.

The room that Ronald shared with his brother Neil.

Reagan's bedroom in his boyhood home in Dixon, IL
This room was the Reagan guest bedroom, which they rented out occasionally. Ronald’s mother, Nelle, used it primarily for her sewing.

Guest bedroom at the Reagan house in Dixon, IL
Mr. and Mrs. Reagan’s room

Bedroom at the Reagan boyhood home in Dixon, IL
The bathroom was originally a closet. Look at the narrowness of the room!

Bathroom in the Reagan Boyhood home in Dixon, IL
The parlor room

Parlor in Reagan's Boyhood Home in Dixon, IL
The sitting room in the Reagan house. Ronald’s mother used to make popcorn all the time, as it was one of the few snacks of the time.

Sitting room in Reagan's Boyhood Home in Dixon, IL
Ronald used to hide his money under the piece of broken tile by the parlor fireplace. Even though he wasn’t allowed in the parlor room, he was tall enough to reach the fireplace without stepping foot into the room.

Fireplace in Ronald Reagan's Dixon home
On his visit to Dixon, Reagan told the story of his hiding place and placed pennies under a tile again. In the frame below, you can see the actual picture of Ronald putting the pennies down. The pennies displayed in the frame are authentic.

Reagan showing his favorite hiding spot in Dixon, IL



6 comments

  1. They rented from Dec. 6 1920 to sometime in 1923. Only lived here about 2 years.

    • Diane Laus
    • October 17, 2014  at  4:06 AM

    Neil Reagan stated they rented this house Dec. 6 1920 and moved sometime in 1923; they only lived here about 2 years.

    • Diane Laus
    • October 17, 2014  at  3:59 AM

    The Reagan’s moved to this house which they rented on Dec. 6, 1920. If they moved sometime in1923, they only lived here about 2 years Brother, Neil also stated they lived here for 2 years.

    • Tim
    • May 12, 2014  at  12:37 PM

    Growing up in Dixon, and touring the house numerous times I can verify that the Reagan family lived in that house from 1920 – 1923, which if my calculations are correct is 3 years. If you don’t believe me you can check out the link below which is to the discover Dixon website page that talks about the house.

    http://www.discoverdixon.org/reagan/reagans-roots.html

    He may have lived in Dixon for more than three years but he only lived at that location for 3 years so the author is correct.

    • Connie Cantwell
    • May 12, 2014  at  2:20 AM

    Didn’t he move to Dixon at the age of 9? He graduated from Dixon and was a lifeguard at Lowell Park……. so he certainly lived there longer than three years

    • Connie Cantwell
    • May 12, 2014  at  2:19 AM

    He lived there longer than 3 years….. more like 13, right?



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