A Tour of Ronald Reagan’s Boyhood Home in Dixon, Illinois
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, the house was named a National Historic site. At this time, the street was renamed Reagan Way.
Tours are offered Monday-Saturday from 10am-4pm (the last tour leaves at 3pm) from March 29-Dec. 17th. 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. The tour lasts approximately an hour. During the tour, I had the opportunity to learn plenty of new & interesting facts. For example, 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.
A Photo tour of the house
The room that Ronald shared with his brother Neil.
This room was the Reagan guest bedroom, which they rented out occasionally. Ronald’s mother, Nelle, used it primarily for her sewing.
Mr. and Mrs. Reagan’s room
The bathroom was originally a closet. Look at the narrowness of the room!
The parlor room
The sitting room. Ronald’s mother used to make popcorn all the time, as it was one of the few snacks of the time.
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.
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.