Cragg Cabin

Cragg Cabin

Cragg Cabin

The old Cragg Cabin was built in 1835 by John Cragg and stood on its original location for one hundred years giving it historical landmark status in Grundy County. Mr. Harry L. Hough, a Mazon resident, had played near this cabin as a boy.  Mr. Hough became interested in local history as an adult and obtained permission to remove the parts that could be used to rebuild the cabin from the owner, Mrs. Jennie Cragg. Using local tradesman, he built an almost exact replica of the old Cragg Cabin as it had been in pioneer days using period furnishings and antiques. He and his wife, Zula, lived in the cabin and opened it up to many visitors as a museum for 30 years until 1966 when Mr. Hough died. The cabin was deeded to the Mazon High School and moved to school property.  The school district did not have a procedure in place to maintain the cabin and it was disassembled and moved in 1975 to Goose Lake State Park. The Park Director, Mr. Joseph Nyhoff, planned to reassemble the cabin as a pioneer home.1

  1. This is Grundy County – It’s History from Beginning to 1968 by Helen Stine Ullrich, copyright 1968 (by Grundy County) Library of Congress No. 68-21499; The Grundy County Pageant Spectacle, Official Souvenir Program, June 13-15, 1941, page 19. 


  1. Rebecca Sleeper

    I am the great granddaughter of Alice Cragg Francis. My grandfather was Claude Francis. My mother was born in Morris and grew up there. I remember visiting the cabin as a child. I have a picture of myself and brother and sister in front of the original cabin before it was moved and restored. I have a family photo of Joe Francis and his wife Alice Cragg with their 3 sons. Claude Oscar and Robert.

    • Rebecca Sleeper

      This is Rebecca Skeeper we also have the original land deed for John Cragg signed by President Van Buren.

  2. Susie Johnson

    The cabin has again been restored by Daggett Woodworking. It is not ready for visitors but will be in the spring. The one built in 1982-3 mean to many winters on the Prairie. The new one is gorgeous. Can’t wait for folks to see it.

  3. Bill Keane (William Francis)

    My family always referred to this as the family cabin. Family lore said the small top floor was used as a stop on the underground railroad. I do have a picture done of the existing cabin when I visited with my son 20 years ago. I’d be glad to send it if you’d like.

  4. Kelly Sawyer

    My great grandfather is Harry Hough. I visited Goose Lake Prairie to see the Cragg Cabin with my dad, Richard Hough (son of Gerald Hough) in 1992. My great grandfather was a huge collector of antiques and this cabin was one of his acquisitions that he had on his property in Mazon, IL. I’ve never heard that they actually lived in the cabin because he and Zula had their own home.

    I plan on taking my son to see it some day. As my son is studying about pioneers, and most especially reading “Little House on the Prairie” for his 3rd grade reading, I thought he’d get a kick out of seeing this post.

    Thanks for keeping history alive!

    Kelly Hough- Sawyer

    • GrundyILGW

      Kelly, thanks for stopping by! If you get a chance to take a picture of it as it is today, we’d sure appreciate if you’d drop us a copy of it. We’d love to display it for others to see.


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