Brief Graham-Ginestra House History
This 1857 Greek Revival, Italianate architectural style Graham-Ginestra House (GGH) is on the National Register of Historic Places in Winnebago County, Illinois (1979). The house represents the homestead of two prominent families who started successful businesses in Rockford: Freeman Graham, Sr. and Leo Ginestra. Therese Ginestra Schmeltzer inherited this home and opened it as a museum to preserve its fine history. After her death an investor purchased GGH (2004) and opened it for a short time.
In November 2016 Ethnic Heritage Museum purchased GGH. It fits perfectly with the "museum mission of preserving the cultural history of Rockford's early beginnings in the area." Many of our board members have contributed time and donations toward redeveloping this architectural jewel. Volunteers continue to research the history placing artifacts in the appropriate areas. There is more work to do and help needed with volunteering and contributing toward ongoing redevelopment projects. Please call the museum 815 962-7402 if you can join our team as a volunteer or wish to donate to help fund future programs and projects.
If you'd like to donate, go to our Donations page.