Lewis Steward

has been placed on the
by the United States Department of the Interior

History of The Homestead

An Estate Steeped in Tradition and Excellence

The Homestead Bed and Breakfast in Plano, Illinois boasts a rich and varied history. Built in 1854 by Lewis Steward, the founder of the town of Plano, the estate is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In the early 1850s, the Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad began expanding westward from Chicago. Seeing an opportunity for business growth as a result of the railroad’s expansion, Steward offered the railroad access across his family’s farm and proposed to build a town around the railroad. In 1853, Mr. Steward plotted the town of Plano, configuring the streets, planting trees, subdividing his property for new settlers, and donating land to build the town’s twelve original churches.

For the next several years, Lewis Steward focused his efforts on the growth and development of Plano, supporting its industries and maintaining the city’s economic strength. In addition to acting as a lawyer, farmer, merchant, manufacturer, horse breeder, and philanthropist, Steward served as the area’s Representative in the 52nd United States Congress.

Mr. Steward was known as a man of integrity, always with an eye for the welfare of the residents of Plano. He provided the town with its water system, developed a park, built an opera house, and took school children to the neighboring city of Aurora to see the circus. As a result, Plano became known as “The Child of Lewis Steward’s Creation.”

Lewis Steward’s primary residence – commonly called “The Homestead” – was built in 1854 to be patterned after the picturesque country cottages that are reminiscent of rural Tuscan villas. Mr. Steward expanded the house in the early 1860s and again in the late 1870s, and the house remained in the Steward family until 1954.

The home was subsequently purchased in the late 1950s by Dr. Stefen Wojtowycz and his wife Olena, who used the home as their family home. In 2003, the estate was purchased by Langguth Design Ltd. and renovated for use as a Chicago area bed & breakfast, a decorator’s show house, and a special event facility for intimate weddings, family gatherings, corporate meetings, and retreats.

The Homestead’s current owners, Innkeepers Chet and Mary Kay Sergo, purchased the Chicago area bed and breakfast in July 2012. The Sergos are committed to maintaining the integrity of the home as a classic 1850s manor, and to serving their guests with the hospitality, energy, and respect that was so well embodied by the home’s original owner, Lewis Steward.

Continuing Lewis Steward’s tradition of community involvement and support for the arts, The Homestead Bed and Breakfast recently served as the filming location for upcoming movie and housed several cast members during the filming.

Contact our Innkeepers at (630) 552-4322 to book your stay, inquire about group tours, or learn more about our exquisite property.

Our visit was in acceptance of the invitation of Mr. Lewis Steward, the life of the village of Plano, and one of the remarkable men of this state. He has all branches of business in active operation directly under his eye. He drives them all with his characteristic energy and profit. Yet he has abundant leisure to make his home the seat of an enlarged hospitality and to take an active interest in projected railroads, new towns and manufactories. He has the brain of a philosopher and the energy of a steam engine. His handsome house gleams like a Grecian temple out of the shades of the grove on the outskirts of the village.””

— Kendall County Record, August 21, 1873