Shortly after the publication of Eric Larson’s blockbuster book, Devil in the White City
, the Reference Librarians at the Wilmette Public Library started receiving calls asking where 38 N. John St. was located. That was the Wilmette address of mass murderer, Dr. Henry Howard Holmes (aka Herman W. Mudgett), the “devil” in Larson’s book. Holmes murdered many people, primarily women, during the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893.
Holmes built only one house in Wilmette, at what was then 38 N. John Street between Lake and Central. A Queen Anne duplex with turrets flanking a central porch, the Holmes house was originally painted dark red. This photograph, courtesy of the Wilmette Historical Museum, shows what the house looked like in 1990.