Carriage houses were the garages of the nineteenth century.
The George Martin family kept its vehicles and horses in this Carriage House. The ground floor of the building had space to house a carriage and sleigh, keep one or two horses, and store their tack (including saddles and harnesses). The pitched roof of the Carriage House allowed space for a hayloft, which prevented hay from absorbing moisture off the ground and rotting. Farm workers filled the hayloft by throwing loose hay from the top of a wagon through a second story door. The upstairs loft had an interior trap door so that hay could be tossed down directly into the horses stalls.
After the horse-and-buggy era, George Martin’s daughter Caroline Martin Mitchell used the Carriage House as a garage for her car. Cars are bigger than carriages, so the building’s door openings were widened. Other carriage houses in Naperville were also converted into garages for automobiles.
The carriage house was built on this site in 1883 for George Martin.