Rosecrance Hillman House welcomed neighbors and other visitors Dec. 9 for a holiday open house that included tours of the historic home.
Hillman House, 2415 E. State St., is a recovery home that serves adolescent male clients who have completed a substance abuse treatment program. The home offers a structured environment that includes individual and group counseling, family education, 12-step meetings, 24-hour supervision, life skills, recreational activities and relapse prevention.
Rosecrance’s foray into recovery housing dates back to 1997 when the organization started leasing a four-bedroom home at 1108 N. Main St. The Monarch House provided similar services for young women that Hillman does today for young men.
Jaci Reitsch, a former Rosecrance board member and auxiliary president, was a driving force behind Monarch House. She died in 1995, and her family and friends made more than 200 donations to Rosecrance in her memory. Those funds allowed staff to completely furnish the home, which was also dedicated in Reitsch’s memory.
Reitsch’s portrait is framed near the entryway of Hillman House. Rosecrance purchased Hillman in 2002 and relocated recovery home services for girls there from the Main Street home. Hillman House transitioned to a recovery home for boys in 2009 after Rosecrance opened the new Marlowe House for girls at 1365 N. University Drive.
Hillman was built in 1929 by funeral home director Fred Olson and purchased in 1942 by Swan Hillman, who founded the manufacturing company Rockford Products. A few visitors to the home during this week’s open house had a special connection to Hillman.
Ed and Donna Froeliger from Rockton stopped by the home with their daughter, Kelly, who lives in the neighborhood near Hillman. Ed worked for Rockford Products and retired from there after nearly 40 years as an employee.
Kelly was especially impressed by Hillman’s interior and after chatting with some of the clients who live there. “This is great,” she said of the facility. “It’s a beautiful house. I’ve always been very curious about it.”