Illinois Route 31 is a nearly 60-mile north-south road that stretches from Oswego up to Route 12, just south of the Wisconsin border. Between Aurora and Geneva it was part of the famous Lincoln Highway, one of the country’s first transcontinental highways designed specifically for automobiles that initially opened in 1913. Route 31 follows the western side of the Fox River, which can be a scenic journey even without a car: bicyclists enjoy the multi-use Fox River Trail, which runs alongside the road for some sections. A home on or near this main route is not only convenient to a wide variety of towns, but also to countless forest preserves and other local attractions. Plus there is so much history: In the 19th century, a number of abolitionists who were active members of the Anti-Slavery Society lived in St. Charles — and one of the following properties for sale was owned by one of these men.

228 N 4th St, Geneva, $928,000

A couple blocks over from Route 31 (or North 1st Street in the town of Geneva) is an amazing 1917 Arts & Crafts-influenced bungalow with three bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms. It originally belonged to Oscar Wilson, who along with his brother August, was an architect and building contractor who constructed Frank Lloyd Wright’s nearby P.D. Hoyt and A.W. Gridley houses. The restored home, already contingent, features great vintage details like a solid brick fireplace, beaming ceilings, and custom built-ins. Plus it’s just four blocks from Geneva’s charming downtown.

4N262 Route 31 St, Saint Charles, $1,600,000

The son of James Wheeler, who originally built this home around 1848-51, recalled it being a stop on the Underground Railroad. Most of the history is now gone, but I think you’ll still be impressed by this luxury-style residence from the moment you step from the circular driveway into the 7,000-square-foot interior. Even if marble and chandeliers aren’t your thing, I do think you’ll like the balcony that overlooks the Fox River and the forest preserves. It also comes with four acres of land that includes mature trees, a bluestone patio, and a gated kids play area.

4N316 Route 31, Saint Charles, $699,900

Staying in Saint Charles to share a three-bedroom, three-bathroom residence with cool modern farmhouse vibes. Located on almost two acres across from Ferson Creek Fen, the 2,650-square-foot open concept home has great value with all its additional spaces. The property has a 1,500-square-foot guest house, which could be used as an office or living quarters for visiting family or friends. There is also a flex space (with separate system) that has incredible Fox River views.

767 Goethe St, Elgin, $275,000

According to Redfin, the city of Elgin is one of the most affordable places to live in Illinois for homeowners with a tight budget. Only a couple blocks from West Elgin’s State Street corridor — a.k.a. Route 31— is this well-maintained 1,050-square-foot home with two bedrooms, one-and-a-half bathrooms, and a partially finished basement. Wing Park, a 121-acre park with a pool, playground, sports courts, golf course, and a bandshell that hosts summer concerts, is located right next door.

1147 S Batavia Ave, Batavia, $445,000

Last August, a historic Victorian in Batavia sold for $200,000. Following a complete renovation, the 2,316-square-foot residence is now back on the market with an asking price of more than 100% of what it had sold previously. Some of the preserved elements inside include beautiful woodwork, panel pocket doors, ornate fireplaces, a built-in dining room cabinet, and a bear claw soaking tub in one of the two full bathrooms. The property might be located on Route 31, but it’s set on almost an acre lot full of large trees.