Some brief history of Malta
The Village of Malta is located in Malta Township in the western part of DeKalb County. Located on Rt. 38. Surveyed in 1856 by Horace W. Fay, the Village of Malta owes its long term existence to the railroad. The first house was built by J.M. Orput and sold groceries and other provisions. Mr. Orput was not the only one to have run an early business in Malta. Two men by the names of Shedd and Fuller built a warehouse to store grain that they purchased. A portion of the warehouse was used as a hotel and was the first hotel in town. Another hotel was built in the fall of 1858 and was called the Orient House. Around 1860 the town had a blacksmith, a wagon maker, a furniture dealer, a shoemaker, a harness maker, a druggist and a hardware store. It is said that at that time Malta had a larger business district than DeKalb!
The post office was established in the winter of 1856 and Mr. Shedd was the postmaster. The local school house was built in 1857 and lasted till 1873 when a new school was built for $6,000.00. The school had four rooms and one teacher per room.
A grist-mill was the first industrial use in Malta, owned by Clement and Dodge in 1857. They ran the mill for two years then leased it to Booth and Sprague. After being destroyed by a fire Clement and Dodge sued Mr. Sprague for the value of the mill. The value at that time was $18,000 to give you an idea of its size.
The Village of Malta was incorporated in 1869.
For more information visit the Old Town Hall Historical Building. The Historical Society is a beautiful building available for rental capable of seating 70-80 people comfortably. With a full kitchen and AC it makes a great venue for any social gathering. Call 815-825-2330 to inquire on a rental date.
Open by appointment contact:
Debbie Lang at 815-825-2330 ext. 1
The Links below will help assist you in finding archived items. Please complete a
research request sheet for copies of items you are interested in.
Malta Historical Society is a non-profit organization, requests are filled by volunteers,
please allow 2-4 weeks.