Thursday, August 3, 2017

Historic Town and Houses

I love traipsing through old houses whenever I get the chance, catching a glimpse of history. Last weekend I paid a visit to a small historical village in my own town since I hadn't been there for several years.


I live in a town in northern Illinois that was established in the mid-1800s. The area was once the hunting grounds of the peaceful Illinois and Potawatomie Native Americans. The two busy main streets in our now urban town were originally called Two Indian Trails when it was first settled. Sometime in the 1840s, Lyman Wilmot came here from the east coast with his wife Clarissa to settle on 240 acres of land. Part of that land was donated to the village to build a school. If the name Clarissa sounds familiar it's because she was the inspiration for one of my favorite quilt patterns -  Clarissa's Garden. Some of you may know this story. I will try to post more about that next week.



Caspar Ott and his wife Elizabetha raised their seven children in this one-room log cabin home, the oldest standing building in the county.



A log cabin quilt, of course.




An old carriage house.














The area was a stronghold in the abolitionist movement, providing numerous stops on the Underground Railroad, aiding slaves in their journey to freedom. The Wilmot's home apparently served as a stop on the Underground Railroad. 

The house still stands but it has been extensively renovated  in recent years and so is not on the register of historic houses. I wish I could have seen the inside but it was always privately owned. My dream was that if I'd had the money at the time it recently went up for sale I would have bought it and restored it myself. The asking price was quite a bit higher than the salary of this particular quilter, however . . . . 

                                 Deerfield, IL, The Lyman Wilmot House, according to local history a safe house on the Underground Railroad, is documented in one of the few detailed stories that have survived about the Underground Railroad in Lake County.

I'm sure there are many historic houses and villages near where you live. Summer is a great time to explore some of these and get a glimpse of life as it was lived so long ago.



14 comments:

Janet Taber said...

Beautiful photos. It is such good advice to visit the historic places in our own backyards. Often we think we have to travel afar, but sometimes we ignore what is so easily accessible and interesting!
Love the quilts on the old beds...inspiration is around every corner!

Rosa said...

Great.photos and lovely place!

Sue Bennett said...

Can you image the families of today all living in one room house? Love your tour and the photos of the homes. I also love going thru old home places.

belarmina said...

Kathleen gracias por compartir !!!

Betty Lou said...

That's my kind of day, viewing old houses, linens, quilts, or practically anything that has a history. Surprising what's in our own backyard. I'm love visiting my old home town, Fremont, Ohio, so much to see there.

Chookyblue...... said...

Thanks for the history and photos......

Jennifer M said...

Kathy thanks for sharing, I, as you and others, love going in old homes. Such wonderful photography and I can't imagine anytime in my lifetime, wanting to live with that many people in that small of space. Then again, when you don't know any different, it's not so bad after all.

McLibrarian said...

Thanks so much for the wonderful history lesson and photos. I'm trying to imagine raising seven children in a one room log cabin! Loved seeing the bright, airy rooms and the lovely quilts!

jane nj/wi said...

Kathy fun trip down memory lane....there is so much around Chicagoland that isn't Bears, Cubs, Sox, Rushstreet.....

The old Marshall Fields building was my playground for 2 years. The history and structure amazing. I wish I could have shown you my view from the mid 70'.

my little burg was known for gangsters and get-a-ways.....several large estates with corporate ties. I am not placing where you were. Guess I need to add onto my list of "things I didn't see or know about" in my home town area.

You Surely could have chosen to be a professional photographer as a career I think. You have an eye that sees the story that can be told with the right framing. Always a pleasure to find a surprise waiting in my email. Thanks!

Jane

Margie West said...

Thanks for the history and photos. Margie/NY

Kerry said...

Thank you for sharing the photos - I enjoyed the little bit of history too. :D

Karen said...

I have such a love for history so I really enjoy reading your historical posts, Kathy! A little lesson here and there transforms us into another era. I grew up in an old Victorian Seaport town here in Washington State. It was going to be the gateway to the Northwest, but the railroad decided on the Seattle area instead. So my little hometown stayed small and quaint. It has changed a bit through the years and is very popular for artists and musicians to move in. Thank you so much for sharing your quilts and U.S. history with us.

Gypsy Quilter said...

Thank you for the tour. I love seeing historic buildings. Sadly, there are none around here. However I did get to visit some while in Lititz, PA. It's a great small town.

Jocelyn said...

I love your pictures. We have seen some in our area (Florida), but not many. In March my hubby and I traveled to Pennsville NJ, and stayed in a lodge that was originally build in the 1600's. Quite an experience. Original floors and foundation. Even though the owners have updated, there were still so many things to identify this place as being historical. It was the oldest working farm in NJ.

.

Related Posts with Thumbnails