August 7, 2009

The Wellman home Lee Center Il

This is the home that four generations of my  father's  family had lived in in Lee Center, IL. It was built in 1847 and was the home of Dr. Adams, a well-known physician and Illinois statesman. Trapdoors leading to the basement were found by my  father in the original stone part of the house while installing a new floor and it's suspected they were either a means to escape hostile Indian parties that roamed the area at that time  or the Banditti. A known abolitionistm Dr Adams is reported in family history  that he  had connections with the Underground Railroad  and hid and helped move  escaped slaves making their journey north for freedom.
 (My  father later built an addition to the original house as well as the garage behind it).

My  parents settled into the home when they were married in 1926 and raised 5 children. Numerous family photos reflect the happiness that the house dinners, bridal and baby showers, plays and sleepovers with grandchildren, outdoor gatherings, visits from family, neighbors, and friends. The home was sold in 2003, a couple of years before my  mother passed away and unfortunately, the home and its grounds fell into neglect, disrepair, and eventually abandonment by its owners.

Recently, it was purchased by a neighboring couple who are currently working on clearing away the yard debris and will eventually restore the home.

These pictures are the first time I've seen the home since it was sold. I spent much of my childhood here   playing with the neighborhood kids and helping  with yeardwork. . It was a welcoming and beautiful place to visit and experience growing up. My  mother was an avid gardener and well known for her beautiful flowers and large vegetable gardens.  She loved to bake and while she lived there, the house had the permanent smell of baked sweet rolls and bread. In the 70's after my  father passed away, she opened her home to the public as a craft consignment shop which she ran successfully for over 10 years. The house not only served as a family home but for many years, the original stone part was a post office 50 years until my father retired as the Post Master for Lee Center.

I can't help but look at this and feel an overwhelming mixture of sadness and nostalgia for it because everything I remembered of it is now gone or destroyed.    
Location: Lee Center IL

  about the house..(.Cindy Wellman Boyenga)
The following are pictures that presenmt owmers. Jane and Teresa found in the US Library of Congress archive, regarding mom's house and the man who first inhabited it, Dr Adams. How nice of Jane to find the information and share it with our family. She and Teresa have been hard at work at the house this can follow their progress at I have written previopusly about the history of this home and you can reference it here.
My sister, Helen Page ,writes about the pictures " Didn't you love those pictures that Jane came up with? I do feel that the man in the center of the picture with 3 men looks like Dad. This was on the tail end of the depression; could not help but notice there were no curtains in the post office. Later in December when the photos were taken, Mom had curtains up, the vine was gone from the front of the Post Office that had been in the picture in the summer. Did you notice that the rose bush was in one of the pictures? And "Old Filo"? These pictures must be what Mom remembered of the "Men who came and laid out drawings on her dining room table" and took information back for the archives. Wish she could have lived to see these pictures". Also mom had said the house was built in 1837, but according to records at the Library of congress, it was built in 1847.

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