Sunday, February 12, 2017

Life on the Illinois prairie

When John Deere arrived in Grand Detour in 1836 one of the first things he did was to build a house for himself and his wife and family, who were still in Vermont waiting for him to get established in Illinois.  He built the house in stages, the original structure was the large portion with a formal dining room and wash room added later,  At the height of his business in Grand Detour, he had his wife Eight children, as well as live in apprentices all staying in a six room house!

When Deere moved to Moline in 1847 their home went thru several owners and was sought after by Charles Deere, John's son who tried unsuccessfully to purchase it. After Charles death the house finally did come back to the family courtesy of Charles daughter, Mrs. William Butterworth.  Recognizing the historical significance of the home, she filled it with traditional period furnishings from the 1840's as well as vintage wall paper and period correct paint scheme's.

Once inside it gives you a glimpse of what life on the 'Frontier' of Illinois was like. If you ever find yourself bored on a weekend and in need of something to do I highly recommend a visit to this fascinating slice of American history.  My thanks again to Ms. Kristen Veto, executive manager of the site for her permission to post this to my page.

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