For the past two weeks we’ve been ‘squatters’ at the Jacobs family homestead in Chenoa, Illinois. This homestead property was originally settled in 1857 by Frederick Jacobs who came over from Germany for the opportunity to farm his own land. Frederick is the Jolly brothers’ great-great-grandfather.
Hover your pointer over the photo, then click on the arrows to scroll through some photos of our time here on the homestead.
Now, fifth-generation family members, Tim & Cheryl Jolly, have purchased this homestead from a long-held family trust. Unfortunately, the home was allowed to fall into disrepair while held in trust, making for a significant restoration project. There is a lot of work to be done, including tearing out old, overgrown trees and bushes; cleaning out the many rooms; repairing rotted wood; stripping painted-over woodwork; reclaiming covered-over windows; remodeling the kitchen and bathrooms; refinishing all the floors, etc. etc. – this list only scratches the surface. Thankfully, Tim & Cheryl are committed to restoring this fine homestead to its original grandeur and moving in when the project is complete.
Incidentally, the current house was designed by a prominent architect out of nearby Bloomington, George H. Miller, who has several buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in 1917 for Frank Jacobs, Fred/Jeff/Tim/Tom’s great-grandfather. Nearly one hundred years of family members have lived in the home and farmed the surrounding land, including Russell & Gwen Jolly. Here they raised their four raucous boys, including the eldest son, Fred.
We are so grateful that Tim & Cheryl have purchased the homestead and some of the surrounding acreage to farm. We are happy to have been a small part of the initial clean-up, and we look forward to generations of Jacobs-Jollys enjoying the home once again and continuing the longstanding family legacy here.
And now it’s time to hit the road……..