103 S Jefferson St
PO Box 213
Towanda, IL 61776
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(also known locally as the Duncan Mansion or Towanda Meadows) sits atop a
hill just outside the village limits of Towanda, Illinois, and is visible
from the railway and from Interstate 55 southwest of the Towanda exit.
The home was built around 1869 by William R. Duncan, a successful livestock
dealer who moved to the Towanda area from Kentucky in late 1863, during the
Civil War, The manor was occupied for only a few years by Mr. Duncan,
who died of an illness in the autumn of 1876, at age 57 when returning from
a a trip to the State Fair at Ottawa, Illinois.
Although the home had only a
few owners over the years since, it was often occupied by renters or
tenant farmers and never received any 'modernizations' that would change
the basic structure of the building. The home had sat empty and vandalized for a year
when it was purchased by Bud and Diane Sullivan, who are in the process of
restoring the beautiful home to its former glory.
The mansion on the hill has
inspired much interest from the public over the years. You can read
more about the home at the Sullivan's website:
and at the
Towanda Area History website.
Duncan Manor - date unknown,
perhaps 1960's or 1970's
Duncan Manor in 2008, at the
beginning of the restoration efforts. Notice that
all of the
windows have been broken by vandals.
The barn was build in the
late 1860's by William Duncan.
Restoration of the barn is also planned.
Front of the home in May, 2008 - before restoration
Three story spiral staircase in entry way of home.
The stair case had
been boarded up in the 1960's to reduce heating costs and thus was in
perfect condition until vandals broke several spindles after the Sullivans
removed the plywood shortly after purchasing the home in 2008.
One of the bedrooms, clearly
before restoration.. Several of the rooms have
fireplaces, which would have been the only source of heat in the
Kitchen in 2008 - before restoration.
Attic in 2008
Back of home in 2008 - before restoration.
Monday February 20, 2012