Monday, April 2, 2012

Living with History

We had the opportunity to visit with John White in Elburn last week. Mr. White kindly took us on a tour of his 1840's log house, filled with antique furniture, pottery and other bits of everyday life.

The log house is not original to the property -- he moved it like a huge stack of Lincoln Logs from Wisconsin -- but it was originally built more than 150 years ago.

Not all of it could be salvaged.Parts tha were too rotted were rebuilt or worked around. For instance, the two-story walls are now more like one and a half stories and the flooring had to be laid completely new.

But what a floor! The planks are random widths, from narrow to almost two feet wide. White ripped the boards himself from a White Pine that grew near his farm and was toppled during the Plainfield tornado in 1990. He figures the tree was a seedling about the same time that the log house was being built originally.

Some people like to read history and others like to visit historical sites, but John White went out to rescue history, dragged it home and spent years rebuilding it. Many thanks to Mr. White for a truly special Saturday morning!

For more details of Mr. White's log house, see The Daily Herald article.