Construction of five mile house almost complete

Mackenzie Freund, City Editor

In 1998, a foundation was created to buy and restore the Five Mile House, located just outside of Charleston.

The Five Mile House has been working on the five-year plan board members started to put together in 2004, according to a 2012 newsletter.

The historical landmark’s website says, “The Five Mile House is one of the earliest standing remaining structures in Coles County.”

From 2004 to January 2012, the Five Mile House board members created a plan to restore and construct new buildings for the house to have on the grounds.

Part of the plan was to restore a mantelpiece, get furniture from the period, build a restroom and blacksmith shop and get more space for parking.

In 2012, construction began at the property with the construction of a modern restroom that is made to resemble an outhouse.

The construction for the restroom began in 2012 and was completed in the fall of 2012.

The Five Mile House board got a storage shed to store some of the plows and other outdoor items from the original time period in 2012 as well.

The most recent part of the construction plan is to build and furnish a blacksmith shop, but before construction could take place, the archeology of the area was studied.

Other points in the plan of construction are to make the parking lot bigger and complete landscaping work.

The house has remained open and putting on shows and events for their guests while the construction was going on.

According to a 2013 newsletter, once the storage shed had been built, items were moved from the actual house into the shed, which gave more space for the young students who visit the house to participate in the program being put on.

The Eaton house on the property is planned to, at some point, be converted from a house into an office and visitor center, according to the website.

The Eaton house was built in 1958, one year after it was bought by Wallace and Helen Eaton, and was the first all-electric house in Coles County.

The five year plan of work is estimated to finish in 2016 with the furnishing of the blacksmith shop.


Mackenzie Freund can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]