Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bourbonnais in Kankakee County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The Durham-Perry Farmstead Home

 
 
The Durham-Perry Farmstead Home Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 10, 2017
1. The Durham-Perry Farmstead Home Marker
Inscription. Thomas Durham, a Quaker, was born on October 1, 1784, in Brunswick, Virginia, to “a large and influential family” of English origin. They had settled in Virginia in the later part of the 17th or early part of the 18th century.

Durham and his family arrived on this site May 11, 1835. Durham had purchased 160 acres (one quarter section) from Gurdon S. Hubbard in what was then called Bourbonnais Grove. Hubbard, previously an employee of the American Fur Company, had become a Chicago merchant and part time real estate agent dealing with eastern land speculators.

Durham’s 160 acres were part of a section of land ceded to a métis named Jacques Vieau (known as Jonveau) by an 1832 treaty between the Potawatomi of the Prairie and the Kankakee, and the United States Government.

The Danville to Chicago Road cut across the northeast corner of Durham’s land. The 160 acres was divided by a north-south trail called the Bourbonnais Trace. At the spot Durham chose to build his home stood “twin” oak trees. To the east of Durham’s house lay open prairie; to the west was a scattering of hardwood timber.

Local tradition says the resident Potawatomi helped Durham build his first shelter, a wigwam made of boughs. A sturdy log cabin came next, and by the late 1830s, a two story,
The Durham-Perry Farmstead Home and Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 10, 2017
2. The Durham-Perry Farmstead Home and Marker
This view is northeast. The visitor's parking area is behind the photographer.
timber frame house. A large barn stood nearby. During the 1840s a horse barn was built.

An 1850 agricultural census reported Durham owned 320 acres (half of it being improved land) nine horses, four milk cows, two working oxen and 100 cattle. Wheat, Indian corn, oats and Irish potatoes were crops harvested that year. Durham also produced 200 pounds of maple sugar and 1000 pounds of bees wax and honey.

The Durham house served as a stop on the Danville to Chicago stagecoach route. From October 2, 1849, to February 11, 1853, the Bourbonnais Grove Post Office was located in Durham’s home. Thomas held the title of postmaster.

Thomas Durham died March 13, 1854. He was buried in the corner of his orchard. Durham left his estate to his sons.

In 1866, the original Durham house was owned and renovated by one of Durham’s sons-in-law, David Perry. Over the years several rooms were added. In the 1870s, David’s son Alvah made part of the house into living quarters for a tenant farmer.
 
Location. 41° 8.861′ N, 87° 52.571′ W. Marker is in Bourbonnais, Illinois, in Kankakee County. Marker can be reached from Croswell Avenue north of Perry Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. It is in Perry Farm Park at the the farmhouse, visible from the
The Durham-Perry Farmstead Home image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 10, 2017
3. The Durham-Perry Farmstead Home
This view is to the north. The roadway visible through the trees on the right is Kennedy Drive (State Route 102), which the house faces. Today, it cannot be reached by car directly from Kennedy Drive, the former Bourbonnais Trace. In this photograph, the marker is hidden from sight by the outbuilding in the foreground.
visitor’s parking for the farmhouse. Marker is in this post office area: Bourbonnais IL 60914, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Durham-Perry Farmstead (within shouting distance of this marker); The Durham-Perry Family Legacy (within shouting distance of this marker); Jardin aux Potages (approx. 0.9 miles away); Dedicated to the Memory (approx. 0.9 miles away); Bourbonnais Grove (approx. 0.9 miles away); McHie Ferry (approx. 6.2 miles away); Rockville Illinois (approx. 7 miles away).
 
Categories. Horticulture & ForestrySettlements & Settlers
 
The Durham-Perry Farmstead Home image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 10, 2017
4. The Durham-Perry Farmstead Home
This view is southwest. Behind the photographer is Kennedy Drive—the southern extension of South Main Street—near West North Street.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 18, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 18, 2017, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 50 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 18, 2017, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
Paid Advertisement