As our thank you, if you donate:
$100 - we will send you a Vrooman Mansion coffee cup
$500 - we will send you a Vrooman Mansion T-shirt
$1000 - we will send you a gift certificate for an overnight stay (**some restrictions may apply; see below)
As a society, we are slowly losing the true works of art of the 20th century . Historic buildings are masterpieces of architectural geniuses - they can never be replaced in their entirety due to the financial cost to do so. In Central Illinois, we have very few such buildings in general, and even fewer private homes of this magnitude. Combining the business minded, and generous, nature of the occupants, as well as the sheer beauty and craftsmanship of the home, this simply cannot be replaced. We are in danger of losing our stained glass windows - the lead and cement are not strong enough to sustain the windows. We will not know the full grasp of their condition until after the windows are taken to the Jacksonville Stained Glass studio where they be analyzed. This will be done in January, 2020. We need your help: in reaching out to those you know, helping us spread the word, in donating $10 towards saving the windows. Together, we can save and preserve this piece of history for another 100 years!
Vrooman Mansion, was built in 1869. It became the family home of Matthew and Julia Scott who had 40,000 acres of farmland and part ownership in McLean County's Coal Company. Julia was National President of the DAR, and her sister married Vice President Adlai Stevenson.
Matthew and Julia raised 2 daughters, at Vrooman Mansion. Later, youngest daughter Julia and her husband, Carl Vrooman, would call the Lincoln Oak house their home, and so began Vrooman Mansion. Widowed in 1891, Julia Scott continued to oversee the farmland, coal company, DAR presidency, and raise her daughters. And, to make the home her own, she added 18 rooms and changed the exterior structure of the house. It is at this time in 1900 the 13 stained glass windows of the house were put into place. While some are small, the windows in need are the largest- twin 4ft x 7ft with a fleur de lis design.
Eventually, daughter Julia and her husband Carl moved back to Vrooman Mansion - which would be their home for the rest of their lives. Youngest Julia passed away in 1981 at the age of 104. She was the last family member to live in and own the house. Both she and Carl were very religious and believed in helping people. Not having children, they threw their efforts into the betterment of society and helping those less fortunate. When Julia passed away, 95% of her estate went to churches and charities- in 1981, her estate was worth $5 million. In 1983, the Vrooman Mansion was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Without a trust, the house and belongings were sold at auction. There have been 4 sets of owners since 1982. Pam and Dana have owned the Mansion for 20 years, running the Bed and Breakfast business that began with a previous owner. Still working full time in the Chicago area, they hired staff to run the business during the week, and every weekend drove to Bloomington to work on the numerous projects that come with owning an older home ( there is always a to do list). Both being very hands on with the maintenance, bed and breakfast operations as well as the events that take place at Vrooman Mansion, Pam and Dana continue to make the trip south on a weekly basis while residing in the Chicago area.
Why should you consider donating?
Vrooman Mansion is not incorporated or affiliated with other organizations or the state. We are a small group of people trying to preserve a piece of history while sharing that history with those that visit the Mansion . There is always a list of projects, as any owner of a historic building knows. Some projects can be managed in a short amount of time and with manageable finances. Other projects, like the stained glass, are larger than life . We hope you will help us in our fight to save the beauty of yesteryear! Additional ways you can help - stay with us for an overnight, buy a gift certificate for someone, come to one of our events, have an event here and HELP US SPREAD THE WORD - visit our site www.vroomanmansion.com . We'd love to have you as our guests! Thank you!!
**You must contact the organizer with your name, address, email and phone # in order for you to receive these.