Sunday, September 28, 2014

1869 Mystery House

It might just be that time of year with but it seems articles like these are quite interesting.  We know in the world of gossip with the added media connections those whispers behind cupped hands aren't just between the few doing the gossiping.  I just can’t help but wonder in the world as we know it today what lengths the townspeople would go through to get their answers. 

Salt Lake Telegram, Salt Lake City, UT
Saturday, March 7, 1914


Erected in 1896 and Elabo-
rately Furnished, Mansion
has Never Been

(Special to the Telegram.)
Bloomington, Ill., March 7. – The
Mystery of the “house of mystery” at
Chrisman, Ill., is still unsolved after
seventeen years.  It is now the resort
of bats and owls and rapidly going to
   It was in 1896 that the “house of
Mystery” was erected. Without any
Previous announcement one spring
Morning, a gang of workmen from
Some outside point arrived in Chrisman.
simultaneously came carloads of build-
ing material. Upon a large lot on the
main street of the town there was
speedily erected the structure that was
to create so much gossip in succeeding
years. The townspeople quizzed the
workmen concerning the ownership of
the house, but learned nothing. All en-
gaged were sworn to secrecy, and none
broke faith. The progress of the struc-
ture was watched with curious interest.
It was surmised that some well to do
bachelor of the town was preparing a
home for a prospective bride, but all
such pleaded “Not guilty.”
   Decorators and furnishers followed
upon the heels of the carpenters, plas-
terers and painters. The house was
fitted up luxuriously and with every up
to date convenience. It was now felt
that the mystery would soon be solved.
   The dining room was a marvel of
luxury, with carved table and chairs
and a buffet filled with expensive china.
The parlor was equipped with expen-
sive rugs, a grand piano and silk up-
Holstered furniture. The library and
bedrooms corresponeded in magnify-
cence with the other rooms. The sleep-
ing apartments varied in color and fur-
nishings, from the palest blue and
bird’s-eye maple in rich green tones
and heavy walnut.
   After the final touch of the outfitters
and decorators the house was closed.
Time passed and no one appeared. No
blushing bride and happy bridegroom.
There were no developments of any
kind. Weeks, months and years slipped
by and the mystery deepened.
   Six years ago an incendiary set fire
 to the house before the flames were
extinguished the kitchen was badly
damaged. A few days later workmen
appeared from some neighboring city,
repaired the damage and went their
way. Although plied with queries by
The residents, no one would furnish any
information calculated to clear up the
mystery. About the time a municipal
electric lighting plant was installed
by Chrisman and electricians wired the

“mysterious house.”