The owner was the Central Sod Farm (Wilson Nurseries and Landscape Supply today), which the Harmening House sits upon, says the House and land are priced at $2,000,000.
|A family wedding held at the house in 1894.|
The pictures give an idea of the house floor plan. On the second floor, you can see some of the original wallpaper and light fixtures.
Tom told Jim about this baby picture that was discovered in a frame found behind a wall when it was torn down. The identity and story of this baby picture are unknown. Tom was kind enough to email me the baby photo. Also included in the email was the above photograph, taken in 1894, of a large group of people assembled for a Harmening family wedding. Tom also sent along with a photo from high up in the cupola, giving a view of U.S. Route 20.
|It's a BAY-BE!|
LIVING HISTORY OF ILLINOIS AND CHICAGO® MEMBERS COMMENTS:
September 16, 2015 - Melissa Luby: I'm actually a descendant of the Harmening's on my mother's side. We've been researching our genealogy for years and may be able to identify the people in the photos. I'll ask my mom to dust off the family tree and report back. Thank you for the photos; I've always wanted to see the inside of the house.
September 18, 2015 - Regina Nerge Dunaway: These are pictures I have of the original owners of the old Harmening House on Route 20. They are my Great Great Grandparents - J H Harmening, born Dec 31, 1827, died Dec 16, 1903, and Dorothea Thiess Harmening, born Jan 11, 1841, died May 8, 1924.
|J. H. Harmening and Dorothea Thiess Harmening|
|This photograph appears to have a backdrop but was shot inside the house during the Wedding in 1894.|
|Interior photo from 1894.|
UPDATE - Monday, May 31, 2021: "The Harmening House in Hanover Park (Ontarioville) sadly met its demise on Saturday, May 29, 2021. My Dad, Tom Reiter, took these pictures and is the property manager in the original story. Hundreds of ornamental items were saved and put into storage before the teardown. The house was un-salvageable, being way beyond repair."
—Thank you, Mark Reiter, for sharing your father's photographs and information.
Central Sod only leases the trailer and a small area, and Wilson Nurseries (commercial accounts only) leases another area. The family owns all the property, including the house.
About 2010, the owners of the Harmening House went to DuPage County, Illinois, for building permits to repair the house, but it was decided it should be torn down, the county claimed it was too close to the road. The house was built between 1865 and 1872 when dirt roads with wagon ruts were the norm. Irving Park Road had been expanded to 6 lanes plus turning lanes over the years. After many court appearances, the county changed its mind. The owners looked into repairs a few years ago, and the cost would have been over a million dollars. The whole house is basically tied to the cupola, and to replace the roof, the whole structure needs to be stabilized. Building codes did not exist in DuPage County when this house was built.
NOTE: The photographs copyrighted by Jim Jasiota, who died in 2019, was the official "Photographic Historian" for the Living History of Illinois and Chicago® Facebook group.
Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.