The Jason W. Strevell house has been a work in progress for a couple of years. The home, which is the only remaining structure in Livingston County to have hosted a visit from Abraham Lincoln, is a project of the Livingston County Historical Society. Recently, History Wood & Window Restoration of Odell, Illinois has been repairing and replacing some of the first floor windows located at the rear of the structure. Their work nearly completes the outside restoration of the historic home.
Interior demolition is ongoing and is part of a plan to restore the portion of the home related to the Lincoln visit to its original 1850s configuration. Next on the agenda for the house will be the placement of engraved granite memorial bricks making the front door sidewalk a tribute to all of those who have donated to help restore this special home. The brick pathway is scheduled to be installed at the end of June. Memorial bricks can still be purchased and come in sizes from $100 to $5,000.
In January of 1860, Lincoln came to Pontiac by rail to speak to the Pontiac Young Men’s Literary society. His speech was presented at the Methodist Church and afterwards, Lincoln went to the home of his fellow lawyer and political colleague, Jason Strevell. Lincoln spent the evening with Strevell talking about the important national issues of the day, before he caught the early morning Chicago & Alton train back to Bloomington where he was representing a client in a legal matter.
Donations in support of the Strevell House restoration are always welcome, and further information may be obtained by contacting Pontiac Tourism at (815) 844-5847.