title bar

Old House Society social and open house

When: Thursday, November 2, 2017
Time: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Where: 601 South Mercer Avenue, Blomington
Parking: In circular drive in front of the house; and on Castle Avenue, just south of house.

Seldom will you be able to visit a home with so much local history!

This beautiful home was built in 1939 by Mr. Dell Deems. Among the previous owners were Mr. Loring Merwin, the publisher of The Pantagraph; Guy Fraker, attorney and noted Lincoln historian/author; and Mr. Tim Ives, Adlai Stevenson II’s nephew.

The current owner, Janie Frank, bought it in 2005. Janie removed a one story single car garage and added a new two story addition: expanding the living room on the first floor and creating a master bedroom suite on the second floor, all the while maintaining the architectural integrity of the front facade. Janie has furnished the home beautifully, and the spacious back yard is a must see.

Please join us for delicious appetizers and refreshments and explore this fabulous piece of Bloomington history.

Members free; non-members suggested donation $10.

Old House Society’s annual holiday party

When: Thursday, December 7, 2017
Time: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Historic Vrooman Mansion at 701 East Taylor Street

Perhaps you are one of the many who took part in the annual Evergreen Cemetery Walk in October.

If so, you met husband and wife Carl and Julia Scott Vrooman, one of Bloomington’s earliest “power couples.” If you would like to learn more about them and how they lived, now is your chance.

The Old House Society is hosting its annual holiday party in their former residence, the historic Vrooman Mansion Bed & Breakfast Inn. The current owners decorate the home lavishly for the holiday season, which must be seen to be truly appreciated. You will be able to tour the home while partaking in delicious appetizers and holiday cheer while mingling with others who treasure magnificent older homes in our community.

Julia’s father and mother, Matthew and Julia Scott, purchased this 1869 original 17 room home in 1873, and in 1900 noted local architect Arthur Pillsbury added an astounding 18 room addition for the Scotts. One of their daughters, Julia Scott, and her husband Carl Vrooman, who met on the French Riviera, continued living in the home for almost 70 years. Carl then passed away but Julia continued living in the home where she had been born in 1876, until her death in 1981 at age 104! Her dining room table, original to the home, is still here and to be admired.

So, please join us for this festive event, and remember, you do not have to own an old house to come and enjoy one of the best ones our town has to offer.

Calling for nominations!!!


If you are the proud owner of a home fifty years or older or know someone who is, consider nominating a home for the OHS Gift to the Street Award.

The Old House Society has been giving an award since 1989 to homeowners who have taken the time to lovingly preserve, maintain, or restore their own homes to their original architectural characteristics. To date, the award has been given to 68 such buildings.

These homeowners are given a beautiful commemorative plaque which identifies the year the structure was built. Homeowners can then affix the plaque to the exterior façade to proudly signify the home’s place in local architectural history.

A complete list of previous award winning homes, and the application to apply for the award, can be found on the Awards page of this website and the completed application can be dropped off or mailed to the Old House Society warehouse at 214 East Douglas Street, Bloomington, Il 61701.

The Old House Society welcomes your interest!

Check out the latest at the Warehouse


An ongoing, updated posting of photos of the newest items that have recently been added to our warehouse inventory can be found on our Facebook page. Click here to see photos of the latest items that have been salvaged by our warehouse crew or donated by generous patrons like you.

facebook Follow us on Facebook