Terwilliger House

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Terwilliger House
Terwilliger House1.jpg
Terwilliger House in Bull Valley, Illinois, near the McHenry County seat of Woodstock.
Terwilliger House is located in Illinois
Terwilliger House
Terwilliger House is located in the US
Terwilliger House
Location Bull Valley, McHenry County, Illinois
Coordinates 42°18′58″N 88°22′1″W / 42.31611°N 88.36694°W / 42.31611; -88.36694Coordinates: 42°18′58″N 88°22′1″W / 42.31611°N 88.36694°W / 42.31611; -88.36694
Area less than one acre
Built 1849
Architectural style Greek
NRHP Reference # 79003116[1]
Added to NRHP May 14, 1979

The 1849 Terwilliger House is a Registered Historic Place in the McHenry County, Illinois, village of Bull Valley. The Greek Revival house is topped with a square cupola and surrounded by a columned porch. Rumors persist that the home was once a part of the Underground Railroad.[2]


Samuel Terwilliger was the third settler of Nunda Township in McHenry County, Illinois, after George Stickney and Benjamin McOmber. Arriving in 1836, he was the first farmer in the region, and his son was the first child in the township born to a settler. Terwilliger married the daughter of the neighboring property. Combining the two properties, he built a Greek Revival estate in 1849. Oral history suggests that the house may have been a stop on the Underground Railroad.[3] The house remained in ownership of Terwilliger descendants for at least 141 years. On May 14, 1979, the house was recognized by the National Park Service with a listing on the National Register of Historic Places.


The two-story house is square, with entrances on the east, south, and north. The house is built on a foundation of fieldstone and locally produced soft red brick. The east facade features two windows flanking the door and four regularly spaced windows on the second floor. The doors on the north and south are off center, with three windows on each side—one to the east and two to the west. The walls are built with the same soft red brick as the foundation. The Greek Revival porch dominates the southern, eastern, and northern facades with large Doric columns. The roof is hipped with a slight pitch. A cupola is at the center of the house; it is large enough to serve as a bedroom. A kitchen extension was constructed at the rear on the west side in the 1890s.

Photo gallery[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ Harmon, Elizabeth. Greek Revival shows eternal style, Daily Herald, 5 June 2005, abstract via goliath.ecenext.com, retrieved January 13, 2007.
  3. ^ H. Lee Murphy. (1993-06-06). "On The Right Track - Page 2 - tribunedigital-chicagotribune". Articles.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2015-09-19.