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Elkhart, IL - Historic Old Gillett Farm

4 Drake Lane - Elkhart, Illinois

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Why Buy This Property

Rarely in America, an opportunity to acquire the 785 acre Old Gillett Farm in Elkhart, IL -- stately, and historic. Abraham Lincoln was a lifelong friend and the family’s lawyer, Adlai Stevenson wrote some of his presidential campaign speeches on the screened porch, Earnest Hemingway passed through on his way to Florida, Gillett’s daughter married Civil War hero and Governor Oglesby and they built Olgehurst, their mansion next door, Gillett’s grand-daughter married William Drake of the Drake Hotel family from Chicago, Carry Grant played tennis with his wife Betsy Drake, Marshall Field would stop his private train car for mint julips on the lawn and then Gillett would join Field to travel to the Kentucky Derby. Old Gillett Farm has been treasured by the Gillett family for over seven generations.

Historic Estate – Old Gillett Farm has been owned by the same family for eight generations. Resulting in one of the most important homes in Central Illinois today. Desirable Wooded and Agricultural Properties – Old Gillett Farm comprises a total of 785+ acres of wooded and agricultural property representing an era gone by. This offering is a unique opportunity to purchase at auction beautifully wooded land with a magnificent home, support buildings and additional homes.

Desirable Logan County - The agricultural acres of Logan County are some of the richest and most desirable in Illinois. Convenient Location – The property is located within the Village of Elkhart, Logan County, Illinois. It is just 35 miles north of Springfield, 45 miles south of Bloomington, IL and only 175 miles south of Chicago.

Recreation Land Opportunities – Old Gillett Farm offers a multitude of recreational opportunities, from hiking, to gentleman’s farm, equestrian facility, and hunting, it’s all right here. Perpetual Serenity – Sixty-five majestic acres of wooded land north of the Gillett House on Elkhart Hill is protected from future development with a Forest Preserve under the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission. An additional sixty-five acres of privately owned Forest Preserve, abuts the northern boundary of the woodland tract and is owned by others, further insuring the integrity of this parcel.

Future Opportunities – Old Gillett Farm is one of the few large pieces of wooded land on the market anywhere in Central Illinois. There are a multitude of potential uses for this property. There are acres of pasture untouched by chemical farming that can be used for organic farming, grass fed cattle operations, etc. An alternative option to the private family home, could be a destination inn, restaurant and event venue. The many historic barns and carriage house could be converted accordingly. The current generation operated a bed and breakfast at the guest house, opened a wedding venue in the gardens and led historic tours by private appointment.


Old Gillett Farm was the vision of John Dean Gillett.

The 785 acre property includes the Gillett House, the Drake House, caretaker's home, farm manager's home, thirteen historic barns and support buildings, 600 tillable acres and approximately 100 acres of mature woodlands, wooded conservation land on and surrounding Elkhart Hill the highest point between Chicago and St. Louis. The property is located just off Interstate 55.

The Gillett House is approximately 10,000 sq. ft. and features seven bedrooms, five full baths, a powder room, and its own ornately designed water tower. Hardwoods, handcrafted pine paneling, finely crafted hardware can be found everywhere and are the sort of details that are rarely found in modern homes. The property encompasses much of Elkhart Hill, the highest point of land between Chicago and St. Louis and where on a clear day you can see Springfield. At the base of the hill is the site of the 1819 Kentucky House where Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Douglas, and other lawyers of the day stopped on their circuit rounds. It was built on the Edwards Trace, a 100 mile route from Peoria to St. Louis. The only remnant of the trace today is on Elkhart Hill where the wagon tracks can still be seen. The property features tillable land, pastures, protected mature woodlands, a pond, and amazing unobstructed views.

This property is offerd in ten tracts:

  • TRACT A – The Gillett House, carriage house, water tower, upper barns - a total of 107 acres atop Elkhart Hill, including 75 acres wooded land.
  • TRACT B – The Drake House surrounded by nine acres of lawns and woods.
  • TRACT C – A 47.3 acre homesite with pasture and restored prairie.
  • TRACT D – 12 tillable acres adjacent to homes in town.
  • TRACT E – 99 tillable acres with the potential for residential development.
  • TRACT F – 254 tillable acres including caretaker house, barns and cattle pasture.
  • TRACT G – 39 partially wooded acre homesite including a pond, restored prairie and fields with walking trails.
  • TRACT H – 144 acres of tillable land
  • TRACT J – 79 acres of tillable land
  • TRACT K – 8.7 acres including a farm house, barn, sheds and grain storage.

Property Location

Auction / Date / Time

August 05, 2017 10:00 a.m. CDT

Property Video

Offering Strategy

REMINDER: The agricultural tracts will be sold in a live auction event at 10:00 a.m. on August 10th.

The property is being offered at auction in its entirety or in ten separate tracts.

In order to remove any doubt that the two homes at Old Gillett Farm will be sold at the auction, Fine & Co has been authorized to disclose the Minimum Bid (or reserve price) for Auction Tract A – The Gillett House on 107 mostly wooded acres atop Elkhart Hill as $400,000 and for Auction Tract B – The Drake House on 9 wooded acres atop Elkhart Hill as $200,000. There should be no question that these properties will be sold to the highest bidder! No one should miss out on this fabulous opportunity to own a piece of Illinois history. Bidders can be confident in knowing that these two tracts will be sold to the highest bidder, subject to the published minimum bids!

For bidders bidding on the tracts containing either Tract A (Gillett House), Tract B (Drake House), or Tracts C & G (Two Homesites) sealed bid are due on or before 2:00 p.m. CET on August 1. The agricultural tracts will be sold in a live auction event at 10:00 a.m. on August 10th.

Inspection Dates

June 25, 29 and July 15 & 23 by appointment only with 48 hours notice. Registration and government issued identification required at each property viewing. Call (312) 278-0600 ext 101.

Auction Location

Live Auctionfor Tracts D, E, F, H, J, and K, will be sold in a live auction on August 11. The live auction will take place atThe President Abraham Lincoln Hotel, 701 East Adams Street, Springfield, IL at 10:00 A.M. Registraton and final question answering will begin at 9:15 A.M.

Sealed Bid Auctionfor Tracts A, B, C & G- Bids are to be delivered to the offices of Fine & Company LLC, 747 Lake Cook Road, Suite 100W, Deerfield, IL 60015for due on or before 2:00 p.m. CET on August 1.



Certified Funds To Bid : See Bidder's Information Packet for details

Buyer's Premium (Buyer's Fee) : 7% of the high bid

Order Bidder's Information Packet

A detailed Bidder's Information Packet (Packet) containing the Purchase and Sale Contract (Contract), surveys, home and building inspections, well and septic reports, title reports including recorded documents, detailed information related to the prope

Contact Us

  Fine & Company LLC
  Michael A.Fine, CCIM, CAI, AARE
  Illinois, United States

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Other Information

Broker Participation : Buyer's Agent participation is invited!
A 2% - $295 referral fee will be paid to the REALTOR®/Broker whose registered buyer closes on this property. Please refer to the Buyer Broker registration requirements in the Terms of Sale. Seller has provided a variable commission rate.

Licensing : Fine & Company LLC, Licensed Illinois Broker

Terms Of Sale : This auction is being conducted subject to the Terms of Sale and Purchase and Sales Agreement contained in the Bidder's Information Packet. 

Disclaimer : The Seller, Broker, and Auctioneer and their agents assume no liability for inaccuracies, errors, or omissions in the auction marketing materials, including the Bidder's Information Packet. All square footage, dimensions, real estate taxes, and common area fees, if any, are approximate. All materials are subject to inspection and verification by all parties relying on them. This offering is subject to prior sale and may be withdrawn, modified, or cancelled without notice at any time. This is not a solicitation or offering to residents of any state where this offering is prohibited by law.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap status, familial status or national origin or any other classes under state or local law or intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination.