Society celebrates Benton House anniversary, Long family

By on June 13, 2014

KANEVILLE—Kaneville Historical Society’s open house on Sunday recognized the 20th anniversary of the relocation of the Benton House, and the Long family.

Society president Karen Flamand said the open house is conducted each year in conjunction with the Kaneville Fire Department’s pancake breakfast in an effort to get more visitors.

“This is the 20th anniversary of the relocation and restoration of the Benton House, and we thought it would be a good opportunity to recognize and remember all the volunteers that made it happen,” Flamand said.

Although their first home in Illinois was a log cabin built in the 1840s, they later built the first frame home in the 1870s. It’s that house that has been restored thanks to grants, donations, the society’s Acorn Fund, which is used to maintain property owned by the society, and numerous hard-working volunteers.

“It’s really interesting to document their history, with the help of Benton descendants,” Flamand said. “They have provided us with ribs from the covered wagon they traveled to Illinois in, a rocking chair, spinning wheel, a family Bible and other artifacts.”

She said the home is only about 20-by-25 feet, and the Bentons raised nine children in it.

Flamand said Benton House has been restored, as closely as possible, to its original condition. The society’s Farley House is used as a museum for displays. Along with an opportunity to visit the two historic houses, as it does every year, the society featured a prominent area family with a long history. This year, it was the Long family.

Arthur and Lulu Long were married in 1914 and purchased a farm on Lasher Road in 1920. Among the buildings on their farm was a barn never used as a working barn.

Instead, their farm was the site of Long’s Barn, built in 1932, that housed weekend barn dances for a number of years.

“People came from miles around to the dances at Long’s Barn,” Flamand said.

Although the family continued to farm around the Kaneville area, the barn was closed in 1956 after the youngest of the three sons was killed in an auto accident on his way to work at the barn.

One of the two daughters of Arthur and Lulu, Phyllis Long Pierson, still lives in the area.