Home » home decor » Home Tour » Forgotten and abandoned….

Forgotten and abandoned….

I have this thing for really old houses. Any homes that are abandoned and forgotten peak my interest.The kind that seem like there is a mystery waiting to be found inside, like Duncan Manor in Towanda, Illinois.

It’s almost like there’s an untold story waiting to be revealed.

My hubby told me about this house he remembers passing on his way to southern Illinois. I just had to share it because it’s so amazing. It’s a shame it’s over 2 hours south of me.

Duncan manor Towanda IllinoisIt’s called the Duncan mansion and Julia has also posted about it. It looks like some one had started to renovate and then stopped.

Could you imagine the potential this house has?

Duncan mansion Towanda, ILOr coming up the drive knowing you were going to live there? For $252,000?

But it might be a bit far out for me. While I love a bit of space and the country, I also really love my Walgreen’s less than 15 minutes away.

I love old brick houses too. If  I could live in an old brick house I would be a happy girl.

Staircase in Duncan Manor in Towanda Ilinois

I am drooling over this staircase. Built in the 1870’s is has some interesting history.

it’s amazing to think that every detail of this house was hand built. No power tools, no mass production.

Amazing stairway in Towanda Illniois

Look at those windows too. You can’t find windows like that any more!Duncan Manor Real Estate Images

Even the original mantels are there which are very cool. I think the biggest draw back to this place is it would need a complete gut because I don’t know about you,

but I’ve been kind of spoiled by things like heat and running water. Oh and electricity. I kind of like that too.FIreplace in Duncan Manor in IllinoisI think this house is amazing and I hope that someone can save it.

Brick basement in Duncan ManorWhile it does have a slightly creepy brick basement, I love it.

My Gram lived in Chicago, in a two-story house with a totally brick basement. I remember the walls had been painted a funny green color. It also had two weird storage sheds that I was convinced a monster lived in and when I walked by it was going to come out and get me. I think what made it worse was the fact that the only light  was a pull chain in the middle of the room , and Gram insisted that the lights be off before we were even allowed back upstairs. Talk about the psychological scarring on an 8 year-old who had to pull the light chain, run through a dark basement past a freaky wood storage shed, and then up the tippy stairs of a 100 year old house to perceived safety. That’s a whole therapy appointment on it’s own. And my parents wondered why we never wanted to play in the basement.Seriously, I am 41 and I still have nightmares about running up the stairs, yet the stairs revolve backwards like an escalator  and my legs get heavy and I can’t keep up.

I think I just had a flashback.

If you want to see the entire listing you can check it out here.

You can also take a really awesome detailed youtube video tour. I don’t know what the deal is with the plastic chairs by the fireplace, but that’s one meeting I might be glad I missed.

I also have a pinboard called Forgotten to feed my love of old homes even more.

In fact here are two more homes that make my heart skip a beat.

This one

and this one

Thanks for putting up with my slight absence. I am on the last 3 weeks till book deadline and am feeling the pressure. I am so blessed to have the great contributors I do who can keep me afloat while I finish up. You might also see a few guest posts here and there by some really great friends too. Once I get through the deadline I can get back to my regularly scheduled programming! 🙂

Microsoft Word - Document2 2If you like this post you might also like Barn house girl

Old barn


  1. I loved this post!! I couldn’t get the link to the pinterest “forgotten” to work, but I would love to see it. Could you help me with that? These old homes are gorgeous,,,hoping they are saved. Thanks for posting it!

  2. The staircase is strikingly similar to the one in our 1850 Italianate home that we bought back in June and are refurbishing! The curve, the newel post, and spindals are almost identical. We are in SE Kansas tho. These old houses are amazing.

  3. Oh Jen. I’m drooling a little. I’ve realized not all the world finds utter facination in old houses like we do. This summer I was blessed to buy and start remodeling two 1904 houses on the S. Hill in Spokane. Just yesterday I was telling my husband what I would pay to hear these walls talk. What babies were born in these walls, what people were lost, what men left for war through that door…..it just amazes me. Too bad fixing up places like that is not necessarily lucritive!

  4. These remind me of what our house looked like before we bought it. It was foreclosed on and left to sit there for a couple of years. But we’ve almost got it back to life, and moving in in only a few short weeks! 🙂

  5. I also love old houses, some people say they are scary but to me they just need love. When we were shopping for our current house I kept straying to the older houses in our downtown but my husband kept saying that all he saw was dollar signs of everything that needed to be fixed. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the last one that looks like it should be in a French novel or at least the French countryside! Thanks for sharing. Victoria

  6. Beautiful photos, wonderful post
    I love Italianate architecture. “This Old House” is doing a renovation of one this season.
    The white Gothic house is alpha charming gorgeous.

  7. Oh my gosh! That house is wonderful! Besides the awesome architecture and details inside, the history of it is what really gets me. My mind just wonders what life was like in the 1870’s. I’ve researched a few abandoned grand houses here in Nebraska and I always find it intriguing. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I can’t believe you found that Kim! You get kudos for your detective work!!! Holy cow, that is some history!!!! I agree with you on Ghost adventures, I can’t watch it, it creeps me out waaaaay too much.

  8. Oh wow – those houses are amazing! As you say – they are so full of potential for the right buyer. Love the architectural style of the second house – beautiful. Wonder what stories these houses could tell!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  9. I just love all that gorgeous architecture. It’s a shame that those beautiful homes were left for ruin when most newer homes today are devoid of any character or charm.

  10. What a gorgeous home you featured. I love old homes too, the history and conversations that must of took place in there always strike my curiosity. It would be such fun to buy that place and call it home!

  11. WOW to all 3 of those homes, I have to admit I would LOVE to live there but would need to be sure the place was not haunted before doing so…..LOL Love all those details and such, you just don’t get that with the newer homes. I sure hope someone can purchase them, restore them and love them once again. Thanks for sharing them with us today. 🙂

  12. Oh wow…if those walls could talk! Mr. Frugalista and I have always had a dream of buying an old house and completely renovating it. We’re in our 50’s now and the likelihood of that happening at this stage in life is slim but seeing these pictures sure brings out that love for old houses again. All three houses could be real stunners!

  13. OOOOOHHHHH! So in love with all 3 of those houses. My husband’s family has a farmhouse that has been in the family for several generations. It is pre-civil war and on a huge farm (but only 6 miles from town). It was used in the filming of Walking Tall back in the 70’s so it’s my only claim to fame! ha My profile pic was taken on the back porch.
    If I win the lottery, I’ll buy that old house as a project that we could tackle! hahaha Too bad I don’t play the lottery. 🙁

  14. Most folks that love old homes (like those above) tend to think they look, and are romantic. I thought that also, years ago. Haa.ha. Not any longer. Once you move in, everything changes. Our house is almost 105. Of course we’ve made many practical improvements throughout these 20+ years. When we retire, and this old house is sold, for certain it will be demolished. Can’t really cry about it because there is so much to fix, replace and make livable. Many homes on these quaint streets are being completely gutted and rebuilt. Looking really great too. Nice to have a million + dollars to do it. So, basically, these old homes are just not suitable for the way we live today. Energy wise, updates are definitely mandatory.

  15. The nearest Walgreens is actually only 10 minutes away! The house is just a few minutes north of Bloomington/Normal. The price is now down to $200,000. The last owners had it foreclosed on.

  16. My fiance and I purchased the Duncan Manor, we close on the 28th of this month! We have been infatuated with it since we first saw the listing.
    It does not need to be gutted, in fact, it is like a blank canvas that has been waiting for the right person to incorporate his creative vision. Hopefully our creative vision can do it justice!
    We are both designers, he, industrial, and me, fashion.
    Our ultimate plan is to design from home, but also create a wedding venue.
    Added bonus, we just found out that the barn on this property is believed to be the oldest in central Illinois, and it is in amazing shape for its age! We plan to restore it as well and use it as a reception barn.
    I love that I am continually finding such interest in the place we will soon call home 🙂
    Thanks for posting!!

    1. Congratulations!!!Please keep us posted! I love that place and would love to share the progress you’ve made!

Comments are closed.