The Historic Five Mile House  

Five Miles Southeast of Charleston, Illinois







School  Program



FMH Foundation

Contact Us





Thanks for your Visit

Five Mile House Foundation


Free Counter





Five Mile House Foundation



2013 Board

of Directors

Tom Vance, Pres.

Barbara Krehbiel, VP

Nancy Easter Shick, VP

Dick Hummel, VP

Joyce St. Michael, Sec.

Jim Craig, Treas.

Larry Bates

Gail Casey

David Kent Coy

Les Dallas

Cheryl Hawker

Kathy Hummel

Karen Jennings

Lynn Padovan

Calvin Smith


    The Five Mile House Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization located in Charleston, Illinois. It was formed in 1999 for the purpose of preserving, restoring and interpreting the historic Five Mile House which is located five miles from the Courthouse in Charleston, the County seat, and which is thought to be one of the earliest remaining buildings in Coles County.

                                                                           Mission Statement

     The mission of the Five Mile House Foundation is to preserve, research and restore the Five Mile House and surrounding property; to develop interpretive and educational programs; to complement existing historic attractions in the area; to support and promote heritage tourism in the area through establishing the site as an information point for those entering the area via Illinois Route 130; and to raise funds and accept gifts and bestowments to accomplish its purpose and mission.

                                                                         Foundation History

     In 1998, group of local individuals including John Dively, Dan Thornburgh, Calvin Smith and Larry Bates formed a group to do restoration work on Charleston's Old Town Cemetery.  After completing that project, they then decided to move on to saving and preserving the the Five Mile House southeast of town. A committee was formed and other members recruited. There actually was quite a bit of local interest in the preservation effort, particularly from descendents of the Rennels family who owned and lived in the house at various times in the past (see Chronology of Owner and Genealogy Sections).

     Grants were secured from a local foundation and from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and local fund raising appeals were made.  Enough funds were secured to purchase the Five Mile House, the adjacent 1958 Eaton house and about an acre of land as well as going forward with the restoration effort.  A dedication of the restored Five Mile House was held in August of 2004?

     Since that time, the Foundation as worked on completing additional restoration, acquiring historic furnishings for the house, starting a 4th grade school program, summer open houses and making repairs and upgrades to the 1958 Eaton house which is being rented to supplement Foundation income.  In 2008, a capital improvement project was initiated to construct a parking lot, sidewalk and handicap accessible ramp, interpretive signs and other visitor amenities.  A modern restroom building was started near the end of 2011 and should be completed in 2012.

     Future plans include research and reconstruction of outbuildings, landscaping and expansion of the living history program through employment of seasonal interpretive staff and development of a volunteer program. Plans also include eventually converting the Eaton house into an office and visitor center.




Willa Ashby

Marcia Boroughs

Martha Brown

Merna Combs

Helen Dallas

Steven DiNaso

Gary Foster

Eric Gray

Donna Hacker

Don Holly

Randy Jackson

Brian Karrick

Myra Madigan

Jennifer McCoy

Andrew McNitt

Diane Ratliff

Michael Samuels

Nora Pat Small

Bob Sterling

Bailey Young