Tom Vance, Pres.
Barbara Krehbiel, VP
Nancy Easter Shick, VP
Dick Hummel, VP
Joyce St. Michael, Sec.
Jim Craig, Treas.
David Kent Coy
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
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
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).
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.
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