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Listed Bull Valley cabin dates to the late 1830s

Published: Friday, Aug. 1, 2014 11:41 p.m. CDT
(Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com)
Broker Cookie Lamb turns on all the house lights while showing a Bull Valley home that just re-listed for $475,000 on Fleming Road. The William C. Rider log cabin, which was built in the late 1830s, encompasses about 800 of the 4,779 square feet listed for sale.
(Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com)
One of Chicago region's oldest homes and its eclectic 4,000-square-foot addition just re-listed for $475,000 in Bull Valley. The William C. Rider log cabin, encompassing about 800 of the 4,779 square feet listed for sale, was built in the late 1830s.

BULL VALLEY – All that separates the William C. Rider log cabin from its 4,000-square-foot addition is a measly 150 years.

Both – the pre-Civil War cabin and its 1989 counterpart – were re-listed recently at a total of $475,000.

“I think it’s an amazingly, unusually constructed home with a very diverse collection of artisans and carpenters,” said the owner, Jamie Charles, who now lives in Austin, Texas. “It has a rich history of being one of the oldest structures in McHenry County.”

Historians said the house, 1114 Fleming Road, most likely was built in the late 1830s, but its first owner is unknown. William C. Rider bought the home and the 40 acres surrounding it in 1845 from the U.S. Government Land Office. It cost him $50, according to documents provided by the McHenry County Historical Society.

The cabin was purchased in 1909 by William Fleming – the namesake of the road on which it sits. Historical society officials issued the log home a plaque in 1984, at the time commending its owners through the years for their efforts in preserving it.

Charles, a financial trader, bought the cabin and addition in 1992 and put both through an intense rehabilitation. They sanded nearly every floor, dry-walled, painted, put up trim and did stone work and carpentry, among other tasks during what Charles called an “entire overhaul.”

“This list would be too long to cover,” he said. “We bought a house that was completely unfinished on the inside.”

Dozens of different types of reclaimed woods and stone work was used during the renovation. Charles said they tried to keep a rustic and traditional feel flowing from the cabin throughout the addition. A portion of the home was inspired by components collected from New Orleans, and carries a bayou theme.

The home is now on the market for less than $100 per square foot, including the acreage on the property.

“I lived there for nearly 20 years. My family loved that house,” Charles said. “We put a lot of love into rehabilitating that home.”

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