The familiar old limestone house, known as Olesen Farm House is no more, taken down to make way for new developments. This was no easy task considering its sturdy construction.
“The house is solid 18 inches of limestone, the beams are oak, probably old growth oak, the stairs are very solid but the additions to the North and East side of house were from a much later time period,” said Bryan Ogg, Curator of Research at Naper Settlement.
Located at the corner of Olesen and Green Trails Drive, the building has a rich local history. It was first constructed in 1852 by Naperville resident Jacob Snibley.
Ogg explains, “Jacob Snibley’s one of his daughters, Elizabeth Snibley, married Nicholas Stenger. And Nicholas as we know was one of the brothers, part of the brewery the Stenger brewery in Naperville.”
After Jacob died in 1863, Elizabeth bought her siblings shares of the property and added additional acres to the lot.
“It was over 200 acres that she had here and a farm. And she rented some of that out and it produced farm income for the family,” said Ronald Stenger, a direct descendent of Elizabeth Stenger.
Continuing the farming tradition, Danish immigrant Peter Plesen purchased the land in 1916, following Elizabeth’s death.
“Peter was a dairy farmer and he had a large herd of cows here and sold milk in town and when he retired in 1959 he moved into town,” said Ogg.
The structure was then used as offices until it was bought by Steve Carr Builders, the current property owner.
Both the Naperville Park District and Naper Settlement decided they did not have the proper funds to preserve and maintain the building, resulting in its demolition.
“While this building is going to be demolished, there is going to be several aspects, several artifacts that we will be able to preserve and document in the Naper Heritage Society at Naper Settlement,” said Stenger.
The organizations did work together to get a commemorative sign installed at Olesen Farm Park, making sure the legacy of Olesen Farm will not fade.
Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.
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