Newspaper Clippings for
from the pages of the Lakeland Newspapers 17 September 1981
Built in 1856
Millburn Home is Now Historic
by Barbara Cassel
The "Jake" Strang house, built in 1856 in Millburn, became the fifth residence to be
listed on the Illinois Register of Historic Place with final approval in June and
dedication ceremonies Sept. 12.
The brick home, located on Millburn Rd., east of Rte. 45, sits on a hill overlooking the
creek that flows through the community. Built of local materials by local craftsmen,
the house is currently owned by Mrs. Carl (Beatrice) Anderson, Millburn's historian.
Settled in the middle of an historic district, the house was built by John (Jake) Strang,
Jr. after he returned from a successful trip to the gold fields of California.
Born in Scotland, Strang's family was among the original settlers of the area,
arriving in 1839. His family settled in a log cabin west of Rte. 45 on what is now Grass
Strang returned from his gold mining venture in 1852, purchased 42 acres of land
overlooking the creek and married Helen Trotter in 1853 and settled into a log cabin.
In 1856, the first section of the brick home, which wanted to be an elegant testimony to
his wealth, features an unusual combinations of Federal Italianate and Greek Revival
architecture, was completed.
In 1857, a second two-story section added four bedrooms, a front entry hall, formal
parlor and sitting room to the existing kitchen, bedroom, pantry and sitting room.
The exterior bricks were purchased at a cost of $4.50 per thousand from a brick yard
in Lake Villa. The original receipt for the sale of the bricks was found in the house.
Local field stone was used to make the foundation and cellar walls of the home.
The timbers used in construction are of hand-hewn oak beams. All the carpentry
work was done by William Bonner, a local craftsman. The stairway and bannister were
made of walnut by Bonner.
There have been very few changes in the home during its passing years. Most of the
windows still have the original glass. The original flat roof was covered by a pitched
roof a few years after the home was completed.
After the home was purchased from "Jake" Strang's daughter by Carl and Beatrice Anderson
in 1920, one of the front entrance doors was removed and replaced with windows.
When central heating and running water were added to the home in 1939, a few
changes were made to the interior of the residence. The original large kitchen
became the dining room and the pantry and small bedroom were converted into a
Since the house is still being used as a private residence, no tours through the
historic structure are available. The Historic Millburn Community Assn. held a special
ceremeony celebrating the placement of the house on the Illinois Historic Register on the
front lawn of the home.
Special guest speaker at the event was State Sen. Karl Berning (R-Deerfield),
giving the Strang house official recognition.
The Woodland Quintet provided musical entertainment. A benediction was delivered
by Rev. L. H. Messersmith, long time pastor, now retired, of the Millburn Congregational
Church and friend of the Andersons.
Following the ceremonies, the historic association held a picnic and auction at a nearby
Millburn, a community of settled by pioneers mainly from Scotland, is steeped in
history which extends beyond architecture. The church is one the oldest in the area
and there are rumors of homes being part of the underground railroad system used to
bring slaves north during the Civil War.