Newspaper Clippings for
from the Lake Villa - Lindenhurst Review 02 May 1996
Old Mill Creek couple fills many niches
with unique businesses
BY LESLIE ATOR
Picture an art gallery, a combination clock repair and
picture framing shop and a workshop, all nestled around a
centennial farmhouse bounded on two sides by acres of woods
in the little crossroads village of Old Mill Creek.
Then, focus on the couple that enjoys this bucolic scene: A
retired dentist and his wife bustling about their shops and
— when snow intervenes — hanging out their "closed" sign
and taking a cross-country skiing trip through the woods.
If it sounds too good to be true, it isn't.
Bill and Dawn Revenaugh thoroughly enjoy this lifestyle,
they said Monday. The Revenaughs moved from Lake Forest
about 13 and a half years ago. They live in Old Mill Creek
with their two dogs — Chuck, a yellow Labrador retriever,
and Molly, a black lab.
Bill continued to practice dentistry in Lake Forest until
mid-January, for a total career of 36 years, he said.
Bill Revenaugh repairs antique clocks dating as far back as
the 18th century, Dawn operates the art gallery and Bill
helps Dawn with the picture framing business. Together, the
businesses are known as the Millburn Gallery, located at
38500 N. U.S. Route 45.
The Revenaughs bought the acre and a quarter of land
because of the circa 1890 farmhouse's four-car garage, Bill
said. "We were always teased we needed a place in the
country with a four-car garage," Dawn said. "We took one
look at (the property) and fell in love with it. We moved
out (there) in three months. Business-wise, it wasn't the
smartest thing to do, but it made us very happy." The
couple has managed to stuff into the garage three vehicles,
including a camper-trailer, bicycles and articles from
Bill's former dental practice. A boat sits in the driveway.
"This area out here is really not particularly developed,
and our friends thought we were crazy," Bill added. "People
had never heard of Millburn. They asked us if we had mail
"We considered ourselves way out in the boondocks, but now,
obviously, suburbia is creeping in right on top of us,"
The Revenaughs' property is bounded by a stream on the
north, U.S. Route 45 on the east and McDonald Woods, a
roughly 320-acre Lake County Forest Preserve District
tract, on the other two sides, Bill Revenaugh said. A
second stream also winds through the Revenaugh parcel. "We
look out from the workshop (attached to the garage) at the
stream going by, and it's beautiful," said Dawn.
With the two sides of the property bordered by the forest
preserve, "it looks like we have lot of land," Bill said.
"The pace is not necessarily faster or slower. It's just
"Bill retired, and I got busier," said Dawn. When business
slows, "we put on our skis and get out to the forest
preserve," she said. Besides cross-country skiing, the
Revenaughs sail in the summer with friends in a 38-foot
boat out of Racine, Wis., Dawn said.
She operates the art gallery in a modern, 20-by-36-foot
structure the couple built. Exhibited are original works
and reproductions of oils, water colors, mono prints,
etchings and other media by area artists — mostly painters.
Dawn uses a laser disk system, which can show customers
about 30,000 pieces of art from throughout the country, she
said. "It shows a picture on a television tube, but it's
controlled by a computer. We can look up posters, limited
editions, original work. We can search by price, subject
matter, color, et cetera.
"I think the quality of the work is excellent," she said.
"We represent extremely talented artists. A lot of people
expect to find little kids' ducks, but that isn't us."
Prices in the gallery range from $25 to about $2,500, Dawn
She was trained as a registered nurse. This background
helped her rear the couple's four children, but it didn't
aid her in understanding the arts, she said. However, she
has taken several classes in art, "and I have learned from
She also works closely with several interior designers, to
help them find and select art for their clients. "We also
do quite a bit of custom work, and we have just recently
finished providing art work for a restaurant opening in the
area. We've also done a dental office and several small
businesses." In addition, Dawn has provided art work for
Condell Acute Care Center, 6440 Grand Ave., Gurnee.
It has not been easy. "We moved into a house that had had
16 years of neglect," Bill said. The couple knocked out
walls to make a second bedroom. They renovated bathrooms.
Some of the Revenaughs' four married children can stay in
an old but renovated cottage with two bedrooms when they
come home, Bill said.
The 65-year-old is a native of Canton, Ohio, but his family
moved to Lake Bluff when he was very young, and he has
lived in Lake Bluff and Lake Forest — the latter for 24
years — most of his life. Dawn, who said she is about
Bill's age, is a native of Wausau, Wis. They met as
students at the University of Wisconsin.
Bill keeps a dozen or so shelf clocks --"mainly the
pendulum clock, as differentiated from the balance wheel,"
he said, in the gallery of art works. "I'm trying not to
collect, so those are for sale." In his clock repair
business, shared with the framing business in the 20-by-30-
foot workshop constructed by the couple, he repairs his
timepieces. His business includes repairing battery-run
clocks. In the case of quartz movement clocks, he may
advise a customer to buy a new works. "It's more cost-
effective and better to replace the movement, because you
can get a new movement for less than you can repair it," he
said. Revenaugh charges $85 to $250 for his services.
Sometimes he uses the services of a consultant before
repairing a piece.
Both Dawn and Bill make house calls with their various
items. "We have started working mainly by appointment, or
when our sign says we are open," said Dawn. "Most of our
customers work. It's easy for them to stop by during the
lunch hour or after or before work."
In their framing business, the Revenaughs use metal and
wooden frames that range from $50 and up. "Sometimes, I can
take a customer to one of my suppliers," Dawn said. "We
specialize in fabric-covered mats, which are absolutely
gorgeous." Dawn stresses using museum conservation-type
mounting by selecting acid-free tapes, mats and backings
rather than pulp paper items, which have been treated with
"We also reframe a lot of work that has been done in prior
years, just because materials are so superior these days,"
Dawn said. "Years ago, corrugated cardboard was used behind
paintings. The acid in the cardboard destroyed the actual
art work on occasion by burning into it."
Despite plans to take it easy in retirement, the Revenaughs
still are involved in volunteer activities. "We moved out
of Lake Forest to take a break from civic activities," Bill
recalled. "I was on the school board, secretary of our
church, in Kiwanis and Rotary. Dawn was in the APT at
school; things like that."
But in their new location, Dawn has taken over from Bill as
treasurer of the Historic Millburn Community Association,
and Bill is treasurer of Old Mill Creek and a member of the
plan commission in the roughly 110-resident village. He
still is a Rotarian. What else will they do? "This is it
for a while," Dawn said.
from a loose clipping, source unknown 13 May 1996
Evelyn G. Ames (nee Gould) of Zion died May 13, 1996 at Crown
Manor in Zion.
She was born February 7, 1909 in Kenosha County to the late John
James and Harriott Esther Griffin Gould and was raised in Pleasant
Prairie. She studied at Northwestern University from 1926 to 1928
and graduation from the National College of Education with a B. E.
degree in 1931. She then taught kindergarten from 1931 to 1936 in
Kenosha. On June 30, 1936 she was married to the late Alfred H.
Ames and together they made their home on a farm on West Route 173
for many years. She also taught kindergarten from 1955 to 1961 in
the Waukegan public schools. She had been an active member of the
North Prairie United Methodist Church, and the Lake County Home
Extension, Wadsworth Unit and the Lake County Extension Board.
She is survived by 2 children, Bill (Twyla) Ames of Eaton,
Indiana, and Barbara Jean (Wally) Heistad of Glenview; a daughter-
in-law, Gwen Ames of Antioch, a grandson, Kevin Edward Ames of
Brea, California; and a sister, Una (the late Herbert) Larsen of
Phoenix, Arizona. She was preceded in death by her husband,
Alfred in 1990; and a son, Alfred, Jr., in 1992.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, May 17, 1996 at 10:30
a.m. at the CONGDON FUNERAL HOME, 3012 Sheridan Road, Zion with
the Rev. Gehl Devore officiating. Interment will follow at Mt.
Rest Cemetery. Visitation from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Thursday. If
desired, memorials to the North Prairie United Methodist Church
would be appreciated in her memory.