The Lamon House History

      Probably the oldest frame residence in Danville,  this house has connections with several important persons of Danville History.    It was built in 1850 by Joseph and Melissa Beckwith Lamon.    Melissa was the daughter of the man after whom Danville was named -- Dan Beckwith.    Her husband,  Joseph Lamon,  was the cousin of Ward Hill Lamon,  a Danville attorney who was for four years the law partner of Abraham Lincoln,  and who later went to Washington,  D.C.  with Lincoln to act as the friend and bodyguard during the Civil War (1861-1865).

      This home remained in the Lamon family for about 90 years.   During that time,  rooms were added to the house and improvements were made.   Originally,  the house is believed to have had only four rooms with the kitchen standing as a separate structure.    Later that was added to the house.   Notice how the rooms are so much larger than they appear from the outside of the house.   You will also notice that the woodwork is different in each room.

      The Lamon House is furnished with pieces primarily of the 1850 - 1875 era.   The fireplace grate is original to the house and wicker chair next to the fireplace belonged to the family.   None of the other furnishings are original to the house. The DAR furnished the north side of the house -- that is,  the living room,  dining room and kitchen.   The bedroom was furnished by the Newell Township Historical Society,  and the library was taken care of with donations from some of the Danville High School faculty.

      Many older Danville residents remember the 1930's when this home stood on North Street.   It was known as "The Bird House" because of its Victorian charm and the fact that its owner was Laura Bird,  the surviving daughter of Joseph and Melissa Lamon who had built the house in another era,  nearly a century earlier.

      The Lamon House later served as a gift shop and then as two attorney's offices.   It was donated to the Vermilion County Museum Society by those attorneys and in 1982 was moved to its present site.

The Lamon House
Vermilion County Museum Society
116 North Gilbert Street
Danville, Illinois 61832
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