Old Towne Grove Chapel, Groveland, Illinois

Old Towne Grove Chapel, Groveland, Illinois


Interior, Old Towne Grove Chapel

Interior, Old Towne Grove Chapel

Life can change suddenly.  We are still in transition since my father’s death in so many areas.  The property he left behind became an immediate concern.   His estate included a house, 2-story double garage and workshop, old machine shed, chicken house, a storage building turned into a large wedding chapel, a corn crib turned into a house, and the small wedding chapel.  Although we are still working with appraisers, surveyors, legal representation, the health department, the zoning department, the road commissioner, and the taxing commission, we are getting close to legally dividing dad’s property between my younger brother and myself.  We are soon to become the proud parents of the two chapels and the corn crib house.

With ownership comes much responsibility.  We must wait until April to meet with the zoning commission to find if they will approve a special use permit so that the chapels can continue to be used for small weddings.  With new ownership comes new permits.  Then comes the work of doing needed maintenance.  We also would like to update the interior of the large chapel.  So it is that this transition will probably take many more months before it is complete…and then the maintenance for so many buildings is ongoing.  With ownership comes work.

In order to divide the property, zoning informed us that we could not just draw a line down the middle of the old machine shed.  In order to have the required 5-feet set back on each property line, we had to dismantle the middle of the shed creating two sheds out of one with a large space in the middle.  That demo is done but our end now needs a new wall and much interior work to make it useable as a storage shed.  Our son Dirk is invaluable in that regard; we could not handle these projects without him.  Together, dad and son already filled a Bubba Dump with debris from the shed.  Now the re-building begins.

So it is that our lives at Farm Grove are suddenly much more extensive as far as our responsibility is concerned.  But we love our home and we love the chapels that my father created.  The small chapel and corn crib properties border our own land.  Like adopted children, they are as dear to us as our own creation.  We will take care of them with love.




About Sharon L. Clemens

Sharon and husband Merle and their children owned and operated a specialty shop and restaurant in a restored dairy barn for thirteen years in a village in Illinois. After closing their restaurant, they converted the barn into the family home and moved their shop to the garden level. They operated a collectable shop as a home-based business for another thirteen years before retiring to the country life. Sharon has been a special feature guest on the local NBC telelvision affiliate and has spoken professionally on topics relating to herb gardening and cottage lifestyle. In addition to conducting workshops and programs, Sharon writes a weekly cottage lifestyle e-newsletter called “Cottage Chat” and a Word Press blog: Seasons of Farm Grove. She has written five novels, The Younger Girl, Door County Cottage, Timeless-A Door County Love Story, Door County Cabin and Door County Escape, love stories with traditional values set in Door County, Wisconsin.
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