A Historical Site:
The Gilbert Gaylord house certainly has a lot of history under its belt.
Gilbert Gaylord was born in 1821 in Fulton County, New York. He came to Na-Au-Say Township in Kendall County, near Oswego, in 1848.
He had married Mary Ann Cass a few years before purchasing the land in Illinois. They had five children at the Na-Au-Say Township farm. The family relocated to a farm in Aurora Township in Kane County in 1860, but moved back to the Na-Au-Say Township site near Oswego, likely about 1863.
In 1865, they built the Italianate house that stands there today.
Gilbert Gaylord died in 1879, and his youngest son, John Long Gaylord, lived there with his family. By the time Mary Ann died in 1900, the family had moved to Oswego, and was renting the house and farm in Na-Au-Say Township.
The land and home were rented until the mid-1960s, when the property was sold. At one time, a farmer renting the farm and house lived on the first floor, with the second floor used as furniture storage for the owners.
The house was sold twice more before Hadley, and Bob Johnson, purchased it in December 1993. Hadley had been living in a Victorian three-flat in Chicago, but had grown up in the country near the Quad Cities. The Gaylord House was a perfect combination of being in the country, and history.
“I grew up in a house built in the middle of an alfalfa field,” she says. “We played down at the crick.”
When Hadley closed her bed and breakfast operation after several years, she needed to make the house more accessible for Sam, who uses an electric-powered wheelchair.
She needed the house to somehow have modern accessibility features, but retain its historic nature. She found the perfect partner in architect Michael Lambert, of Arris Architects in Plainfield.
Lambert grew up across the street from the historic house. Not only does he specialize in historic preservation, but also handicapped accessibility.
She also found the perfect business partner for the new venture in Scoughton, who was a bus driver for Sam and other special needs kids.
Not everything at the farm is business. Hadley admits the chickens, rooster and ducks are “just for fun.” She plans to raise Alpacas on the farm in the future.