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The Story Behind a Very Unique House Near Auburn
Last week on Facebook, we posted a picture of a house for sale and asked viewers to identify where it was. We quickly racked up more than 700 comments. Some of the comments said the house in Auburn was haunted, and that a horse once lived inside. So today, ABC Newschannel 20's Mike Brooks went to Auburn to find out the real story.
Bill Dumbrava and Jim McClelland have a long history at this property along Route 104, including this tree.
"It came from him," Bill said. "I stole it, to be honest with you, back when we was both young."
Then in 1976, Bill decided to build this house just a few feet away.
"I bought a Jaguar," Bill said. "And they had an advertisment of old English houses, showing off the old Jaguars and the old MGs, and I got the idea from it."
Bill did all the work himself, even forming the cultured stone on the corners. But when it was time to go inside and finish it, he stopped working on it. That was in the mid 1980's.
"Well, I got a divorce, that doesn't help," Bill said. "I got remarried, and I guess as Jim told me the other day, no woman wants another woman's house."
Despite the scribblings of some vandals, Bill's pretty sure the house isn't haunted, since no one has ever actually lived here--at least, no human.
"The truth of it is I bought a horse for my wife, I remarried," Dumbrava said. "I'm standing there holding the reins to the horse and nowhere to put it, so I walked it into the house, put in the entrance down there and that was all there was to it. The horse looked at all the traffic. A friend of mine built a fence, and it ate the grass. Then I started wiring in the whole territory and the horse ran free."
Then a few years ago, Jim McClelland traded a house he owned in Auburn for this one.
"The house has always intrigued me," Jim said. "It's probably the best-built house in the area here. Bill is a master craftsman. His dad was a master craftsman. I knew his dad greatly."
But so far, he hasn't been able to sell this one-of-a-kind home, and now Bill wants to see Jim finish the house and move so he can enjoy the pond out back.
"Yeah," Bill said. "So I can go fishing."
"I doubt that happens," Jim said. "I had visions of maybe putting an apartment maybe in one end of it, but at the present time it's on the market, and I am interested in selling the house."
The home sits on 5.75 acres including the pond.
Jim said he has a couple of interested buyers, but no contracts have been signed yet.
If you are interested in the home, you can call McClelland at 217-652-1205.
Reporting in Sangamon County, Mike Brooks, ABC News Channel 20.
Watch Mike Brooks' full interview with Bill.
Watch Mike Brooks' full interview with Jim.