Verdurette

Verdurette. I'd never heard the word. Evidently it is a French method of making vegetable stock. However, it is also this glorious house. Verdurette.

I'd come across a picture of this house with some general directions so I took to Google maps and hunted it down. Sure enough, there it was, with its distinctive glorious silhouette. Now I had a plan. We made our way over to the Mississippi and drove north, Burlington to Oquawka to Keithsburg. I felt like the ghost of the 93 flood was still haunting some of these towns. We headed toward New Boston and I told Ernie where to turn, according to my map. When I urged him to just drive around the big Road Closed sign, he looked at me and said, "uhhhh girl?" I told him not to worry…just keep going…and then there it was.

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On the other side of the dirt and gravel road was some flooded fields, some farm buildings and some cows.
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Some info I found along with a historical photo (thank you Heather).

William Drury came to this area in 1833 and thought it was "God's Country." Within a short time, he owned land from the Edwards River bottom to the Bluff. Mr. Drury was elected County Recorder in 1835 for the newly organized Mercer County. William Drury and a brother-in-law, Levi Willits, entered into a small dry goods and grocery business in 1840. Mr. Drury married Vashti Lewis of Indiana in the same year. A new home was built for his bride called "Verduette." A carriage house, barns, elaborate fountains and statues on the lawn, and an octagonal brick windmill tower all added to this stately home. A deer park was located across the road from the main buildings. Verduette even had its own power plant. The Drurys adopted one son, Edward L. Drury. Edward and his wife had two sons, Purne and Clair. Purne was the inventor or the Viceroy Buggy Builder for Dodge Stables. Clair lived in the Verduette until 1916. William Drury died in 1897. Mrs. Vashti Drury died in 1909. In Mr. Drury's will, money was left to build a college in the county. Thus, William and Vashti College was built in Aledo and opened in 1908; Clair was an architect for the college. The college name was chosen for each of the Drury's first names. It closed in 1923.

And Aledo, as we all know, is the home of both Suzy Boggus and Margo Price. Oh, and here's an obituary for the woman who lived in the house from 1921 to 1995. More information is here, and the newspaper clipping below is worth a read. 

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Amazing what one can find down a closed road. So many hidden worlds.

4 thoughts on “Verdurette

  1. Every school year, we would load up the 5th graders from Westmer Elementary and head to Verduette. Some of the time, the lady that lived there would be sitting in the window and wave at us. It was a wonderful experience for the young people who had no idea what they were seeing. I wish the rest of the property was still there for everyone to see, including the animals!

  2. Loved driving out to this house although I only got to experience it a handful of times…..I truly miss that field trip! The bus tour was always fun and the Mercer County historical society always delivered at the museum in Aledo as well with activities and narrated tours through the artifacts collected and housed in the museum😁 There was never enough time I could have spent the whole day just at the museum😉

Thoughts?

Verdurette

Verdurette. I'd never heard the word. Evidently it is a French method of making vegetable stock. However, it is also this glorious house. Verdurette.

I'd come across a picture of this house with some general directions so I took to Google maps and hunted it down. Sure enough, there it was, with its distinctive glorious silhouette. Now I had a plan. We made our way over to the Mississippi and drove north, Burlington to Oquawka to Keithsburg. I felt like the ghost of the 93 flood was still haunting some of these towns. We headed toward New Boston and I told Ernie where to turn, according to my map. When I urged him to just drive around the big Road Closed sign, he looked at me and said, "uhhhh girl?" I told him not to worry…just keep going…and then there it was.

IMG_1399

On the other side of the dirt and gravel road was some flooded fields, some farm buildings and some cows.
IMG_1399
IMG_1399
IMG_1399
IMG_1399
IMG_1399
IMG_1399

Some info I found along with a historical photo (thank you Heather).

William Drury came to this area in 1833 and thought it was "God's Country." Within a short time, he owned land from the Edwards River bottom to the Bluff. Mr. Drury was elected County Recorder in 1835 for the newly organized Mercer County. William Drury and a brother-in-law, Levi Willits, entered into a small dry goods and grocery business in 1840. Mr. Drury married Vashti Lewis of Indiana in the same year. A new home was built for his bride called "Verduette." A carriage house, barns, elaborate fountains and statues on the lawn, and an octagonal brick windmill tower all added to this stately home. A deer park was located across the road from the main buildings. Verduette even had its own power plant. The Drurys adopted one son, Edward L. Drury. Edward and his wife had two sons, Purne and Clair. Purne was the inventor or the Viceroy Buggy Builder for Dodge Stables. Clair lived in the Verduette until 1916. William Drury died in 1897. Mrs. Vashti Drury died in 1909. In Mr. Drury's will, money was left to build a college in the county. Thus, William and Vashti College was built in Aledo and opened in 1908; Clair was an architect for the college. The college name was chosen for each of the Drury's first names. It closed in 1923.

And Aledo, as we all know, is the home of both Suzy Boggus and Margo Price. Oh, and here's an obituary for the woman who lived in the house from 1921 to 1995. More information is here, and the newspaper clipping below is worth a read. 

20882951_1905882002987256_3371214344180467865_n

Amazing what one can find down a closed road. So many hidden worlds.

3 thoughts on “Verdurette

  1. Every school year, we would load up the 5th graders from Westmer Elementary and head to Verduette. Some of the time, the lady that lived there would be sitting in the window and wave at us. It was a wonderful experience for the young people who had no idea what they were seeing. I wish the rest of the property was still there for everyone to see, including the animals!

  2. Loved driving out to this house although I only got to experience it a handful of times…..I truly miss that field trip! The bus tour was always fun and the Mercer County historical society always delivered at the museum in Aledo as well with activities and narrated tours through the artifacts collected and housed in the museum😁 There was never enough time I could have spent the whole day just at the museum😉

Thoughts?

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