Stunning! From the elegant stained glass doors and the enormous front porch, this prairie style gem does not disappoint. Looking at it from the street, situated on its four acres, it looks elegant and stately, an island in the city. Built in 1897 by John Farson, an investment banker and designed by George Washington Maher, this 30 room mansion was meant to impress.
Enormous, arched front doors and twin sidelights show the shield and honeysuckle motif that will continue throughout the house in Maher’s “rhythm motif”. The entrance is grand! Hand carved wood surrounds you and lighted arches give the impression you just stepped into a theater. This place was made to entertain! There are only three words in this room. Two over the fireplace proclaim it to be “Pleasant Home” (a double entendre since the home also sits at Pleasant and Home Streets). To the right of that in an elaborate fretwork of carved wood is “Music”. This place was made to entertain!
This could be why the second owner bought the property. Herbert Mills was the inventor of the first coin operated slot machine along with other coin operated amusement machines. The father of the “penny arcade”.
Everything in this home is ornate. Carved woodwork, beautiful chandeliers, even door knobs have been custom made to repeat the rhythm of shield and honeysuckle. The general tour takes you through two floors of the home and you continue seeing the theme in every room.
You have tour options here too. Guided and self-guided tours are Wednesday through Sunday, 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Private tours are also available for groups of two to ten people. The “Servants Staircase Tour” where you “Discover the fascinating life of the servants who lived and worked at Pleasant Home. Take a look at the behind-the-scenes experiences the cooks, maids, and chauffeurs who worked to host and maintain Pleasant Home.” And the “Hidden Spaces Tour” where “A secret passage, a hidden message--many secretive spots and mysterious corners fill Pleasant Home. Explore parts of Pleasant Home's 16,000 square feet seeing rare spots few have seen before. The house's unique architecture and hidden history are perfect to discover with family and friends.”
“From a summer brunch reception on the expansive front porch to an elegant evening cocktail party inside the mansion,” to weddings and corporate events can all be hosted here through their Rental Director. Pleasant Home also plays host to many annual events.
The “Monkey Organ Rally & Mechanical Music Fair” is May 26, 2019. Visitors are invited to this wonderful annual event at Pleasant Home. The members of the Music Box Society International will share their extraordinary collections of cart organs, table top organs, music boxes, phonographs, automata, singing birds, and more. Families are invited to spend the afternoon strolling through the park or the first floor of Pleasant Home while enjoying the mechanical sounds of a bygone era.
You can also enjoy an ice cream social (July 13, 2019), Movies on the Porch (Fridays in August), A Holiday Market (November 8-9, 2019), Oak Park on Tap- Beer Tasting Parlour (November 15, 2019) and Father Christmas at Pleasant Home (December 1, 2019).