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Forreston house walk will benefit ACS

Proceeds from Forreston’s annual Christmas in the Country House Walk Saturday, Dec. 5 from 4 to 8 p.m. will once again benefit the American Cancer Society.

A $5 donation will benefit the Ogle County West Unit’s Relay for Life that will be held in June of 2010.

A country church and a 150-year-old home will be featured on the walk.

West Branch Church of the Brethren and the home of John and Jean Springer, southeast of Forreston, will be open for all to enjoy.

The Springers’ home, 10034 W. Haldane Rd., was built in 1859 by Emmanuel Stover, and thought to be part of a very prestigious farm in Ogle County at the time.

The structure of the house remains much the same as when it was originally built.

The house was purchased by Matt and Eileen DeWall in the late 1940s.

They moved it to the site where it sets today by having it rolled over logs -- while still living in it.

That feat took two weeks to accomplish.

John  and Jean have lived there for 27 years. They purchased it from the DeWalls in 1999.

Jean feels her house is a mix of farmhouse-primitive antique style.

Daughters of the Springers will provide music. 

Just around the corner is the West Branch Church, 4014 West Branch Rd., which was organized in 1846 and was the first Church of  the Brethren is Ogle County.

Five families had moved from Maryland and settled here.

Those families became the nucleus from which the West Branch congregation grew.

The first public worship service was held in an old schoolhouse.

In 1848 a wooden structure was erected and became the first meeting house.

It had sleeping quarters in the attic for those who traveled a distance and found after an evening service, the distance was to great to return home.

In 1859 a storm of high winds and lightning damaged the meeting house.

Plans and materials were then gathered to erect a stone church.

The church was completed in 1862 and is the structure that is there today.

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