Grayton Mansion Photograph Collection, 1915-1960

This collection includes a wide variety of interior and exterior views of Grayton, a mansion that stood in Taylorville, Illinois, from 1911 to 1962. Grayton was built (1911-1913) by Taylorville banker Eugene A. Vandeveer (1853-1915) and designed by Chicago architect Frederick Wainwright Perkins (1866-1929).The three story, 27-room, stucco and timber Tudor style house stood on twenty acres, including formal gardens, a swimming pool, biergarten, garage house, carriage house, and stables. Grayton was furnished with reproductions of English Regency and French Empire style furniture. Vandeveer died in 1915 leaving the estate to his wife Eudora G. (Atwood) Vandeveer and three daughters Yolande, Vida, and Eugenia. In 1940 Eugenia married Edward W. Vollintine of Taylorville, and they resided at Grayton when they were not traveling or in residence at one of their other homes. After Eugenia's death in 1958, Edward continued to own Grayton, but after he remarried he moved into first the restored stables and carriage house and then a nearby townhouse. Vollintine had Grayton razed in 1962 and later sold the land to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

The collection is composed of photographic prints dating from as early as 1915 and as late as 1960. A few views show gardeners and groundskeepers, and one includes an unidentified man and woman in formal attire, but most feature interior views with furniture, or exterior views of Grayton and its gardens and statuary. There are several prints made by renowned Viennese photographer Arthur Benda, that may be interior views of Eugenia Vollintine's home in Munich. There is also a single architectural drawing featuring an early draft of Grayton's front elevation.

 

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