Known today as the
Adams Wildlife Sanctuary, the Adams House and
surrounding woodland has been a fixture on Springfield’s
east side for nearly 150 years. In 1869, Justice of the
Peace, L. B. Adams purchased the home and surrounding
acreage. For the next three generations, the Adams
property would remain free from building development.
Born in 1897 to L. B. Adams’ son James, Miss Margery
Adams would continue to live on the property for the
next 86 years until her death in 1983. Upon her death,
Miss Margery Adams donated her home and surrounding
woodland to the Illinois Audubon Society.
The timeline is as
1830 – Public
domain land is purchased for $1.25 an acre by Thomas
1855 – Land
speculator Strother G. Jones buys the property and
subdivides it into lots.
1857 – James M.
Logan, proprietor of Everybody’s Mills in Springfield,
buys two lots next to the road and builds a house.
1863 – Rev. Simeon
W. Harkey, President of Illinois State University, buys
the house and lots.
1869 – County
Justice of the Peace, L. B. Adams buys the house and
1897 – L. B.
Adams’ son, James L. Adams, farms the land and plants an
orchard; Margery is born.
1931 – James L.
Adams, Margery’s father dies.
1941 – Margery’s
mother, Laura Snyder Adams, dies and the farm and
orchard are allowed to revert to woodlands.
1983 – Margery
dies and the Illinois Audubon Society assumes ownership
of the property.