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Archives, Special Collections, & IRAD Information

Grayton Mansion Photo Collection

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 Leona Stanford in 1961, the couple moved intothe restored stables and then a nearby townhouse in Taylorville. 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 shows Eugenia and Eddie Vollintine, 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.