Durham-Perry Farmstead is located on the Perry Farm. It is maintained and operated as an historic site by the Bourbonnais Township Park District.
This plan shows the farmstead as it is today. The drawing is not the scale. The farmstead occupies only the Kennedy Drive frontage of the 169 acres farm now called "Perry Farm Park". The State of Illinois and the National Park Service of the United States Department of Interior announced the listing of the Durham-Perry Farmstead in the National Register of Historic Places on March 31, 2006.
Thomas Durham built this three-bay English barn about 1840. It is of timber frame, beam on post construction. The attached shed-roofed milking parlor is a later addition. The roof rafters in the barn are slender bark carved logs. A hay hook on an overhead track can be seen inside. It was used to lift and place hay bales in the loft. The center bay was originally used as a threshing floor. The bays on either side of the threshing floor were used for feed storage and/or to shelter livestock. The English barn, modified at times, remained popular well into the late 19th century when it was built on a much larger scale in the Midwest and on the Canadian plains. Th milking parlor had iron stanchions that held cows while they were being milked. A trough in the concrete floor was used to collect the manure.
The farm house, when first built by Thomas Durham in the 1840s, might have looked like an "I" house, - two rooms wide and one room deep with a central hallway. The illustration is a suggestion of how the original Durham house appeared based on a photograph of the Buckley home in Indiana. The basic architecture is a traditional British folk form common in pre-railroad America, particular in the Tidewater South. The Durhams possibly had a detached summer kitchen off the northwest corner of the house. There is some evidence the Durham home was an inn on a stage route between Danville and Chicago. Thomas Durham lived on his farm for 19 years. He died on March 13, 1854. In all, Durham and his wife had twelve children. Son-in-law David Perry took over the farm in 1866. He died in 1887. Perry left the farm to his wife Martha. She died six months later. The farm then went to Perry's only son, Alvah Perry. The last heir to the farm, daughter Lomira Perry, left the farm in trust to the State of Illinois in the 1961 will. The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency awarded the Perry Farm to the Bourbonnais Township Park District in 1988. The Thomas Durham grave site is near the orchard, west of the house.
The Durhams probably built this horse barn after the English three-bay barn and the original house were constructed (late 1840's). The drawing shows the post on beam, timber fram [sic] construction that was used. However the horse barn has sawn timbers from a sawmill instead of the hand hewn timbers that were used in the English three-bay barn.