Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Free Farm Table from the Mad Gasser's Home

A week ago Sunday I was working at the mall and they were having an antique show. I was telling some fellow workers about a table that I had just missed buying at an antique mall and how disappointed I was. A lady who always sets up at the mall told me about a house in town that was being torn down and that there was a green table and chairs behind it. She didn't know if it was free or what. After she told me what house it was, I was a little surprised.
I've driven by this house for years and wondered about it. It was a tract house from 1920's that had been boarded up and painted entirely grey. I decided to drive by after work to check out the table and chairs and saw a man out mowing his lawn. I was really sad about the house because I can't stand for old houses to be torn down. As I was looking at what was left of the house(I finally got to see the layout), the man(Doug) came over. He lived next door and owned the house. Apparently, the city had been on him to tear it down(although they're are people living in houses far worse than this one!). He finally felt the pressure and had to do it. As we talked, he share the history of the house which was quite interesting.
The Lluwellyns had built the house and had owned a grocery store on the corner along with a canning factory behind. They were quite intellegent people. Their son, Farley, became accused of being the Mad Gasser and was later sent to insane asylum .He was the only suspect ever investigated in the attacks. He was a student of chemistry, "Farley, the obvious chemical genius behind the gas's synthesis, was the real gasser. In a fit brought on by mental instability and years of pent-up rage against a town that would not and could not accept him, Farley tinkered and toyed with various organic solvents in an attempt to create for a suitable weapon."The article goes on to say as to identify Farley's chemical as tetrachlorethane, a chemical with all the properties to induce the symptoms reported in the gassings. He seemed a compelling suspect because he had the means and the motive, and most of the alleged attacks occurred near his home. But even after he was placed under constant surveillance, the reports of the attacks had continued.
The entire story is here :
A description:
Here is the house when I went by that Sunday. There was no table in chairs in the yard. Doug(the owner) was kind enough to give me a table that was still in the house. If I get pictures of the house before-I will post them later!

And here it is-the legs on one side are shorter so we'll have to fix that and I still need to take off the cardboard on the side, but it was free! I love the green legs and it's a great length. I'm very lucky to have the table and a piece of Mattoon history!


  1. Interesting story, sad, but interesting. Great score! Doug sounds pretty darn nice! I hate to see the old ones go too :(

  2. I hate when they tear old buildings down. They love to do that around here and they put up ugly houses that are too big for the lots.
    Great table!

  3. I love this story. It said to see old house with so much history being torn down!

  4. What a wonderful table that is! Very interesting and spooky story about the Mad Gasser!!! I get sad when they tear old things down too, it's a part of history just disappearing...sniffle sniffle:(

  5. What a great story..your new table is going to be fantastic!

  6. HI Rebecca, I stumbled across your blog today, Not sure how, but Im so glad I did, I have so enjoyed many of your postings, Keep up the great job. Ill be back often, need to read all your past posts, they are so much fun.
    Have a wonderful PINK Saturday

  7. I'm with you, I don't like to see old building torn down either. I think we should do all we can to preserve the history of the towns and cities we live in.

    P.S. That table is awesome!

  8. Wonderful table!!
    love hearing the story/history behind it too:))

    Happy Pink Saturday...aah a day late!

    Kay Ellen


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