MT. ZION, Ill. (WCIA) — One of the first settlers to Our Town built a “friendly house,” which has been around since the 1860’s.

The new owner has done a lot of work to keep things running. But, one thing hasn’t changed; the eclectic antique decor.

Registering it saved the Eli Ulery Estate which could have ended up in the center of a new beltway project for the county. The owner went to the first meeting and the design ran through the property. But, because it’s registered, that won’t happen.

In 1862, this home was built from the ground up and belonged to one of Mt. Zion’s first settlers; a cowboy who went on to own a cattle ranch.

“The original owner was Eli Ulery and he came to this part and moved here from Ohio. He was born in Pennsylvania.”

It’s currently owned by Pat Penhallegon who bought it in the 1970’s. He says, if only the walls could talk.

“It’s been a great place to live and raise my son.”

It’s around 4,000 square feet. One thing you’ll notice is the furniture and decor take you back in time.

“I just like old things an I think, because of this house, I’m the one of the family that got all the old furniture.”

He says he kept the original look and feel to preserve history.

“As you can see, there’s fireplaces in every room. That’s how the house was originally heated.”

Over the years, he added on some extra space, put in a few bathrooms and has always called it home, sweet home.

“I just live mainly in my kitchen next to the fireplace.”

Penhallegon says he will live here as long as he can because he wants to keep the history alive.

The village was laid out in 1860. The first house was built by Andrew Wilson. Mt. Zion is also home to the first church in the country.