Please click on any of the pictures below
to see a little larger view.

The design and layout of Childerley
Approximate location in Wheeling

Dr. Lillie's personal notes on the design document.


" Indusrty Can Never Restore A Life, but Industry Can Try To Atone. "

Brief Summary .. ...

St. Francis of the Orchard

Baron Von Hugel Library



Chapel Built 1929

Library Built 1040-1941


It started as a home in 1835. Then in 1910, this small log cabin being was being moved across pasture. First a home, and then a pig barn.

This was to become the first chapel at Childerley


Barn in place in orchard.

Cows from neighboring farm, before fence was installed.

It is hard to believe that this small log cabin, and a pig barn, would become the Chapel at Childerley Picture

Garden walls are being erected.


Children make great helpers.

Renovated Pig Barn and the garden is enclosed.


Trees planted outside, and flowers inside.

Picture Inside
Wooden Altar in 1913 Picture

Dr. Frank Lillie with daughter in garden.


Mrs. Lillie and Emily Ann 1910-1911 Picture

The Steps of the Chapel




Beverly and Lester Anderson

A May festival years ago in the orchard Picture

The Lillie house after the addition in 1913.


It was torn down due to its poor condition after the park purchase.

Port House - 1912

Built for Elsabeth Port and Family

Teacher and Superintendent (now St. Joans)

Picture Aother festival in 1020's

Unknown participants of a May Festival


Always Music Dancing and Fun.


Mothers Club of the Crane Farm


Children from Childerley having fun in Buffalo Creek

About 1913


Northern Farm House occupied by Lillie's until a fire in 1913.

Located on the North side of McHenry Road.

2nd floor added for school, auditorium and library.


This was built on the site of the north farm house. It is now part of the Villa buildings.

Picture Monument built to the honor of Elsabeth Ports - Teacher - (Villa)
Elsabeth Ports Picture
Elsabeth Ports - Teacher Picture
Picture Mrs. Lillie and Children
Mrs. Lillie and Children Picture
Picture Good Tmes at the swimming pool at Childerley

Fire at Childerley - North Side of McHenry Rd.


Duplex was along McHenry - Rebuilt


One of the first buildings on the North Side.

Noarding House about 1912

School and Auditorium in 1912 Picture

Crane Farm at Childerley - Sheep Pen. Later turned int a garage.



Barn burned down by WHeeling Fire Department in late 1950's to make way for Westbrook Farm. Picture
Picture History of Childerly, as told by the Calvert House - The Catholoc Student Center at the University Of Chicago.
In 1941 Mrs. Frank R. Lillie made a gift of Childerley to the Calvert Foundation, to be maintained as a place for retreats, conferences and alumni of the University of Chicago ..... Picture
Picture The Crane Fund for Widows and Children .....
more .... Picture
CONTINUED ..... Picture
Picture Christmass at Childerley 1941

Inside of the Christmass document

first page.


Inside of the Christmass document

2nd page.


Mrs. Lillies private place built in 1930.

Later the caretakers home and enlarged.


Jophanna Doniat (standing), supervisor of the Calvert Club.


Mrs. Francis Lillie (sitting on the stairs), donor of Childerley

A weekend retreat for some University Of Illinois students. Picture
Picture Studying in the library
Picture Discussions in the garden
Rear view of the Lillie House - St. Jerromes Picture
History of the Crane Fund For Widows and Children - Written by Frank R. Little in 1931 Picture

Lorraine Haben says: "Everybody's got history,
but if you let it go by, you're going to loose it. "

Picture Picture

'Childerly' Sold To Servants Of Mary

From: Arlington Herald Aug 9,1940

In the summer of 1977 ....

A year ago, the future looked bleak for the Childerley Retreat Home site. Childerley, a 10-acre site at 506 Mc Henry Rd. was deteriorating as Wheeling Park District officials attempted to conclude lengthy negotiations with the owner, the Calvert Foundation of Chicago. Many of the historical buildings, including a chapel built in 1825. were crumbling from lack of maintenance.

TODAY. AFTER passage of a $3.7 million bond referendum in March and hard work by officials of the Wheeling Park District and the Wheeling Historical Society, the prospects for Childerley and Chevy Chase have changed drastically. The park district recently completed purchase of both pieces of land and improvements are under way. Park employees are trimming trees, removing old fences and cleaning up the grounds at Childerley.

"We're also doing a thorough review of the buildings and making a checklist of items to be accomplished. We're trying to determine what needs to be done and if, in fact, we can do it ourselves," said Park Supt. David Phillips. Phillips said work on the buildings "is not something that will happen overnight," but that interior work will begin in the fall. "WE HOPE TO have everything completed by next spring. We're going to take one building at a time and there's a lot of work to be done," he said. The historical society will be working with park officials to restore the historical aspects of both Childerley and Chevy Chase. Shirley Koeppen. historical society member, said a fund has been set aside for several years for restoration of historical buildings at the Childerley site. Most of the funds were raised at the society's annual Brat and Beer Fest. "We always put money aside for the Childerley fund earmarked for restoration of the chapel and log cabin," she said. The Childerley Retreat House has been an important part of Wheeling's history for nearly 70 years. It has served as a country home, a haven for widows and orphans and a religious retreat since it was purchased by the Frank Lillie family in the early 1900s.

ONE OF SEVERAL historical buildings on the site is a small chapel, which is reputed to be one of the oldest buildings in Cook County. The structure, built in 1825, once served as a pig pen. Mrs. .Koeppen said society funds also will be used to research the historical background of Chevy Chase as well as for remodeling of the historical society museum. The museum will be moved later from 84 S. Milwaukee Ave. to a site at Chamber Park, 131 N. Wolf Rd. While park officials and historical society members have accomplished a great deal in the past year, Mrs. Koeppen said there is still a need for funds. The historical society's Brat and Beer Fest will be Aug. 7 at Chevy Chase. The activities will begin at noon with music from a German band beginning at 4 p.m. Mrs. Koeppen said the fest is the society's only annual fund-raising event. Proceeds will go to projects including Childerley and-Chevy Chase.

Childerley Chapel Today

The Childerley Chapel Today

In 1981 it was dedicated as Lorraine E. Lark Chapel of the Orchard. Lorraine Lark, a prominent community leader of Wheeling, and President of the Board of Park Commissioners, was instrumental in the preservation of the meadows and orchards of Childerley Park from destruction and development. Childerley is located at 506 McHenry Road in Wheeling.

© 2010-15 Wheeling Historical Society and Museum
Last Update: Tuesday, December 1, 2015 10:07 PM