2606 WASHINGTON AVENUE, CAIRO, IL 62914
$75,000 SOLD $70K
The Halliday House, a contributing building in the Cairo Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places, was constructed in 1876 in an Italianate style for Thomas Wyatt Halliday (1844-1892), his wife Charlotte and children Thomas, Samuel, Edwin, Wyatt, Alexander and Camilla.
Thomas was the youngest of Cairo’s prominent five Halliday brothers. In 1878 he was elected a member of the Illinois Legislature, serving one term. In 1883, Thomas was elected mayor of Cairo and held the office by re-election up to the time of his death. Before his election as mayor, he had been a member of the city council for several years.
Mr. Halliday was a beloved mayor who was said to be “kind, sympathetic, and accommodating.” During his terms, Cairo courthouse was repaired top to bottom and a new jail was placed in it. About eight new bridges were built in the county, and a fine, large farm was purchased where a large house was built for the use of the poor of the county. All the improvements were made without incurring debt.
Unfortunately, Cairo has declined since the Halliday brothers made their mark in the city. Although this amazing home is located on the brick streets of beautiful “Millionaire’s Row,” the area is not free of crime.
This house owned by Tom Halliday offers a quiet and private retreat into Victorian Elegance. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places for historic significance, this 1876 Italianate mansion boasts a large lawn along a brick boulevard once known as “Millionaires Row”. the interior is spacious and sunny. All the Victorian amenities are here: 8 fireplaces, wood floors, ornate plaster moldings on high ceilings and a stately cherry staircase. Elaborate cornices, veranda’s and woodwork adorn the two story brick exterior. Roof is 10 +/- years old. House is being sold “As Is”
The home above, called Riverlore, was the home of Thomas Halliday’s brother William Parker Halliday. The two homes are on the same block. It sold in July 31, 2019 for $80,000.
On top of the third floor of Riverlore is a pilot house where William could see the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, the two rivers that furnished much of his wealth.
After living in the mansion for 36 years, the Hallidays sold the estate to Dr. J.J. Rendleman. Rendlemann’s daughter, Adelaide, was an actress on the New York stage and in French films. She eventually inherited Riverlore, and with her husband, music producer Frederick Grieve, returned to Cairo to live in the mansion and become a part of her hometown’s high society scene.
The city of Cairo purchased Riverlore from its fourth owner, Ann Wolter, in 1999, with plans to make the 11-bedroom mansion into a B&B. At that time the estate was appraised at $675,000. The plan did not turn out to be financially viable, so in 2015 the city put the home on the market with all furnishings and antiques for what they paid for it, $250,000. As I said, it sold in 2019 for $80,000.