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See the Woodbine Farm painting, hear its story at Jerry Winters Art Gallery

The Woodbine Farm painting has remained on the Woodbine Farm on exhibit since its completion in 2014. If you would like a chance to see this painting, it will be on exhibit at Jerry Winters Fine Arts Gallery on 134 South Vine Street in Arthur during the first two weeks in June.

By ARIANA R. CHERRY
Staff Writer

It had been several years since Jerry Winters had seen his friend Patton Penhallegon and his painting he had done of Penhallegon’s family property, Woodbine Farm located at 7206 Sefton Road in Dalton City, Illinois. The two had been friends for years, and Winters fondly remembers a few dinners he and his wife had attended there as well. The home was filled with chandeliers, antiques from as far back as the 1500’s and all types of glass beauties. Penhallegon was a collector and his home showed all of his favorites he had “picked up along the way” throughout his life. He was also a man who had worn a variety of “hats.” He had taken an interest in not only collecting antiques, but also cooking as he was a wonderful Chef with an education from Le Cordon Bleu.

Penhallegon also had a real estate license and was in the Realty business with Lyle and Cambell, an office in Decatur. Jerry Winters and his wife purchased one of Penhallegon’s homes located at the 7th Fairway at the Southside Country Club.

While Penhallegon certainly kept busy with his many interests and careers, he did have a love for his family’s property, Woodbine Farm. It was such a love that he commissioned Winters to paint it for him in 2014. The painting was done in acrylic and its size is 24 x 36 in. Winters painted it with fine details which shows the mansion, farm, barn and even a railroad that passed through at the edge of Dalton City. As Winters does with every painting, you can even see four of his beloved poodles which he painted into it. They are seen frolicking about, chasing some chickens. While Winters had been invited and saw the grounds of Woodbine Farm a few times, he did need to research its background so that he could include it within the painting. As he found out, there was a fascinating history to tell with his paintbrushes.

Woodbine Farm was the home to one of the pioneers of the Mt. Zion community, Eli Ulery. The home on the property was built around 1862. It was built using bricks that were made on site from the clay near the creek that runs through the property.

Each room in the house had a fireplace that was used as a heat source. At the top of the house was a cupola. It not only served as a ventilation during the warm summer months, but it also served as Eli’s lookout, so he could observe his two thousand acres of farm and pasture that encompassed the property.

A barn that also was on the property, had an addition built in 1906. It was a horse barn that also contained living quarters, a kitchen, and tack room that was all finished in beadboard paneling with concrete flooring throughout. An article once published in the Decatur newspaper stated that it was one of the largest barns in Macon County.

In 1932, Grover Patton, president of the Purity Baking Company purchased the portion of the farm which included the home and farmstead from the descendants of Eli Ulery. The home was a place for the tenant farmers to stay. Then in 1978, Grover Patton Penhallegon purchased the home and barns from his grandfather Grover C. Patton Estate. He lived and farmed on the property with his family until he moved to California in 2023.

Today, the Macon County Conservation District has ownership of the property and it is listed as National Historic Registry Property. The Woodbine Farm painting has remained on the Woodbine Farm on exhibit since its completion.

If you would like a chance to see this painting, it will be on exhibit at Jerry Winters Fine Arts Gallery on 134 South Vine Street here in Arthur during the first two weeks in June. The painting will be available as Giclee prints upon request. (Giclee is a French term for “to spray,” is a process that an inkjet printer uses to reproduce Fine Art. The resolution must be at least 300 dots per inch and be printed on high quality canvas that is specially prepared and acid-free). The gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

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