A little bit about
Historic Bell Hill
Historic Bell Hill is a beautiful mansion home located in quaint Cobden, IL. Located just a few minutes south of Carbondale, IL, home of Southern Illinois University, and among the beautiful Shawnee National Forest, you will find a multitude of entertainment options. You’re just a short drive from nearly a dozen of the finest wineries in all of the Midwest. Furthermore, once you see our gorgeous estate, you may just decide to stay in!
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Only a few families have owned Bell Hill over the last century. James Bell, the original owner, made a fortune in timber. Just after the Civil War, the growing towns and cities needed trainloads of lumber to satisfy the need. Mr. Bell met the demand with logs cut from vast tracts of southern Illinois forests which fed into his saw mills. The need was so great that at least one carload of Bell lumber was hooked to every northbound train.
In the 2nd story, General Grant Suite has its own history. Like many old homes, traveling dignitaries often stayed with prominent citizens when the train stopped or as they journeyed. General Ulysses S. Grant stayed at Bell Hill. We know General Grant was also President Grant, but it is believed he was the General when he stayed on the Bell property.
Bell Hill is also known to be associated with the Underground Railroad. In the main barn, you will find a door that displays writing and names from runaway slaves who were on their journey to freedom.
This area of the Shawnee National Forest is known to have to some of the most flourishing apple and peach orchards in the country. In the summer and fall, guests enjoy incredible peach and apple cobbler with fresh fruit right off the trees of Flamm’s Orchard and Rendleman’s Orchard. Historic Bell Hill Wedding Venue is located within 14 miles of Carbondale, home of Southern Illinois University. It is an easy drive from Chicago, St. Louis, Evansville, or Nashville, Tennessee.
Our family invites you to experience the beautiful mansion and hear more about its fascinating past.