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History

On a hill in Union County, Illinois, just outside of Cobden, stands a home with a story embroidered into the fabric of the rural landscape it dominates. Like traveling to a different time, each day spent in this home resonates the rich history of the land and the people who loved it. 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. As you can imagine, Bell Hill has many stories.

The 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. 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, TN.

Commanding a view as far as the eye can see, one seems transported back in time, feeling the presence of the ages. Come experience the history, romance, genteel graciousness of this true Southern Belle.

Julia invites you to experience the beautiful mansion and hear more about its fascinating past.