The original fence which bordered the Mansion lot was very simple in design and was likely built of wood. A photo of the Mansion, dated ca. 1866, shows both an "anti - splatter" fence (painted white) on the berm as well as the Mansion lot fence (smaller in height and of a dark color).
The cast-iron fence was possibly added in the early 1870s when Reddick updated his grounds which included building a frame house on the north end of his property. The fence surrounded the Mansion lot until 1910 when the Reddick Library sold it to the association in charge of the Jewish cemetery located in South Ottawa. That same cemetery association was required to relocate its cemetery fence line when the State of Illinois widened Route 23 in the early 1980s. At this time, the Reddick Mansion Association developed its interest in what was left of the original cast-iron fence.
Along with the original pieces obtained from the Jewish cemetery, twenty-five more sections had to be created to complete the fence. Floyd and Keith Johnson, co-owners of Johnson Pattern and Machine Co., donated their time and the materials to make the patterns used to cast the new fence. Work began in 1989 to restore the stone wall upon which the iron fence would be anchored. Altogether, the wall and fence restoration cost an approximately $150,000.
Pattern and Machine Co. in Ottawa prepares the mold for the new fence prior to pouring plastic to form the production pattern. Photo courtesy of Harold Krewer, The Daily Times
Photo of front exterior view of Reddick Mansion in 2012. This view of the cast-iron fence shows the original sections used in the fence’s restoration.
Photo courtesy of Farley Andrews,
RMA Board Member