While out riding yesterday we toured thru the little elevator town of Milmine before stopping at Bryant Cottage in Bement. My family on my Mom's side is from the area. An elderly lady that tended to the Cottage happened to be there and invited us inside for a tour. We small talked a bit and she recognized the family names I was dropping, Buckner and Cook. When I mentioned that my great grandparents, Oscar and Wilda Buckner used to own the General Store in Milmine, she said "They used to have the best burger in Piatt County".
Bryant Cottage is a 4 room home where Abe Lincoln and Steve Douglas met to plan a series of debates held in 1858. Francis Bryant settled in the village in 1856 building this small home, that was quite modern for it's time, for his young family. He was active in state and local politics serving two terms in IL legislature, one before and one after the Civil War. He had also served as the towns Postmaster and Mayor.
The home was quaint and tidy, only needing the essentials to live, and only having the space for them too. Some of the items inside the home are original to the Bryant family and are well over 100 years old. If you ever find yourself near Bement I believe it'd be worth your while to take a quick walk through this historic home.
Another little factoid: Marilyn Monroe had stopped by the cottage in 1955 when she came to Bement as THE celebrity guest for the towns Centenary. She spent some time at Bryant Cottage, gave a chat to the townsfolk, and even helped judge the beard contest! Below I have attached a link to YouTube video showing photos from that visit, and you'll notice photos from inside the cottage as well as from the beard contest!
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