What about Mumford House?

I read with interest the story in the Feb. 18 edition of Kathy’s Mailbag about Harker Hall.

Harker Hall was referred to as the oldest building on the University of Illinois campus. That brought to mind the forgotten and unused Mumford House, which the UI refers to as the oldest structure on campus. Building or structure — just a difference of size, I think.

Mumford House was built about 1870, seven years before Harker. Both are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Harker has been well used. Mumford has sat empty for years. Mumford House was lived in by families with familiar names of campus buildings and sites: Burrill, Mumford, Davenport and Morrow. You can’t drive by it, as it is far from any street, next to the McFarland Bell Tower on the South Quad. Walk or bike by it sometime.

It would be nice if the university could figure out a use for the house and find money to renovate it. Some use related to the agriculture department of the College of ACES would be most appropriate. It’s truly a link to the earliest days of the university.