I moved to Hillsboro in August 2017 to be near extended family.
I left St. Charles County, MO, after my working career as a carpenter was ended by serious spinal damage and a failed corrective surgery.
It did not take long for me to fall in love with Hillsboro as it reminded me of my Collinsville upbringing prior to the rapid expansion my original hometown has seen. The allure of Main Street with its historic architecture and mixed purposes made me wish I was still capable of the restorations I have previously done in Soulard, LaFayette Square, Webster Groves and Old St. Charles to name a few. The beauty of the brick and wood buildings that remain are truly hidden gems in Central Illinois.
I am a frequent walker with my rescue dog Solar as my companion. We walk the residential streets which inspire the same feelings as do the downtown district in my heart. I can many times see which portion of a home was original and those parts that were additions. There is a family history attached to each need for more space; perhaps room was needed to accommodate grandparents or newborn children. There would rarely have been an architect involved; uncles or cousins or maybe an acquaintance who has experience would show up to assist in building much needed new family space. The unwritten agreement of course nullified the need of any contract; a good meal daily and cold beer were the accepted currency.
These do-it-ourselves projects left a piece of themselves in the form of good memories and blessings on the newly enlarged family home. This spirit or charm cannot be reproduced; even the frailty of wood siding and windows ages gracefully. Aluminum and vinyl are candidates for replacement, not repairs.
I was fortunate to purchase a cozy home for less than the price of a decent used car, and I was immediately home. To the best of my diminished abilities, I intend to restore my new home to its past glory and to cultivate the garden plants I'm very fortunate to inherit from previous owners.
Owning a home or renting a house is a privilege reserved for a low percentage of this world's population. Hillsboro is scenic, friendly and homey. If you have lived here all of your life, maybe you no longer notice.