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   Home      Investigations 2011      Villa Kathrine
Villa Kathrine
Quincy, Illinois
 
 
     It stands high on the bluff, overlooking the Mississippi River. Almost as if it is watching over the bustling town, alert to anything which may cause harm to this riverfront community. The history of this building is almost as interesting as the structure itself. And the tales of the unknown elevates this to one of the most closely guarded secrets in the entire town.
 
     George Metz was born May 20, 1849. He enjoyed travel, and was known to venture around the world, being gone for many months at a time. He envisioned having a home to come back to when his travels were complete, but didn't want just any type of home. He favored the Mediterranean style, and planned a home based on the style of the Villa Ben Ahben in Algiers. Work began on the home in 1900, and soon afterwards Mr. Metz moved in. Mr. Metz also had a fondness for large dogs, and after the loss of his first friend in a stable fire, purchased a second one, reported to have been the largest dog in America at the time. Mr. Metz and Bingo lived in the Villa Kathrine together until 1907 when Bingo died. Mr. Metz retained the Villa Kathrine until 1912 when he sold it to someone he thought would love the home as much as he did. This was not to be. The building was destined to be destroyed, but the hands of fate intervened, and the building set vacant for years. The Villa was acquired by the Quincy Parks Department in 1955. The Friends Of The Castle was started in 1978 to attempt to preserve this unique structure, and have since devoted many hours and dollars in restoring the Villa to what you see today. Mr. Metz died in 1937, and his last view of his beloved home was one of decay and ruin.
 
     And now, for the rest of the tale. Why did George Metz name his home Villa Kathrine? Was it for his mother Catherine? Or was it for a lover he could never be with? When he buried Bingo on the grounds, was he wearing an expensive collar? And where exactly is he buried? Reports are that George and Bingo continue to walk the floors of the Villa Kathrine. Is he still residing there, in the home that he loved so much? And will he one day let us know for whom the home was named? We don't know, but for now, please revisit the Villa Kathrine and enjoy its splendor as we ponder what is still unknown.
 

There is no one who knows the history of the Villa Kathrine as well as Donna Haire. Listen to her own account of the history of this amazing building.


 
 
 Of all the features of this interesting building, this is probably one of the favorites.
 

 
 

The tales of Bingo remain to this day. Here is what Donna has to say about this gentle giant, who was George Metz's friend and companion.
 
 
 
And what of all the tales of unexplained events and sounds inside the building?
 
 
 

Downstairs in the basement. Voices have been heard in this area.

 

 
Looking up towards the second floor. The light is centered over the fountain.

 

This area was George Metz's bedroom. A male voice has been heard here.

   

 
One of the pieces of furniture in the Villa, under full spectrum light.

 
 
 
 
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