Replace your fossil fuel furnace with a far better tool

Fridays For Future (FFF) Thornton Activities, Greta Thunberg

This FFF US Thornton building (11-rooms) (near Chicago) has not needed to buy or burn any fossil fuels for the past 13 winters of heating.

FFF US Thornton, Illinois house

Nearly 100% Efficient -- Cheaper to use, save $2000 each year

Eliminate most of your family's Carbon Footprint

Build a $140 HG-4a Green heating device to heat your home

Today, virtually everyone around the world buys fossil fuels (Natural Gas or Home Heating Oil or even Coal) and they necessarily cause yet another Global Warming Crisis effect in the process.   Most American families have to buy around $2,000 of Natural Gas or Home Heating Oil, each winter to heat their homes.   But no one has ever told them that the fossil fuels that they buy do not contain any of the necessary oxygen which is necessary to oxidize the fossil fuel.   During the winter, they will burn the 5 tons of fossil fuels they buy, but then they need to obtain 20 tons of oxygen from the atmosphere to do it.   Some of these people know that they will be creating carbon dioxide, and therefore creating a Carbon Footprint of 14.5 tons.   And some of them may even know that during the winter, they will create 14.5 tons of brand new carbon dioxide which then gets sent up into the atmosphere.   Some, including Greta Thunberg, know that the carbon dioxide they produce by burning fossil fuels is permanently sent up into the atmosphere, and so they admit to having created a Carbon Footprint (and part of Global Warming).   But very few of them know that just to heat their homes, they are permanently each removing 20.0 tons of oxygen from the atmosphere, every year.  This is a serious problem since we each want to be able to breathe!  Each year, we collectively remove around 69 billion tons of oxygen from the atmosphere, just to burn fossil fuels to heat our buildings, and it adds up!   Do you enjoy participating in wasting all that oxygen, every year, just to warm our buildings?

This particular 11-room house in the cold winters of the Chicago, Illinois, USA region has a pretty interesting recent financial history. In 1994, I bought a new Natural Gas furnace to heat this house, for $2,250, which I personally installed. Then, I bought Natural Gas (a fossil fuel) from the local NiCor Gas Utility company, for roughly $2,000 each winter. In the following 13 years (1994-2007), I therefore paid NiCor around $26,000. just for Natural Gas to heat the house in each winter.

Then, early in 2007, I invented and built (with $160 of new materials from Home Depot) a device I called the Heat Green-3a, which no longer needed any (fossil fuel) Natural Gas to fully heat my house. The HG-3a can use any of around 600 different types of organic scrap materials, where I encourage the (organic) Glucose molecules (which the Sun had created by using sunlight a few months earlier in Photosynthesis) to intentionally decompose. The Glucose molecules are an amazing source of the energy which the Photosynthesis had created some months before. A crude form of this decomposition has been used for centuries in a process called Composting, which naturally creates and releases a modest amount of the Glucose energy.  I discovered that by relying on a different form of Thermophilic Bacteria, and enclosing the heat generated, I could get the Glucose to produce and release more than ten times the amount of heat energy during the natural decomposition of the Glucose molecules. It was then, in 2007, immediately possible to naturally produce plenty of heat to entirely heat my large house.

For several years, I did not monitor my savings, but beginning in 2011, I have collected solid data.

Here are my recent monthly Natural
Gas bills (and therefore payments) to NiCor Gas:

In 2011: 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
In 2012: 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
In 2013: 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
In 2014: 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
           In 2015: 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, $114.44, 0, 0
In 2016: 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
In 2017: 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
In 2018: 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
In 2019: 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
In 2020: 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0

The Natural Gas payment in October 2015 was check # 1051 on 10/12/2015. I am constantly doing many experiments and I had stopped using my Carbon Cycle process to produce the hot water heater and the kitchen range heat, so I briefly needed to buy a small amount of Natural Gas for those purposes. I suspect that I may the only one of 75,000,000 American homeowners who only made a single payment to the Utility Company for Natural Gas in that ten year period.

Please stop burning fossil fuels, so we might be able to breathe oxygen from the Earth's atmosphere.

Carbon Cycle heating system You could make a Carbon Cycle heating system.   You could spend about $140 and invest an hour of your time to enable more than a million Btus of energy be dumped into a discarded street garbage can to fully heat your home, and for free!   Since I have been doing this for the past 13 years, I have not needed to give the local Utility company $26,000 to buy Natural Gas to burn to heat my home!   That $26,000 has now remained in my pocket and I totally heat my (fairly large) house for free!   (my fairly large 11-room house is seen above and below) I have also avoided burning fossil fuel which would have sent 195 metric tonnes of brand new carbon dioxide up into the atmosphere.

Yes, there is a discarded street garbage can inside this cube of white foam insulation, and in the winter I fill it with decomposing cut lawn grass or other scrap organic material like shredded junk mail, such that the Glucose molecules can release massive amounts (1,000,000 Btus) of energy that the Sun had earlier invested into all those blades of grass in Photosynthesis (actually, 170,000,000 Btus of solar energy per acre, per year) which I just want to capture to heat my home!

This also eliminates my usage of fossil fuels to heat my home, and my family's Carbon Footprint has essentially disappeared!

Device Thermal Insulation First, build a conventional thermal insulation box, to enclose a discarded street garbage can.   Here we used two layers of white 2" thick foam (48 x 96) insulation to provide R-20 thermal insulation to enclose the entire garbage can.  You are going to benefit from the 170,000,000 Btus of sunlight energy which is used in making plants during Photosynthesis (per acre per year), and the fact that energy cannot just disappear. You are going to fill the garbage can with decomposing cut lawn grass (or weeds or shredded junk mail) to then capture an immense amount of thermal heat given off by the natural decomposition of the Glucose molecules of the grass or weeds which is naturally produced.   Each mole of Glucose molecules contains 2870 KiloJoules of available energy, so each large 25-pound bag of cut lawn grass contains 206,000 Btus of heat to fully heat your home.   A full street garbage can contain about 5 bags of cut lawn grass which contains over one million Btus to heat your home.   This is a very natural process which is called the Carbon Cycle.   White foam thermal insulation is cheap and we recommend it for the sidewalls and top.   The thermal insulation for the bottom should be either blue or pink foam (pink used here), as those types will not crush from the weight of the 250 pounds that the garbage can is listed for.   Some garbage cans are rated for 335 pounds.   Foam Insulation cost $38.80

Discarded Garbage can Put the standard discarded street garbage can into your new thermal insulation chamber, to preserve and collect the decompositional heat which will be created by the Glucose molecules as the Glucose naturally decomposes.   Where your current fossil fuel furnace is probably only about 80% efficient, this natural decomposition of Glucose molecules is essentially a 100% efficient process!   The body of the sturdy garbage can is necessary to keep the device both waterproof and durable.   Cost $0.00

Interior components These are the interior components that you will use inside your garbage can to stir up the organic material (including cut lawn grass and weeds and leaves, and even shredded junk mail or used coffee grounds or sawdust or hundreds of other organic materials) inside the device which ensures that each molecule of decomposing Glucose is able to chemically interact with water and with oxygen from the air.

conveyor belt and a PVC floor toilet connector We use a piece of scrap conveyor belt (which will last forever) which just fits in the floor of the garbage can.   Two bolts and nuts and a PVC floor toilet connector (upside down, bolted to the center of the conveyor belt piece).   This keeps the central post centered in the garbage can, but allows the central post and the grain auger flighting sections to rotate.   Cost $0.00 scrap plus $2.40

farmer's grain 12" PVC auger flighting sections A central rotating post which is probably 2.75" by 2.75" can either be a plastic rain gutter downspout or a hardwood solid post.   A plastic downspout is about $5.40     The three farmer's grain 12" PVC auger flighting sections which slide down around the central post.   $28 each or $84

A second PVC plastic toilet connector which is around the upper section of the central post which acts to keep the central post centered where it goes through the top of the garbage can.   Cost $2.40

A discarded bicycle wheel and its inner tube and/or not the tire of it.   This wheel can be of any size (or any equivalent wheel, even made out of wood.   It's function is to slowly rotate the auger sections to stir and raise the grass or weeds inside the garbage can.   A large carriage bolt is screwed down through the bicycle wheel hub and into a drilled hole down into the center of the top of the central post.   There are several possibilities here to rotate the bicycle wheel.   Without the inner tube, a long car radiator fan belt can use a small electric motor to rotate the central post and grain auger sections, which gradually raises the cut lawn grass or weeds or leaves to stir / tumble the organic material up from a bottom water puddle in the garbage can.   Cost $0.00 scrap

That is essentially all there is to build!   A couple small details remain.

garbage can with all interior components inside. This shows how the completed garbage can ends up.

garbage can totally surrounded by R-20 thermal insulation In one corner of the interior of the garbage can, a short piece of lawn hose or plastic or metal pipe is clamped to the side wall of the garbage can, (not really visible in the upper left of this photo) to constantly provide a shallow puddle of water in the bottom of the garbage can, to moisten all the organic materials which you will later dump into your new heating device.   The very bottom of this water supply line should be cut at an angle to allow a modest amount of water to be added to replenish the small water puddle in bottom of the material inside the garbage can.   The rotating grain auger sections stirs / tumbles the damp material from the botton to mix with the drier material higher up in the garbage can.   Cost $0.00 scrap.

In the same interior corner of the garbage can is a 2-inch diameter PVC air tube, which is also bevel cut at the bottom.   (Seen as a white plastic pipe in the upper right of this photo).   A small air blower can send a small amount of extra air / oxygen down into the bottom of the garbage can.   Cost $7.40

In a different interior corner of the garbage can is a short piece of the same 2-inch diameter PVC tube, (seen in this photo as a brown plastic pipe in the rear corner of the left upper corner of the photo), which is also clamped to the inner wall of the garbage can, but only halfway down.   This tube allows hot 140°F (60°C) air which is produced by the Glucose decomposition to be exhausted from the top of the garbage can as the small blower sends new (cool, oxygenated) air into the bottom of the garbage can through the other (inlet) air pipe.   This hot air is generally about 140°F where this warmed air can be sent to any other rooms of the house.   It also carries humidity for the house and possibly carbon dioxide for a small greenhouse.

All this should take you only about an hour to assemble.

Please notice that no fire is involved in heating your home!

Internal assembled device Showing the upper assembly of the internal components. I ordered these three specific sections of grain auger flighting to be rotated clockwise. The sections can be ordered to rotate the opposite direction. The point here is to raise the organic material as the auger sections are rotated to both stir up the material and to mix it with the puddle of water down at the bottom of the garbage can and to also mix in the air / oxygen to enhance the chemical reaction of the Glucose decomposition.

The net effect of all of this is that every molecule of Glucose is able to intimately mix with both some dampness and oxygen, which is the necessary chemical needed to chemically decompose the Glucose molecules.

As each of those Glucose molecules chemically oxidize and therefore decompose ( C6H12O6 + (6) O2 (6) CO2 + (6) H2O ) and they release that massive amount ( 170,000,000 Btu per acre per year) of chemical energy which the Sun invested into the organic material by the Photosynthesis chemical process.

The pair of chemical reactions in the Carbon Cycle starts with sunlight energy driving Photosynthesis and water and carbon dioxide and converts it into the exact same amount of chemical energy in Glucose molecules in the plants.   Later all those complex Glucose molecules die and decompose and they release all that heat energy which had started out as solar energy, so it slightly warms the surface of your yard.   This process is referred to as the Carbon Cycle, and it repeats every year (probably for thousands or millions of years) where nothing really changes over time.   Please notice that during the Carbon Cycle, there were the exact same number of carbon dioxide molecules (6) which were used in Photosynthesis and then later released in Glucose decomposition, (6) CO2

The R-20 thermal insulation is also very important.   As decomposition begins inside the garbage can, heat quickly builds up inside.   As long as you surround it all with the R-20 thermal insulation, within a few hours, the internal organic material rises to over 125°F.   At this point, a different (still natural) type of bacteria take over, called Thermophilic Bacteria. The decomposition process then speeds up by more than a factor of ten, and the device then produces and supplies more than ten times as much natural heat for the house.

We recommend buying a $13 digital thermometer to always monitor how well the decomposition is going inside the garbage can. Less important, I have built some of these devices to rest upon a standard bathroom scale.   If you are a scientific sort who wants to chart the disappearance of the weight of organic material in the garbage can to also chart the decomposition heat generated and provided as the Glucose molecules are disappearing in there!

Bagged and stored cut lawn grass 1 Bagged and stored cut lawn grass 2 Bagged and stored cut lawn grass 3 Bagged and stored cut lawn grass 4 Depending on the local climate and the season, and also depending on how large an abandoned garbage can you found, after a few days, some more organic material will need to be dumped in to the garbage can. Monitoring the internal temperature will alert you to when the internal temperature (and the decomposition process) starts to ease off so more material might be added.

In my experience, a garbage-bag sized bag of cut lawn grass usually contains around 25 pounds of Glucose molecules. That is around 11,400 grams or 65 moles of Glucose molecules. Each mole of Glucose contains 2870 kJ (KiloJoules) of chemical heat energy in it. This means that the single bag of cut lawn grass contains about 187,000 kJ of energy in it. This is therefore about 206,000 Btus of heat energy (per bag). I currently have most of two rooms of the house filled with previously mowed cut grass, each of which now has about 150 bags of cut lawn grass. So that is about 300 bags each of which contain 206,000 Btus in them or a current stockpile of around 60,000,000 Btus of available heat for my house. From previous experience when I used a furnace to burn fossil fuel (Natural Gas), in a normal Chicago winter this house needs around 42,000,000 Btus of heat for an entire normal Chicago winter. So I am currently well supplied for cut lawn grass for well over an entire coming winter!

My current garbage can-based heater is relatively small (rated at 250 pounds capacity) and it can only hold about 5 bags of the cut grass at any one time. So that is only about 1,000,000 Btus of available heat (before re-loading) so during an intensely cold spell in February, I need to load in another 5 bags of cut grass in just a day or two. During milder weather, the decomposing Glucose lasts longer, even weeks! (Note that this process is amazingly efficient, near 100%, and so there is nothing left inside which might need to be discarded. After each full winter of heating the house with the earlier HG 3a device. In previous winters, I usually just had 3 or 5 pounds of scraps of metal to clean out. Not bad after fully heating a fairly large house for an entire cold winter by using up 200 bags or 5,000 pounds of cut lawn grass!

Altogether, this garbage can device costs about $140 and about an hour of assembly work to build.   A foot thick of natural straw could be used instead to provide the desired R-20 thermal insulation to save about $40.   A variety of methods of improvising auger flighting structures can be made to save that $84 cost to make this entire device nearly free to build.

This Carbon Cycle method of heating is essentially 100% efficient, far better than the common 80% efficiency of burning Fossil Fuel in a furnace.   No furnace is needed here so neither is any chimney.

If you have ever mowed your lawn grass and bagged it, you may have noticed that within hours the decomposing grass in the bag gets very, very hot from a natural internal chemical reaction as the Glucose grass molecules naturally decompose.   And that is without even using any R-20 thermal insulation!   This is actually simple chemistry.   I save and store many millions of Btus of that solar energy from the cut lawn grass from my own lawn to totally heat this rather large house!   This is not any fossil fuel!   It is the natural Carbon Cycle process.

Scientifically, chemically, this is what happens. (1) The Sun creates heat energy by natural nuclear Fusion, which (2) travels all the way to the Earth. Then (3) the Sun's energy drives a chemical reaction we call Photosynthesis. The Sun's energy combines with exactly 6 water and exactly 6 carbon dioxide molecules to create complex Glucose molecules (C6H12O6), which form all the plants in the world, including lawn grass and weeds. We humans find it really convenient that this Photosynthesis chemical reaction also creates 6 molecules of oxygen, which we enjoy breathing! (4) All those plants grow and live and eventually die. (5) Once they die, all that energy is still in there, and the plants decompose. (6) As all those Glucose molecules die, they happen to just need exactly 6 oxygen molecules to come apart into exactly 6 water molecules and exactly 6 carbon dioxide molecules. The Glucose (C6H12O6) oxidizes aerobically [chemically combines with oxygen from the air] ( the 6 O2 molecules) and therefore breaks down to create exactly 6 molecules of water (H2O) and exactly 6 molecules of carbon dioxide (CO2) (which is exactly what the Sun used up in Photosynthesis) and also (7) (this process releases all that energy the Sun had invested into the plants during Photosynthesis (really massive release of energy!). Then, (8) I collect all this energy to heat my home with! This Carbon Cycle is a perfect process!

Greta Thunberg wants to eliminate the need for fossil fuels. As a scientist, this is a proven method of replacement of fossil fuel with Carbon Cycle energy. On March 18, 2020, Fridays For Future told me that this house in Thornton is now "FFF US Thornton" with me as Administrator of "FFF Thornton" group.

FFF US Thornton house

For the past 13 years, this (large) house, in the cold winter climate near Chicago has not needed to use any fossil fuel! It has been entirely heated by Carbon Cycle energy, heated really cozy with the cut lawn grass which is also seen in the photo! In fact, in 2007, I even removed the chimney that the previous furnace needed to use!

If Greta or any other people from FFF (Fridays For Future) would get to Chicago, and visited the FFF US Thornton building we have in Thornton, Illinois, USA, they can see either or both of the two devices I have used to totally heat this 11-room home for the past 13 years.

I am not interested in selling anything but any visitor to the FFF US Thornton home can get a copy of these construction and usage instructions, to build their own for about $100 total cost.   Since 2007, I have kept the rooms of this large house very cozy, as I happen to like it if the room temperatures are about 78°F or 80°F or 27°C.   A lot of people think I am "showing off" but, no, I just happen to really like it when the house is really cozy.

The COVID-19 virus makes me now request that you hold off visiting to see my devices. When I first invented the HeatGreen-3a device in 2007, I rented a hundred folding chairs and then often welcomed around 70 people to come and visit and watch the device heating my home. Now, the HeatGreen-4a device is even simpler and cheaper to make, but due to the COVID-19 virus I prefer to provide you with internet instructions.

It turns out easy to capture all that energy!   For the past 13 winters, I have easily heated my home with that chemical energy.   This is called the Carbon Cycle.

There are two obvious ways to heat your home or any building. One is the common way of burning a Fossil Fuel (Natural Gas, Heating Oil or Coal) in a furnace to create fire and the heat you need, but that requires a chimney since that burning process is only about 80% efficient. It also causes you to create a Carbon Footprint due to all the tons of brand new carbon dioxide you will chemically produce every winter.

The other method is superior! It is based on a very natural process of the Carbon Cycle. I have very successfully used this method to heat my 11-room home near Chicago, Illinois, USA for the past 13 years!

For the Fossil Fuel 800-student classroom strike now going on at St. John's College at Oxford University (Great Britain), we recommend a simple scientific experiment to compare two identical rooms at St. John's College at Oxford University, such as classrooms or dormitories or apartments. Consider selecting two identical small rooms that are 15 feet square. Here are the two analyses to evaluate.

On a February day in Oxford, each of these rooms will require 10,000 Btu of heat for comfortable heating.

Fossil Fuel
Burning Natural Gas
Decomposing mowed grass

We need 10,000 Btus per 24 hours or 400 Btus per hour. We need to burn 500 Btus per hour to provide for the chimney heat loss. Combustion of methane gas produces 55.5 Mj/kg, which is about 1000 Btu/lb. This will consume 12 pounds of natural gas per day for our room, as each pound of Natural Gas contains 1000 Btu of energy in it.

We need 10,000 Btus per 24 hours or 400 Btus per hour. We need to decompose 400 Btus of Glucose molecules per hour. This will consume about 0.05 cubic feet of mowed lawn grass per hour, or about 1 cubic foot per day. One large bag of lawn grass contains about 206,000 Btu of available chemical (heat) energy in it, so one large bag should most of a month (for this small room).

Chemically, this is what happens. Millions of years ago, plants and animals died and got deeply buried in the Earth where oxygen was no longer around.

Chemically, this is what happens. On sunny days the Sun invests amazing amounts of energy into a chemical process of Photosynthesis, 170,000,000 Btu per every acre in every year. The Law of Conservation of Energy ensures that all that energy remains in all the plants that are created during that Photosynthesis.

During the most recent hundred years, we found those deeply buried Fossil Fuels and we brought them up to the surface of the Earth, where they could be chemically bound to oxygen from the atmosphere in order to burn in a furnace.

When we burn Natural Gas, it creates fire that burns at 3,800°F temperature, but we only need 125°F warm air to heat the room. It is a wasteful process.

Once the grass blades and weeds and trees and leaves die, the physical structure of the Glucose molecules in the plants gradually decompose. Each mole of Glucose contains 2870 KiloJoules of that solar energy that the Sun invested in the Photosynthesis chemical reaction. A mole of Glucose contains 180 grams ( C6H12O6 or 72 + 12 + 96 = 180 ). So one mole contains 180 grams. A pound of Glucose (454 grams) therefore contains 7300 KiloJoules of that solar energy, which is about 6860 Btus of available heat energy in it. A large bag of cut lawn grass, which contains about 25 pounds of Glucose molecules therefore contains about 206,000 Btus of available heat energy in it.
The energy that the Sun had invested in each plant still exists. It is possible to capture nearly all that energy. In this case, that energy can be released as 140°F warm air to heat the room we are considering. It is important to "stir up" the material and to keep it damp and near oxygen.

The burning process is essentially about 80% efficient, and a chimney is needed.

The rate that the Glucose molecules decompose depends on four factors: (1) water, (2) oxygen and (3) a small amount of either Mesophilic or Thermophilic bacteria, and (4) temperature. If you rely on low temperature and Mesophilic bacteria, the process occurs slowly (like occurs in Composting) and it may be difficult to extract the needed 400 Btus per hour. You could instead rely on Thermophilic bacteria, and surround the decomposing material with good thermal insulation (R-20), and the decomposing Glucose material quickly rises to 125°F or higher, and it all decomposes more than ten times as quickly, and it is very easy to capture the needed heat. The Decomposition process is essentially a 100% efficient process and no chimney is needed.

The cost of the fossil fuel which needs to be bought and burned in a furnace is 16 cents/day or $5/month. The amount of brand new global warming created is 34.4 pounds per day or 1030 pounds per month or up to 5 tonnes per year. The cost of the mowed lawn grass which is decomposed is zero, or $0/month.The amount of global warming created is zero per month or per year.
There are 3 billion buildings in the world that need to be heated for humans to occupy.
If those 3 billion buildings are all heated by fossil fuel (Natural Gas) they (do) each create and release about 5 metric tonnes of global warming every year, or

15,000,000,000 metric tonnes more
every year.
CRISIS Continues
If those 3 billion buildings are all heated by natural decomposition of Carbon Cycle (organic materials), they will each release zero global warming every year, or

zero total tonnes more
every year.

This simple demonstration experiment costs less than $200 of new materials from Home Depot. It will show that if St. John's and Oxford would choose to use the natural Carbon Cycle to heat each of the thousands of rooms on campus, it would be far less expensive than with the current fossil fuel burning of Natural Gas. It would also eliminate all of the many thousands of tonnes of global warming that those burned fossil fuels are now contributing to the atmosphere.

In addition, if a large organization like Oxford University would stop using Natural Gas to heat its many buildings, the MARKET for Natural Gas would become smaller. If everyone chose to heat their homes and buildings with the natural Carbon Cycle decomposition, the entire world Market for Natural Gas may nearly disappear. Few people would want to buy Fossil Fuels.

You students at St. John's can nearly immediately end the global warming crisis if you are persuasive enough! If you have not planned ahead with mowed grass, a wetted farmer's bale of hay or shredded junk mail or many other organic materials works just as well.

Please do this simple experiment. It has worked fantastically for the past 13 years when I have fully heated my 11-room home near the cold climate of Chicago, Illinois, USA, for free! (I have not even needed to buy $26,000 of Natural Gas from a Utility company!)

The complete instructions to build and use my device are included in


This presentation was first placed on the Internet in February 2020.

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Carl W. Johnson, Theoretical Physicist, Physics Degree from University of Chicago
FFF USA Thornton (Fridays for Future) (Illinois)
301 South Hunter Street
Thornton, Illinois 60476
This house has had quite an amazing history. The Village of Thornton was the first town incorporated in Illinois, in 1834. Chicago was incorporated 3 years later, in 1837, as a town of 4,000 people. In 1856, this one room school house was built in Thornton. I experimentally proved this in 1965 when I took a piece of the western wall sheathing wood into the University of Chicago for a scientific Carbon-14 radioactive dating test. The University test proved that the trees and logs for this one-room school house had been chopped down in 1855. This first photo below (from March 1946) was taken from the east. At that time, the building was essentially was still the 13'7" by 20'8" one-room school house size it had been built when it was built in 1856. The (east) door through which students entered and left through seen here was from the adjacent (north-south) Jane Street, with the Thorn Creek immediately behind it. About 20 feet further west (right) was the school-house's Outhouse (which my mother called "Martha") In 1871, the huge Chicago fire burned most of the Cook County property records before that. However, this one-room Thornton school-house was used continuously as a school from 1856 through 1904. There are many scuff marks on what is now the hardwood kitchen floor, which show the location of each of the sets of four metal desk legs, which shows that in various years between 1856 and 1904, from six to ten desks (and therefore students) were studying inside this one-room school house. This one-room school-house was not used as a school after 1904, and the building and its 3 city-lot playground land was sold to a young couple. They lived in the small house for 42 years, until they eventually sold it to my parents in March 1946 (for $1200). My father had 4 children, and so he constantly found the need to build more rooms onto it for the next 15 years, until the modern house eventually became the 11-room house which it now is.

So this specific house was actually one of the very first one-room school houses in the United States. I am now considering again making it help solve the COVID-19 virus problem today as a one-room school-house again.

This same one-room school house as it was built in 1856, and used as a one-room school house from 1856 through 1904. .

This same house when it was a One-room Schoolhouse Side view of the 1-room schoolhouse near Chicago


The official Cook County, Illinois Plat Map of Thornton, which includes part of Thorn Creek.

The Cook County Illinois Plat map of Thornton    

Detail of the Official Cook County Plat Map of Thornton.

A portion of the Cook County Plat map of Thornton
This one-room school house has always been in the lot between Hunter Street, Maria Street and Jane Street (lots number 1, 2 and 3). And adjacent to the horseshoe of Thorn Creek.