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About Old Oak Estate



Situated between Belleville and Millstadt, in the township of Smithton, in the county of St. Clair, in the state of Illinois, the Old Oak Estate Farm has been in the family now for over 160 years.   It is a Sesquicentennial Heritage Farm registered with the Illinois Department of Agriculture, thus giving Old Oak Estate Farm its heritage status.

This relaxing and still metropolitan country estate farm is comprised of 31+ acres in which only two are used for residential needs. The farm's water supply is well based, very cold, and has been tested to be of excellent quality.   There are two resident houses on this heritage farm, one with a personal history, our Guesthouse. The Farmhouse, which faces North is flanked on both East and West of its grounds by farmland.  The Guesthouse, recently acquired and under renovation, is situated on the Northeast corner of the farm.  The Guesthouse is currently undergoing rehab and it is hoped to soon be able for temporary residential stays.


You can access the farm via a charming old gravel horseshoe road called Old Oak Lane, which is quiet and mainly accessed only by it's residents. Old Oak Lane used to be call "Old Centerville Road" until the current Hwy 159 (Centerville Ave) was built during the 1930s.  Clarence Briesacher named the lane after the grand old almost 200 year old Bur Oak tree that used to be situated on the northeast corner of the front yard of the Guesthouse.  Sadly, the grand Old Oak tree, dying, was cut down in 2003.  Two pieces were taken and turned into a wonderful Bur Oak heritage pieces for the Farmhouse.

It was until recently, 2003, that the farm added the Hayes surname to the list of residents that have had the honor to master over the land.  The last resident Briesacher, Clarence, did not have any sons to pass on the Briesacher surname.  Thus, Clarence's grandson, Michael Hayes, in order to keep the farm in the family, brought the farm from Clarence's widow, Virginia Briesacher, nee Vollmer.



A beautiful southern view of Old Oak Estate Farm

Today, Old Oak Estate Farm, is Growing Up in Heritage, by stewarding the community and it neighbors of the history that once was here in what used to be called Belleville Prairie.  In 2011, Old Oak Estate Farm "grew up" a little bit more when it began growing heirloom fruits and vegetables for local food banks in their program called, Growing Up Heirlooms. Growing Up Heirlooms consist of fruits and vegetables that our ancestors used to eat.  These fruits & vegetables are called heirlooms because they are made by nature and not "genetically modified" (GMO) by engineering humans who work for big ag-industry conglomerates like Monsanto, Du Pont, and others.



At the end of 2011, Old Oak Estate Farm planted it's first two apples trees for it's Heritage Orchard.  This orchard, when finished, will consist of seven apple trees, each representing a different line of the farm's ancestral history.  The first two apple trees were the Calville d' Blanc (France) and the St. Edmond's Pippin (England).  Explore our Heritage Orchard.





With the help of other genealogy and history enthusiasts, Old Oak Estate Farm will try to education and bring to mind the history and way of life of the good old communities that flourished here in Belleville Prairie (Belleville, Millstadt, Roachtown, Floraville, and Smithton).  Old Oak Estate Farm has set up large and growing genealogical database of those that have lived in Belleville Prairie.  That database can be found here: Old Oak Estate Farm Genealogy Database.