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Blog: Local home, the ‘African Queen,’ featured in WSJ

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The African safari is alive in southeast Springfield.

The Wall Street Journal featured Springfield businessman Michael Willhoit’s home, nicknamed by him as the “African Queen,” in a Feb. 8 article, “EBay Finds Unlikely Fans in Luxury-Home Sellers.” Reporter Leigh Kamping-Carder examines Willhoit’s 2829 S. Lone Pine Ave. home. Specifically, she emphasizes Willhoit’s attempts to sell the home through eBay, which Kamping-Carder notes is an unconventional method.

That’s not the only thing that’s unconventional. The home near Battlefield Road and U.S. Highway 65 is complete with a 650-pound mounted lion and other stuffed animals, a man-made lake and waterfall, numerous African artifacts, and a toilet shaped like a lion, among numerous other features. From the exterior to the living areas, the home looks like it’s right out of Eddie Murphy’s classic ‘80s film, “Coming to America.”

Check out the home on Google Maps, and you’ll see African Queen is carved into a rock outside the home’s gates, themselves featuring animal carvings.

Willhoit, who owns luxury car seller Willhoit Enterprises LLC, told The Wall Street Journal that eBay “reaches a zillion people, even people from overseas.” In the article, Willhoit said he purchased the home in 2013 and invested $7 million to $8 million renovating and expanding it.

The two-bedroom, 3,125-square-foot home, also listed on real estate website Zillow, is available for a mere $8.9 million. There may be a touch of sarcasm there, but, at the least, have a look at the photos to get a unique glimpse into a rare Ozarks find.


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