On April 3, the Iles House greeted 32 members of a Smithsonian Lincoln Legacy Tour. The group began in Washington D.C. and traveled by bus to Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois, spending two days in Springfield.
Their leader was Edward Bearss, distinguished Civil War historian and author of the 1969 master plan for the Lincoln Home National Park. He is a master story-teller, as you may hear in this interview on the Smithsonian web site.
In this picture, "Elijah Iles" welcomes Mr. Bearss (left) and Dick Hart (right), Iles House board member and president of the Abraham Lincoln Association.
Hailing from all parts of the USA, tour members saw the Iles House at its best, candlelit with refreshments. Betty Franke gave each visitor a colorful gift bag containing a bottle of Illinois wine, a copy of her Prairie Cookbook, and reading matter from the ALA, Iles House, and Papers of Abraham Lincoln.
Mary Shepherd, Executive Assistant of the ALA, organized the event, generously assisted by Dave Barringer, Roger and Elizabeth Ricketts, David Stevens, and Linda Garvert. Chuck Campton gave up his bowling night to portray Elijah Iles, the gracious host.
The Iles House hopes to sponsor similar events in the future, greeting visitors to Springfield who come to see its remarkable preservation of antebellum history and culture.