Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Friday, June 23, 2006

Fence and Walk

Over the past month, the Iles House has acquired a new west and south face, consisting of a white picket fence and a laid sidewalk. The contractor for both projects is Tom Bundy, seen above speaking with Ann Hart, and below surveying the jobs as they near completion.

These additions, built with traditional materials and hands-on skills, continue our progress toward complete restoration of the House to its 1840s appearance.

Coming Attraction: on the evening of July 7, the Iles House will host an 1850s Strawberry Party. This event will precede an outdoor movie to be shown in the Lincoln Home area.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Iles School Events

Iles House recently hosted an event with alumni of the Iles Elementary School, located at 1700 South 15th Street in Springfield. On May 25, over 80 alumni and parents attended a reunion at the house. Arrangers of the event were principal Susan Rhodes and volunteers from the school parents' association. The school website has several pictures from the event along with more information about the school and its history.

Pictured here are Linda Sharpe, president of the Iles PTO; Susan Rhodes, principal of Iles School; and Stephanie Moore Chipman, an alumni parent. We look forward to sponsoring more events with Iles and other schools in the Springfield area.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Time to Remember

"Time to Remember," the Farrell Gay exhibit of memorabilia from the Illinois Watch Company, opened on June 1 with over 175 in attendance at the Iles House. The exhibit will be open for the public on Saturday from 10 to 4 and on Sunday from 12 to 4. Above are Farrell and Ann Gay, donors of the Springfield History Museum that forms the lower level of Iles House.

The Illinois Watch Company was once the largest employer in town and it influenced the growth of Springfield's north side. Founded by several prominent citizens in 1869, it manufactured watches until 1932. The factory building was a model workspace of clean, well-lit rooms and the company maintained an observatory for testing the accuracy of watches.

Curated by Ed Russo and Corine Fritch, the exhibit tells the story of a community enterprise that became nationally famous. Several attendees brought Illinois watches and remembered family members who had worked at the factory. One visitor displayed a watch made by her grandmother and bearing her inscribed initials.

This summer, Mr. Gay intends to invite relatives of those who worked at the factory for a special day of remembrance at the Iles House. We hope they will bring their own stories and memorabilia to share with those attending.

Story and pictures by Dick Hart.
For another account, see New Springfield by Larry Stevens.