Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. —Lincoln's First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861.

Pictures of New Salem by Dulany Sriner

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Questors Dinner

On Tuesday, December 19, Iles House played host to a Christmas party for the Questors of Rochester, who call themselves the Chickenbristle Chapter.

The word Chickenbristle is of uncertain origin. Vachel Lindsay uses the name in his poem, "Bryan, Bryan, Bryan, Bryan" to refer to a small hamlet near Riverton and Rochester.

At the dinner, Dave Barringer and Mike Denk acted as waiters to the 15 guests, serving up a green salad and baked lasanga. Linda Denk ran the kitchen with great aplomb.

Helen Duffey, an artist who is still active at 96, became our first visitor to use the new lift.

The house was decorated for Christmas and seasonal music in the background provided just the right mood.

Pictures by Dick Hart

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Holiday Tours

Candlelight tours for the holiday season: Dec 8-9 and 15-16, 6:30-8:30 pm, with refreshments. The public is invited and admission is free. That was our plan for those two weekends, but on Friday, Dec 8, we had 0 attendees!

Problems with getting an ad published and delivered were responsible, and the weather of the past week didn't help. But to keep docent spirits high, Dick Hart returned from Gabatoni's with two pizzas, and everyone had a great time talking, telling stories and enjoying the house decorations.

Saturday Dec 9 was a different story. Visitors were on the front porch at 6:30 pm and the stream continued all evening. A great cross-section of Springfield turned out: young, old, and from every part of town. People made heart-warming comments, thankful that the House has been saved. One visitor exclaimed, "This is the real deal," meaning he'd never seen such an authentic restoration.

We are grateful that so many appreciate the preservation of Springfield's rich history. Beside Elijah Ile's candlelit fireplace, we may all glimpse the past on a cold winter's night.

Pictures by Dulany Sriner

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

AAUW Party

On the evening of Saturday, December 2, the American Association of University Women held a champagne and dessert party at the Iles House.

Founded in 1881, the AAUW has for 125 years promoted education and equity for women and girls. The Springfield chapter has supported programs that provide graduate fellowships for women and prevent sex discrimination in hiring or promotion cases.

The weather that evening was ice, snow and record cold, but over 150 guests came to enjoy dessert and conversation at the Iles House. Lit by candlelight, the House looked out toward trees glistening with ice, and for a moment one could imagine a winter night in 1881.

Pictures by Dick Hart.