Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Magical Day

Old Settler's Day was a huge success, beyond everyone's dreams. More than 1,000 visitors attended the 4-hour gathering on Oct 20, a perfect fall day of clear skies and bright sunshine.

The visitors took away so many memories, from a horse and cart carrying riders along the prairie grass. . .

. . . to a concert of Civil War-era music by the Illinois Cavalry Band. Guests sat on straw bales before the Strawbridge-Shepherd House, its exterior newly restored and trimmed.

At Mrs. Shepherd's Pantry, volunteers sold donated pumpkins, preserves, pies and cakes. All proceeds will benefit phase 2 of the restoration, set to continue in 2008.

Big surprise of the day: arrival of the Shepherd Family, three generations from Knoxville, Iowa. They told stories about life in the house, described its rooms and furniture, and volunteered to provide more assistance in the future.

Years ago, Old Settlers Day was a tradition to honor those who settled in Springfield before the Winter of 1830-31. Several descendants of those pioneers attended yesterday and told their stories. All the organizers agree: it was a magical day, full of generosity and happiness, giving life once more to a bygone era.

Pictures by Dick Hart
Memories by R-Lou Barker

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