Friday, November 24, 2006

Docents & DAR

On Saturday, Nov 17, the Iles House played host to two groups, the docents who provide guide and host services throughout the year, and the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Here the docents discuss their duties and schedules over lunch. David Stevens (ivory sweater) provides advice and feedback.

Dick describes the Iles House as "Springfield's home," as it has rapidly become a gathering and meeting place for many historic-minded associations.

The DAR, descendants of ancestors who achieved American independence, has existed since the late 1800s. 2006 marks the 60th anniversary of the Caleb Hopkins chapter of central Illinois.

That eerie face in the silver tray is David Stevens. Pictures are by Dulany Sriner.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

From Springfield's Oldest House

To Yours

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

AIG Reception

On Nov 15, employees of AIG (American International Group) held a reception at Iles House. Over 50 attended the event, after a day of meetings at the Springfield office (former Franklin Life). Catering was by Augie's Front Burner of Springfield.

Several executives of AIG were present, along with managers from the Midwest region. On behalf of Iles House, Dick Hart welcomed the group and thanked AIG for the gift of a parking lot at Seventh and Cook.

Pictures and story by Dick Hart

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Vachel Lindsay

November 10 is the birthday of Vachel Lindsay. He was born in Springfield in 1879 and died there in 1931. He studied art in Chicago and New York and then traveled all over the USA, lecturing and reading his poems. He remains today Springfield's most famous writer.

An article in today's Journal-Register describes the recent discovery of a letter that Lindsay wrote in 1928 to Susan Wilcox, his English teacher at SHS. The letter passed to Elizabeth Graham and then to Jaqueline Jackson, and only by good luck recently came to light.

The letter praises Miss Wilcox for her work on a student literary magazine and admires the writers' names, which ranged ". . . from Portuguese to Lithuanian. I read back into the family histories of some of them, just from the names. The old Springfield names have a special thrill for me, even though none of them represent intimates."

Lindsay's letter has returned to the library of SHS. The picture above is of his wife, Elizabeth, and their children, all described in the Wilcox letter. An extensive collection of Lindsay manuscripts survives at Firestone Library, Princeton University.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Candlelight Tour

On October 27-28, Iles House hosted its Candlelight Tour, a repeat of the popular seasonal event held last year. With its rooms lighted with candles, the House takes on a glow that reminds visitors of the past.

About 250 visitors attended, many of them from outlying parts of Sangamon county. Here they view pictures that depict moving the House to its present site in 1998.

Iles House Foundation president Dave Barringer (white shirt) gives visitors an overview of the House purpose, to serve as a museum of Springfield history and to raise awareness of the need for historical preservation in central Illinois.

A group of volunteer guides help to interpret the House, and several of them wear period costumes from the 1840s, the ladies in wide hoop skirts and the gentlement in frock coats and top hats. Amid the glow of candles, long ago seems to come alive.

Pictures by Dulany Sriner