Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fall Candlelight Tours

Elijah and Malinda Iles welcomed about 400 guests into their home for candlelight tours on the evenings of Oct 26 & 27.

Visitors were guided throughout the home, learning about its architecture and construction, its many famous guests, its various owners as well as its two relocations and the efforts made over the years for its preservation.

Dave Stevens uses his cane to point out the many features and fine details of the house.

Visitors ascend the stairway to the upper story to tour the bedrooms and see more period furniture and antiques from the Barringer Collection and other donors.

Dave Barringer guides a group of visitors through the upper story. After touring the historic areas of the house, guests were invited to the basement for fresh baked cookies, hot chocolate and cider.

Photos by Logan McMinn

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

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fall Festivals

This fall has been festive for the
Iles House Foundation
and its growing circle of friends.

Oct. 11: Springfield Polka Club dances at a nursing home
and holds a pizza party at the Iles House.

Oct 15: Mark McDonald, host of Illinois Story on WSEC,
films a segment on SS House for airing Oct 18-22.
Here, he interviews R-Lou Barker about early bone china.

Oct 19: a reception at Iles House to benefit the SS House.
Kerry Franke readies the oyster bar for Betty Franke and Tom Bundy.
Tom is restoration director at the Strawbridge-Shepherd House.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Fall Work at SS House

With the arrival of fall, we have completed
Stage 1 of restoring the Strawbridge-Shepherd House.
Next, we must button down the house for winter
and raise funds for Stage 2.

Here, the fund-raising committee works at plans
for a large October Event. More news of that soon!

Ongoing work: replacing the roof with cedar shingles
and restoring the original shutters to the windows.
Note the classic Greek Revival look of the front face.

Our restoration contractor, Tom Bundy,
measures the original basement opening.

Also planned: extensive tree work to remove
dead or dying limbs. The trees are nearly
as old as the house!

All pictures by R-Lou Barker of Springfield.