Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

House Garden

As fall approaches, it's time to salute the
Iles House Garden, maintained by
Gary Lazar, the Master Gardener 
who has tended it in recent years.

The garden wraps around the rear of the House,
forming a graceful arc of grasses and flowers.

The boardwalk provides a view from many angles.
No better spot to walk or rest
Before winter comes around again.
Pictures by Dick Hart

Friday, August 28, 2009

Illinois Success Story

Photo by Marek Jochec
Great story in the New York Times about a family farm in Fairbury, IL.
Instead of raising large row-crops for agri-business harvest,
They are growing speciality produce for city restaurants.
Result is less abuse of land, better profits, more control of income.
Would love to see more of this in central Illinois!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer Time

Summer activities at Iles House include electing one board and painting others (on the porch, that is). Here are the board members for 2009-10, left to right:
Carolyn Oxtoby, Dave Barringer, Dave Stevens, Sue Campton, Treasurer, Curtis Mann, Secretary, Dave Steckel, Ed Mahoney, Al Eck, Sue Massie, Vice President, Kevin Lust, President, Dick Hart, Logan McMinn (Not pictured:  Will Howarth, Linda Denk, Bob Sherman.)

On June 14, 2009, volunteers painted the front porch of the Iles House. Left to right:  George Souther, Ron Orme, Logan McMinn, Tim Souther and Lary Stevens. In front, Sharon Stevens Robinson and two young ladies, Abby Stevens and Lilly Robinson.
If you'd like to volunteer to help at Iles House, call the number listed above.
Pictures and story by Dick Hart.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Abe Lincoln Observer

A new blog, the Abraham Lincoln Observer,
is now online. Written by Mike Kienzler,
metro editor of the State Journal-Register,
it features a "Springfield-centric" view
of our 16th president in today's popular culture. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Homeschool Network visit

On May 19, the Iles House hosted the St. Louis Homeschool Network.  53 students and some parents visited the House as a part of an outing to Springfield.

Students sign the guest register in the center hall.

Linda Garvert gives a tour of the southwest front room, often frequented by Abraham Lincoln.

David Stevens gives a tour of the northwest front room, showing an early Springfield glass bottle from the Barringer Collection.

Farrell Gay gives a tour of his Illinois Watch collection in the Museum of Springfield History.

Later the students went to for Washington Park for a picnic and tour of the Carrilon, then on to a tour of the Illinois State Museum. Susan Baenwald of St. Louis arranged the visit.

Pictures and story: Dick Hart

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Spring at SS House

A spring committee meeting at Strawbridge-Shepherd House.  Above, the executive committee members are seated on the south lawn. From left to right: Carol Dyson, R-Lou Barker, David Barrows, Sue Massie and Carolyn Oxtoby.

Professor William Siles of the UIS History department is an authority on 19th-century material culture. He was conducting his last class of the semester at the House.

Here, Prof. Siles and his class meet beside the summer kitchen, with a spring prairie view in the background.

We are making great progress on restoration of the House. Volunteers are always welcome. Call or write the Iles House Foundation at the addresses posted above.

Pictures and captions by Dick Hart

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Days of Mourning

Once again the Iles House will be draped in mourning
to honor the death of Abraham Lincoln.
He died 144 years ago this week.
The House will wear drapes from April 14 to May 5.
Iles House is open for tours Wed & Sat, 12 to 4 pm.
Update: see the Lincoln Memorial Diary at the NY Times.

Photo by Richard Hart

Sunday, April 12, 2009

This Place Matters

The National Trust for Historic Preservation invites you to tell about a place that matters through its This Places Matters campaign.  

The campaign helps people call attention to special places in their community before they are endangered -- the small, famous and infamous, and even some relatively obscure, that collectively represent the nation's cultural consciousness.

Simply visit 
www.PreservationNation.org/thisplacematters to download a This Place Matters sign, take a picture or make a video at the place that matters to you and post it to our slide show.  Don't have a picture?  Plant your flag on our This Place Matters Google map.

So celebrate a place you love, sound an alarm about a place that is threatened or just start a conversation about places that matter.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Hard Times

A story today in the New York Times
reports that the Museum of Funeral Customs,
located near the entrance to Oak Ridge Cemetery,
is having financial trouble and may close.

Friday, February 27, 2009

In Love with Lincoln?

The artist Maira Kalman has published in the New York Times a portfolio of drawings and texts designed to explain, in a whimsical fashion, her fascination with the life and character of Abraham Lincoln.

Some of the panels include a visit to Springfield and seeing Lincoln's tomb, meeting a Lincoln presenter, and eating at a Lincoln diner. Kalman has written and illustrated many children's books, and this project is part of her continuing series with the Times, "And the Pursuit of Happiness."

Monday, February 16, 2009

Presidents Day

On this Presidents Day, we recommend two pieces of reading: Lincoln Transcontinental: how writers from Germany, Japan, Liberia, and Hungary regard the influence of the 16th President; and The Shaping of America, on the evolving economic landscape of the USA. 

The first, from the New York Times, is a thoughtful rendering of Abraham Lincoln from foreign perspectives. The second, from Atlantic, is an article and interactive map on the current economic crisis, how long it will last, and what regions in the USA will be most affected. Main idea: look to places that generate patents.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lincoln Birthday Tours

The Elijah Iles House will be open on February 13-14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for tours and to share stories about Abraham Lincoln’s connections to the house, its owners and several household items of interest.  

A founder of Springfield, Elijah Iles hired Lincoln as a surveyor and lawyer, but Iles is best known as Lincoln’s captain in the Black Hawk War.

Robert Irwin, a merchant-banker and second owner of the Iles House, was a personal friend of Abraham Lincoln. At his home Irwin entertained Lincoln, along with other notables of the day.  When he left Springfield for the presidency, Lincoln entrusted his finances to Irwin. 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Iles House Closed for Snowbird Season

Just like many of today's Springfieldians, Elijah Iles was a "snowbird" who wintered in Florida. For the remainder of the winter months, The Elijah Iles House will be available for events and tours by appointment only. Normal hours for public tours will resume in March. We look forward to seeing you in the Spring.