House holiday events December 7th and 14th
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[December 13, 2019]
Come see Springfield's oldest surviving house
in a different light during the annual holiday events scheduled for
the Elijah Iles House on December 7 and 14. The events are free and
open to the public, but donations are welcomed.
Iles House Candlelight Tours will be
held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 7. Luminaria will light
the outside of the historic home, while candle and lamp light will
provide illumination inside, just as in the 1840s. Listen to live
acoustic music by the Burr Oak String Band and enjoy hot spiced
apple cider and cookies in the Farrell and Ann Gay Museum of
Springfield History, which features an exhibit of Illinois Watch
Company wristwatches and other company memorabilia. The house's
fully decorated interior will help demonstrate how Christmas was
celebrated in the 19th century and how it evolved from a relatively
minor holiday into a major American celebration, with four different
time periods represented in the rooms – 1840s, 1850s, 1870s, and
Visit the house again on Saturday, December 14 from 1 to 4 p.m. for
“An Historic Christmas.” Special tours of the fully decorated house
will show how the Christmas holiday celebration grew and evolved
during the 19th century. Kids can hear a live reading at intervals
of an 1866-vintage Christmas story, complete with Thomas Nast
illustrations. The duet Peaches and Bacon will provide live music,
cookie decorating will be offered for children, and hot cider and
cookies will be served.
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Following “An Historic Christmas” the Iles House Candlelight
Tours return on Saturday, December 14 from 5 to 8 p.m. with period outdoor and
indoor illumination, decorations, and refreshments.
The circa 1837 Elijah Iles House at 628 South Seventh Street is the oldest
surviving house in Springfield and is open Wednesday and Saturday from April
through October for public tours. The handicapped-accessible home hosts many
programs and events for the public, and may also be rented for special events.
The house's historic main level is furnished as would have been typical in 1840s
Springfield. Because of the house's impressive architecture and rich history, it
was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. Free parking is
available on Seventh Street and in the Iles lot on the southeast corner of Cook
For more information about the Elijah Iles House, visit www.ileshouse.org or
call (217) 492-5929.