David Davis Mansion 2014 Calendar of Events
Watch for information on all upcoming events!
A Bountiful Feast
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Free. Donations always welcome.
During this on-going, day-long presentation, costumed storytellers portray the Irish servants who worked for the David Davis family in their 1870’s Victorian mansion. Come any time during the hours of the event and…
- Talk with the maids as they rush to complete their chores on a busy Thanksgiving Day.
- Watch while the Davis family members and friends enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving feast – with all the trimmings!
- Listen to Bridget, the cook, as she gives the Magee Range a workout while preparing food for the family and servants.
- But be careful, or you may wind up helping with the chores before your visit is over!
Thanksgiving at Clover Lawn
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sarah Davis brought the traditional Thanksgiving celebration to Bloomington, and the tour features the bountiful foods, family celebrations and charitable customs that were popular during her New England childhood. Free; donations welcome. Sponsored by the David Davis Mansion Foundation.
Christmas at the Mansions
2 p.m. - 5 p.m. OR 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Tickets: $12 in advance beginning Nov. 1st
$15 day of event
A rare treat is being offered the evening of Saturday, December 13 when three of Bloomington-Normal’s historic mansions – Ewing Manor, the David Davis Mansion, and a Mystery Mansion (a private residence) – will feature holiday tours with free shuttle bus transportation. Funds raised will benefit the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site, Ewing Manor, and a community charity of the Mystery Mansion owner’s choice. The Davis Mansion and Ewing Manor will be festooned with vintage Christmas decorations. Special foods, beverages, seasonal music and costumed guides will set the mood for a holiday celebration.
Ewing Manor – Bloomington’s only “castle” – Visitors will be able to step back in time to the Edwardian era when there were horses in the home’s stable and a vintage automobile the Manor’s garage. The private bedrooms and office once occupied by the Ewing family have been completely restored and will be decorated for Christmas. The Manor will be specially lighted outside during the evening tours. Ewing Manor is located at 48 Sunset Rd, Bloomington.
David Davis Mansion - Visitors will be able to view authentic Victorian –era Christmas decorations, including the same kinds of ornaments that were featured on the Downton Abbey Christmas tree during several Christmas episodes. The Mansion will feature toys, foods, customs and traditions of Christmas in the 1870’s through 1910. New this year will be a display of Christmas gifts that were available to purchase from department stores, such as Selfridge’s. The custom of giving purchased gifts at Christmas, rather than handmade articles, reflects the beginning of the consumer era and the start of the ritual of “Christmas shopping”.
Shuttle buses will transport visitors continuously to all three mansions. Visitors may begin their tour by parking either on the Davis Mansion grounds at 1000 Monroe Drive, Bloomington, or in the St. John’s Lutheran Church parking lot, 1617 E. Emerson St, Bloomington. Directions and maps to all three mansions will also be available at Ewing Manor and the Davis Mansion.
Visitors may tour the homes on Saturday, December 13 from either 2 to 5pm or 5 to 8pm. Tickets are $12 per person beginning November 1st and may be purchased at Casey’s Garden Shop, The Garlic Press, Schnucks Supermarkets, the Visitors Center at the David Davis Mansion, or online by clicking here.
Tickets will be $15 the day of the event. For more information on the event, please call the David Davis Mansion at (309) 828-1084 or visit ChristmasAtTheMansions.com. Also, find Judge Davis on Facebook. Ewing Cultural Center is owned and operated by Illinois State University Foundation. The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site is administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
Christmas at Clover Lawn
November 28 - December 31
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Wednesday - Saturday
The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site will be lavishly decorated for Christmas and open for free public tours November 28 – December 31. Fourteen sumptuously decorated trees – count them!! – will grace the Mansion’s rooms, each echoing a different theme of the times.
Visitors will be able to view authentic Victorian–era Christmas decorations, including the same kinds of ornaments that were featured on the Downton Abbey Christmas tree during several Christmas episodes of the popular PBS television series. The Mansion will feature toys, foods, customs and traditions of Christmas in the 1870’s through 1910.
New this year will be a display of Christmas gifts that were available to purchase from department stores, such as Selfridge’s. The custom of giving purchased gifts at Christmas, rather than handmade articles, reflects the beginning of the consumer era and the start of the ritual of “Christmas shopping”.
Daily tours will be given Wednesday through Saturday, 9am to 4pm. A donation of $4 for adults and $2 for children is suggested to help keep the Mansion and other State Historic Sites open.
“Christmas at Clover Lawn” is sponsored by the David Davis Mansion Foundation and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site is administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. For more information, call the Mansion Visitors Center at 309-828-1084.
Watch for more details on these events as they get nearer. For more information, contact the David Davis Mansion at (309) 828-1084.
Prologue to Presidency: Abraham Lincoln on the Illinois Eighth Judicial Circuit
Funded by a total of $33,000 in grants from several organizations, this is the first of such major exhibits to be created in the local Lincoln legacy programs, and is housed in the Lincoln-era barn on the grounds of the David Davis Mansion. The project is sponsored by the former Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission of McLean County as part of the celebration of the Lincoln Bicentennial. The exhibit development was also supported by the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition. The Heritage Association of McLean County is working with the Davis Mansion staff and Foundation to promote the exhibit and create related educational programs and special events. For more information, contact the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site at (309) 828-1084.
Looking for Lincoln and Davis
Special exhibits and educational programs related to Abraham Lincoln and David Davis are part of a statewide tourism program. Call (309) 828-1084 for more information.
Victorian History Program and Tour
Presented by The Tea Ladies, Inc.
Join The Tea Ladies for any of several entertaining and factual Victorian programs presented in the formal parlor of the David Davis Mansion. Programs are presented in Victorian costume by Nancy Perzo and Karen Patton. For further information on available programs, scheduling, and cost, contact Nancy Perzo at (309) 827-2200 and visit The Tea Ladies website