Christmas at Clover Lawn
Nov. 29 – Dec. 29, 2013
9am – 4pm
(Closed December 25 and January 1)
The David Davis Mansion is lavishly decorated for Christmas and open for free public tours during the entire month of December - from the day after Thanksgiving through the 29th of December. Visitors will be able to view authentic Victorian-era Christmas decorations, including the same kinds of ornaments that have been featured on the Downton Abbey Christmas tree during several Christmas episodes of the popular PBS television series.
Visitors will also be able to use a special Holiday History Pass to visit the David Davis Mansion, and to attend the Christmas activities at the McLean County Museum of History free of charge. Visitors may enter their holiday passes into a door prize drawing and the winner will receive a special prize. Daily tours will be given during the site’s normal operating hours, Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Mansion will be closed Wednesday, December 25th, and Wednesday, January 1st.
Christmas at the Mansions
December 14, 2013
2-5pm OR 5-8pm
A rare treat will be offered on Saturday, December 14, when three of Bloomington-Normal's historic mansions will feature one afternoon and evening of holiday tours and shuttle service for one low price! Mansions this year will include David Davis Mansion, a Mystery Mansion, and Ewing Manor - Bloomington-Normal's only "castle" -- where the private office and bedrooms of the Ewing family will be open to the public for the first time!
TICKETS ARE SOLD OUT
Did you miss the Christmas at the Mansions tour?
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 at 1617 E. Emerson Street, Bloomington, which is across the street from Ewing Manor.
SPECIAL NOTE: A bit of Downton Abbey will be on display at the David Davis Mansion this year. The Christmas tree in the Davis Mansion's dining room will be covered with the same type of rare, imported, German-made Christmas ornaments that have been featured on the Downton Abbey tree during the Christmas episodes of the hit PBS television series. Intricate, hand-painted, glass ornaments imported from Germany and sold by a small company in England, were handpicked to appear on the award-winning show.
The Davis Mansion Gift Shop has purchased from the same British business approximately $2,000 worth of these rare ornaments for exhibit in the mansion during the 2013 Christmas tours. According to the company's owner, "These decorations are all hand-crafted and each one is a fine work of art in its own right. Downton bosses purchased around 1,000 of the festive trimmings, including miniature birds and figurines, because they are exactly the same as those used in 1919 - the year when the drama's Christmas specials were set. The show's producers went to great lengths to make sure everything was as authentic as possible."
The Davis Mansion's Christmas decorations are also featured in the 2013 holiday issue of Victorian Homes, a national publication devoted to the history, preservation, decoration and construction of Victorian homes.
Davis Mansion and Ewing Manor will be festooned with vintage Christmas decorations and will feature special Christmas foods and beverages. Davis Mansion will offer a choice of tasty Christmas treats donated by Schnucks, Lancaster's, Great Harvest Bread Company, and The Garlic Press. Two Blokes and a Bus will be parked on the grounds of Ewing Manor and will be selling food to visitors during the evening.
The Davis Mansion tour will also feature seasonal period music and guides in vintage costume who will show visitors what a typical Victorian Christmas celebration was like when the Davis family lived there. Ewing Manor will feature theatrical skits about the life of the late Hazle Buck Ewing, the manor’s original owner who lived there from 1929 until her death in 1969. She bequeathed the residence to the Illinois State University Foundation, with the stipulation that the manor should serve as a center for promoting intercultural understanding.
Christmas at the Mansions is a fundraising event benefitting the David Davis Mansion Foundation, Ewing Manor, and a community charity designated by the owners of the mystery mansion. The David Davis Mansion Foundation will use the funds raised to help keep the Davis Mansion open to the public and to provide new educational programs and support historic preservation and interpretation. Ewing Manor will use its funds to support education and preservation efforts at the Manor.
Supporting sponsors for the 2013 event are: Commerce Bank, StarNet Digital, and WJBC AM1230 and FM93.7. Corporate sponsors are Illinois Vein Specialists, Bridgestone-America’s Tire Operations, LLC, Party Palace Rental, and Nicor Gas – An AGL Resources Company. Signature Sponsor: Robert J. Lenz, Attorney.
For more information on the December 14, 2013 tours, please visit or call the David Davis Mansion at (309) 828-1084. Also find Judge David Davis on Facebook.
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