David Davis Mansion 2014 Calendar of Events
Watch for information on all upcoming events!
Roadways to the Past Bus Tour
They Came in Great Numbers... A Journey to Historic Nauvoo, Illinois
Tuesday, May 6
7:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
The David Davis Mansion Foundation invites you to explore the rich cultural, religious and political history of Nauvoo, Illinois. The Mormons settled in the community prior to their epic journey west, and Sarah Davis visited Nauvoo in 1844. Another group, the Icarians, established a Utopian society in Nauvoo after the Mormons departed. One of the Icarians was architect Alfred Piquenard, who later designed the David Davis Mansion in Bloomington.
Join us for a look at the place where passionate beliefs and community sensibilities collided in some of the more unusual chapters in the story of Illinois.
See the event flyer for more information and the registration form to be printed and mailed.
Champagne British Car Festival
9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Stroll the grounds of the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site and enjoy all makes and models of British vehicles. Free; donations welcome. Co-sponsored by: The Flat Lander British Car Owners Club, and the David Davis Mansion Foundation.
Glorious Garden Festival, Garden Walk
1 p.m. - 8 p.m.
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Take a self-guided tour of 10 spectacular, private gardens in Bloomington-Normal and visit the restored 1870s garden originally created by Sarah Davis on the grounds of the Davis Mansion. Tickets: $15 in advance, $18 the weekend of event, and $7 for children. The event benefits the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site. 2014 Sponsors: to be determined.
Tails and Paws Cruise-in for Shelter Pets
Saturday, June 28
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Enjoy a multitude of vehicles of all types and help shelter pets at the same time! Free; donations welcome. Co-sponsored by: The Car Community Automobile Club, and the David Davis Mansion Foundation.
Civil War Days
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Learn about the daily lives of Civil War soldiers and their families back home. The event includes something for everyone: traditional craft demonstrations, period vendors, children’s activities, heritage dancers, refreshments, musical performances, the Civil War “Generals, Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln re-enactors, encampments, & battles. Free; donations welcome. 2014 Sponsors: to be determined. 2013 Sponsors: David Davis Mansion Foundation, the Heritage Association of McLean County, and the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition, with the support of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation.
This event is part of the Lincoln's Festival in Bloomington. For more information about the Festival, go to http://www.lincolnsfestival.com/.
Antique Auto Exhibit
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
This outdoor exhibit of vintage automobiles showcases the early history of the car in America and features everything from Model Ts to SmartCars. (Judge Davis’s son owned an electric Cadillac, one of the first cars in Bloomington.) Free; donations welcome. Co-sponsored by: the McLean County Antique Auto Club and David Davis Mansion Foundation.
Cruise-In at the Mansion
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Anything is possible at this show, which features all types of wheeled vehicles. Free; donations welcome. Co-sponsored by: The Car Community Automobile Club and the David Davis Mansion Foundation.
Barn Quilt Heritage Trail McLean County Opening Event
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
The third-annual kick-off event for the BQHT project is open to the public and held on the grounds of the David Davis Mansion. Activities include the reading of original poems about the barn quilts, composed by local poets; an auction of painted wooden quilt squares; country music; a barn dance; picnic-style foods; and more. The Barn Quilt Heritage Trail is a celebration of McLean County’s agricultural heritage, quilting, local history, and the arts. The BHQT in McLean County currently includes 31 area barns or other farm buildings, each decorated with an 8 x 8-foot quilt square painted on plywood and mounted on the building’s walls. Free; donations welcome. Visit the website at: www.mcleancountybarnquilts.com, or look for McLean County Barn Quilts on Facebook.
2014 Sponsors: University of Illinois Master Gardeners in McLean County, COUNTRY Financial, Illinois Farm Bureau, GROWMARK, Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Barn Keepers, Corn Belt Energy and David Davis Mansion Foundation.
A Bountiful Feast
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
The servants are getting the Davis Mansion ready for guests while Bridget is busily preparing Thanksgiving dinner in the kitchen. Listen to the town gossip shared by Davis family members and friends while they feast upon a traditional meal of turkey, cranberry, and mincemeat pies in the dining room. Free; donations welcome. Sponsored by the David Davis Mansion Foundation.
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. - 8 p.m.
Enjoy an evening tour of three “Gilded-Age” mansions elegantly decorated in the holiday finery of yesteryear: The David Davis Mansion, Ewing Manor and a “Mystery Mansion.” Costumed guides, period music, and seasonal refreshments are featured. Ticket price includes shuttle bus service to all 3 sites: $12/person in advance; $15/person the day of the event. 2014 Sponsors: to be determined.
Christmas at Clover Lawn
November 28 - December 31
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Create holiday memories with your family by visiting the David Davis Mansion, all decked out for the holidays. Antique dolls and toys, spectacular evergreens, more than 18 decorated trees, and hundreds of 19th-century paper and glass ornaments turn the house and grounds into a Yuletide wonderland. Dining tables set with period silver and china, and platters of chocolate cockroaches and peppermint pigs, complete the fanciful Victorian setting. Visit the magical “Creature-Christmas” room, featuring hands-on activities for children. Free; donations welcome.
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