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Sitting Room

Tour Information and Visitor Services

  • Tours begin in the Visitor Center.
  • Visitors must cover their shoes with shoe covers when they enter the house. Shoe covers will be provided.
  • Cameras and video cameras are not allowed inside the Mansion; non-commercial, exterior photography is welcome. See Photographic Use Policy and Permit Application.
  • Strollers and backpacks may not be taken inside the Mansion; these items should be left in the visitor's locked vehicle. Bicycles should be locked and parked at the Visitor Center.
  • No food or beverages allowed inside the Mansion
  • No smoking inside the Mansion or in the Visitor Center; no smoking within 15 feet of the entrances to the Mansion and to the Visitor Center.

Visitor Services (All tours):

  • Public restrooms are available in the building north of the barn/stable
  • Free parking on site
  • The following are accessible to persons with disabilities:
    • Public restrooms
    • First floor of Mansion
    • Visitor Center
  • Site brochures in the following translations are available at the Visitor Center:
          Russian, German, French and Japanese.
  • Free brochures describing area restaurants, hotels, etc. are available in the Visitor Center

Regular Daytime Tours

Non-costumed guides conduct interpretive tours every half-hour between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday; each tour lasts approximately 45 minutes. A seventeen-minute video is shown prior to each tour (recommended for children in grades 4 and up). Reservations are required for groups of ten or more.

Docents use artifacts and stories about the Davis family to interpret the rich social and cultural history of America's western frontier from the 1850s through the 1880s. Specific themes include servant life, domestic life and technology at the dawn of the industrial age, family history (with a focus on children), and Victorian architecture. The mansion is a precursor of the modern homes and comfort systems that we take for granted today, and is an impressive reminder of the important role that Illinois played in the nation's history when Abraham Lincoln was President. The tour gives human shape and drama to the technological, architectural, cultural, social and aesthetic history of the Gilded Age.

Donations: Tours are free, but a donation of $4/adult and $2/child (under 17) is suggested.

Please note: Regular tours are not available when the mansion is closed (Monday-Tuesday or on specified holidays).

There is a policy in place regarding photography for commercial use. Click here to read the policy and download the permit application form.

Special Tours (fees required)

Motor coach groups, clubs, businesses and organizations may reserve the David Davis Mansion for special tours and events when the mansion is otherwise closed. See the Catered Meetings & Events [link to Catered Events page] page for more detailed information. The Visitor Center and first floor of the Mansion are accessible to persons with disabilities. Reservations and payment of a fee are required.

To facilitate the tour presentation, please notify the mansion staff at least 48 hours in advance if there are any major changes in the size of the group. To cancel your group tour: please call (309) 828-1084 at least 48 hours in advance of the scheduled tour.

Fee Schedule: $5 per person, ($100 minimum)

The following special programs are available:

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