David Davis Mansion Foundation


Welcome to the David Davis Mansion!

The David Davis Mansion Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, incorporated in June 1986. Its mission is to help the Illinois Department of Natural Resources engage, enlighten and entertain visitors with the stories of the site, of the David Davis household, and of their special relationship with Abraham Lincoln and others. 

The Foundation's membership is comprised of mansion volunteers and citizens in communities throughout the nation who support the mansion through private fundraising efforts. Although the State of Illinois provides funding for day-to-day operations at the site, the Foundation plays an important role in several ways including:

  • Publicizing the site
  • Funding educational, volunteer and special events programs,
  • Fund raising for preservation, restoration and reconstruction at the site
  • Underwriting the cost of acquiring additional period furnishings, landscaping materials to further the site's restoration and to support Sarah's Garden

The Foundation's contributions have helped improve working conditions for staff and have enhanced the public's enjoyment of mansion programs and exhibits.


Foundation Information

Corporate Status Private, Not-for-Profit; 501 (c) (3)
Governance Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation (1986)
Total Membership 200+ paying memberships; 50 honorary memberships
Member Benefits Museum Shop discounts, invitations to members-only events, discounts on special events, Foundation newsletter

Board of Directors

An all-volunteer Board, comprised of members from the Mansion's corps of volunteers and members of the local community, is responsible for directing the work of the Foundation. Additionally, a corps of Ex Officio members serves with the Board.


Officers of the Board
President Lynda Straw
Vice President Dave Oloffson
Secretary Cindy Rustemeyer
Treasurer John Elterich

Other Board Members
Member at Large Linda Beard
Member at Large Eric Clevenger
Member at Large Kathe Conley
Member at Large Ellen Culver
Member at Large Barb Ely
Member at Large Sondra Findley
Member at Large Ronald Douglas Frazier
Member at Large Scott Myers
Member at Large Andrea Norton
Member at Large Alan Wilson
Member at Large David Wilson
Site Superintendent Jeff Saulsbery
Advisory Council Elizabeth D. Kater
Advisory Council Robert J. Lenz
Programs Coordinator/Gift Shop Mgr. Adrienne Huffman
Executive Director Sheri Brownfield
Research Historian Patricia Schley
Board Tenure

Three-year term, limit two terms in succession

Board Meetings

Monthly; General Membership meeting December

Standing Committees

Acquisitions, Financial, Fund Raising, Nominating, Planning, Educational, Programming, Public Relations, Special Events, History

Major Projects

  • Restoration of Sarah Davis's 1870s Garden
  • Microfilming of Davis Family Papers and publishing them on the web, making them accessible to both scholars and the public
  • Incremental restoration of the 1850s Lincoln-era barn; roof restoration completed fall 2017, new HVAC system completed early 2018; windows restoration in progress spring 2018 
  • Looking for Lincoln Tourism Program

Fund Raising Projects

  • Glorious Garden Festival Garden Walk
  • Specialized Auto Exhibits
  • The Judge's Jubilee
  • Christmas at the Mansions
  • Special Evening Tours/Receptions


  • Guide and host Tours
  • Staff Tour Office
  • Participate in special presentations
  • Help prepare for holidays and special events
  • Work in Sarah's Garden


  • Clover Lawn: The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site. Pub: David Davis Mansion Foundation
  • Home for the Holidays: A Victorian Christmas Cookbook. Pub: David Davis Mansion
  • Sarah's Garden. Steve McDaniel, Horticultural Historian. Pub: David Davis Mansion
  • Managing Clover Lawn - From Ingredients to Enjoyment: A Guide to the Kitchen of Sarah Davis and the Life that Filled It. Sarah Vales. Pub: David Davis Mansion

David Davis Mansion

1000 Monroe Drive
Bloomington, Illinois 61701

Contact Us

Phone: (309) 828-1084
Email: [email protected]

Hours of Operation

Wednesday - Saturday
9am - 4pm