David Davis Mansion

1000 Monroe Drive, Bloomington, IL


Nestled in a quiet neighborhood east of downtown Bloomington sits David Davis Mansion, a grand 36-room Italianate Gilded Age home, completed in 1872 for U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Davis and his wife Sarah. Built on the 200-acre working farm Davis purchased from Jesse Fell in 1843, Clover Lawn, as Sarah christened it, was the most up-to-date home in Bloomington at the time, boasting hot running water, indoor plumbing, and a staff of Irish immigrants who provided household and field help. 

Sarah Davis used simple arrangements of evergreens to decorate her 1870s Victorian home. By the time the Davis' son George inherited the house, Americans were celebrating Christmas in a different stylistic manner. 


Today, festooned with evergreens and antique toys, and Christmas trees in every room, the house gives nod to the best of both eras. You will no doubt recognize many things Americans have adopted throughout the years as beloved Christmas traditions, including chestnuts on the fire, boughs of holly and sprigs of mistletoe, a wassail bowl, a cricket on the hearth, and a green glass pickle hidden in each Christmas tree!


To learn more about the David Davis Mansion, visit our main website at https://www.daviddavismansion.org.