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New Christmas event added at David Davis Mansion

After initial tour sells out, Davis Mansion joins Ewing Manor to host additional holiday tour Dec. 19

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[December 14, 2013]  BLOOMINGTON The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site and Bloomington's only "castle" are offering a special holiday tour on Dec. 19. This tour was added after tickets for a three-home tour this weekend completely sold out.

The David Davis Mansion and Ewing Manor, along with a "mystery" mansion, are part of a three-home tour on Saturday. Tickets for that event were snapped up quickly, so organizers arranged the additional tour.

The special tour showcases two of Bloomington-Normal's most spectacular homes. On Thursday, visitors may tour the David Davis Mansion from 1 to 5 p.m. and then tour Ewing Manor from 5 to 8 p.m. No tickets are necessary. The suggested donation is $10 per person.

Proceeds from the event will support educational programming and historic preservation of the two homes.

The Davis family's dining room tree will be covered with the same kind of rare, German-made ornaments featured on "Downton Abbey" during Christmas episodes of the hit PBS series.

The David Davis Mansion is a 36-room, late-Victorian home built by David Davis, a Supreme Court justice and Abraham Lincoln adviser. The home was finished in 1872.

Ewing Manor was built some 50 years later by businessman Davis Ewing and his wife, Hazle. It's designed in the Channel-Norman style that resembles French and English architecture of 1,000 years ago.

The Ewings' private bedrooms and office have been completely restored and will be shown to the public for the first time. Oil portraits of Hazle Buck Ewing and her mother will also be on exhibit for the first time.

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Visitors may begin their tour on Thursday by parking at the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site, 1000 Monroe Drive. After touring the Davis Mansion, visitors can drive to Ewing Manor and may park across from there in the St. John's Lutheran Church lot, 1617 E. Emerson St. Maps directing visitors to Ewing Manor will be available at the Davis Mansion.

For more information, call the David Davis Mansion, 309-828-1084, or visit www.daviddavismansion.org. David Davis Mansion can also be found on Facebook.

The Davis Mansion, at 1000 Monroe Drive in Bloomington, is operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. Regular tours are offered for free Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The site will be closed Dec. 25 for Christmas. A donation of $4 for adults and $2 for children is suggested to keep the Davis Mansion and other Illinois historic sites open to the public.

[Text from file received from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency]

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