Feast your eyes on Victorian Thanksgiving at David Davis Mansion
site presents festive Thanksgivings of the 1870s, along with special
look at the holiday from servants' point of view
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[October 29, 2013]
BLOOMINGTON -- "The Blessings of
the Table: Thanksgiving at Clover Lawn," a re-creation of the
festive Thanksgiving celebrations of the 1870s, will be featured
Nov. 1-17 at the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site, with a
special dramatic presentation on Saturday, Nov. 2.
The mansion will be decorated for Thanksgiving during the first half
of the month, displaying the bountiful foods, family celebrations
and charitable customs of the period. In addition to antique china
and rare silver, visitors will see the large variety of delicious
foods that were typical of a Victorian Thanksgiving celebration.
And on the first Saturday in November, the Davis Mansion will
present "A Bountiful Feast" from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This special event
gives visitors a unique opportunity to experience the servants'
perspective and visit nonpublic areas of the mansion.
The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site was built in the
1870s for U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Davis and his wife,
Sarah Davis was born in Massachusetts and brought to Illinois a
New England fondness for celebrating Thanksgiving. She invited
friends and family to her elegant home in Bloomington, where she
served a traditional feast of turkey, pumpkin pie and all the
Thanksgiving was the time of year when the dining room was as
magnificently decorated for the holidays as the parlor. Visitors
will feel as if they are immersed in a 19th-century feast for the
senses as the tour guide describes the tastes and aromas of Sarah's
favorite Thanksgiving foods.
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Regular tours of the Davis Mansion are free and open to the
public, and are offered Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4
p.m. The site will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, as well as
Nov. 11 for Veterans Day.
"The Blessings of the Table" and "A Bountiful Feast" are
co-sponsored by the David Davis Mansion Foundation and the Illinois
Historic Preservation Agency, which administers the David Davis
Mansion. Donations are always encouraged.
The historic site is located at 1000 Monroe Drive in Bloomington.
A donation of $4 for adults and $2 for children is suggested to
David Davis Mansion and
other Illinois historic sites open to the public.
[Text from file received from the
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency]