ways to enjoy the holidays at Davis Mansion
Historic site shows off Christmas
decorations starting Nov. 28, takes part in special tour Dec. 13
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[December 12, 2014]
Ill. – The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site offers two
different ways to enjoy the holidays this year. The mansion will
begin displaying its lavish Christmas decorations Nov. 28, and it
will also be part of a special tour of Bloomington mansions on Dec.
Tickets for the Dec. 13 tour – which also includes
Ewing Manor and a private “mystery mansion” – are on sale now. They
are $12 in advance and may be purchased at Casey’s Garden Shop, The
Garlic Press, Schnucks Supermarkets, the David Davis Mansion and
online at www.daviddavismansion.org. Tickets will be $15 the day of
Visitors can tour the homes from 2-5 p.m. or 5-8 p.m. A shuttle will
be available to carry people from mansion to mansion, where they’ll
enjoy special foods, beverages, seasonal music and costumed guides.
The David Davis Mansion offers a dazzling look at Victorian-era
Christmas traditions. It will feature the toys, foods and customs
common in the late 1800s. New this year will be a display of
Christmas gifts that were available from department stores when the
ritual of “Christmas shopping” was just getting started.
Fourteen sumptuously decorated trees will grace the mansion’s rooms,
each echoing a different theme of the times. A four-foot-tall
“feather” tree will sport the same kinds of ornaments featured in
several Christmas episodes of “Downton Abbey.”
Meanwhile, Ewing Manor – Bloomington’s only “castle” – takes
visitors back to the Edwardian era in the earliest years of the 20th
century. The private bedrooms and office once occupied by the Ewing
family have been completely restored and will be decorated for
Christmas. The Manor will be specially lighted outside during the
Funds raised by the tour will benefit the two historic homes and a
community charity chosen by the owner of the mystery mansion.
But people can also enjoy the David Davis Mansion decorations from
the day after Thanksgiving until Dec. 31. The “Christmas at Clover
Lawn” display is sponsored by the David Davis Mansion Foundation and
the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
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It is open for tours Wednesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
A donation of $4 for adults and $2 for children is suggested to help
support the mansion and other state historic sites.
The mansion is a 36-room, late-Victorian home built by Supreme Court
justice and Abraham Lincoln advisor David Davis. It was finished in
For the Dec. 13 tour, shuttle buses will transport visitors
continuously to all three mansions. Visitors may begin at the Davis
Mansion grounds at 1000 Monroe Drive, Bloomington, or in the St.
John’s Lutheran Church parking lot, 1617 E. Emerson Street,
Bloomington. Directions and maps to all three mansions will also be
available at Ewing Manor and the Davis Mansion.
For more information on the event, please call the David Davis
Mansion at (309) 828-1084 or visit www.ChristmasAtTheMansions.com.
Ewing Cultural Center is owned and operated by Illinois State
University Foundation. The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site
is administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
[Chris Wills, Illinois Historic