“Blessings of the Table” Victorian Thanksgiving Nov. 1-16 at David Davis Mansion
Living history program on November 2 will offer a servants’ view of an 1870s Thanksgiving

Send a link to a friend  Share

[October 28, 2019] 

“The Blessings of the Table: Thanksgiving at Clover Lawn,” a recreation of the festive Thanksgiving celebrations of the 1870s, will be featured November 1 – November 16 at the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site in Bloomington.

The Mansion will be decorated for Thanksgiving, and each day the bountiful foods, family celebrations and charitable customs of the period will be featured. In addition to the Mansion’s collection of antique china and rare silver, visitors will see the large variety of delicious foods that were typical of a Thanksgiving celebration in the Victorian age - a traditional feast of turkey, pumpkin pie, and all the trimmings. Thanksgiving was the time of year when the dining room was as magnificently decorated for the holidays as the parlor, and visitors will feel as if they are immersed in a 19th century feast.

This year’s Thanksgiving celebration at the Davis Mansion will also showcase a living history program “A Bountiful Feast” on Saturday, November 2 which will offer the servant’s perspective on this lavish Victorian holiday observance. This special live theatrical event will be offered from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on November 2.


[to top of second column]

The Davis servants were a major reason why Thanksgiving at the Davis Mansion was a treat for all the senses. “A Bountiful Feast” will give visitors a rare opportunity to experience Thanksgiving at the Mansion almost completely from the servants’ point of view.

It’s also a chance for visitors to relive a time when people produced and ate fresh, locally grown foods. While watching performers portraying the Davis family enjoying a traditional New England Thanksgiving feast, visitors will come across the household servants who are busily preparing Thanksgiving dinner for the family and gossiping about personal events in their own lives.

“The Blessings of the Table” and “A Bountiful Feast” are co-sponsored by the David Davis Mansion Foundation and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which administers the David Davis Mansion. Donations are always encouraged.

Regular tours of the Davis Mansion are free and open to the public, and are offered Wednesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The site will be closed on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays.

The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site, built in the 1870s for U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Davis and his wife, Sarah, is located at 1000 Monroe Drive in Bloomington.

[Illinois Department of Natural Resources]

Back to top