Stories from the Big House

20 December 2011

Holiday Lights!

Ornaments hang from the
Grand Staircase at the
Executive Mansion
This year the Hegeler Carus Mansion was invited to participate in the Historic Christmas at the Illinois’ Executive Mansion in Springfield.  The Governor's Mansion features historic flair once again this holiday season with decorations provided by Illinois museums and historic sites. 

The  Hegeler Carus Tree
in the Executive Mansion
Dining Room
The Executive Mansion is open for the public to see the decorations every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 3:30 p.m., and every Saturday from 9:30 to 11 a.m.  

Historic Christmas at the Mansion 2011” features 21 unique trees decorated by staff and volunteers from Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Dana-Thomas House, Old State Capitol, Vachel Lindsay Home, Elijah Iles House, Lincoln Home, Springfield Art Association – Edwards Place, and Pasfield House, all in Springfield.

Our Springfield Tree
is decorated with photos
of the Family, the Mansion,
ornaments, beautiful fabrics,
and mini Cricket magazines.

From other parts of Illinois are Lincoln’s New Salem near Petersburg; David Davis Mansion in Bloomington; Governor Duncan Mansion in Jacksonville; Quincy Museum; Hegeler Carus Mansion in LaSalle; Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville; Bishop Hill; Carl Sandburg State Historic Site in Galesburg; Bryant Cottage in Bement; Lincoln Log Cabin near Charleston;  Old Lincoln Courthouse and Museum in Beardstown; and Central Illinois Decorative Artists. 

You can visit many of these locations on the Historic Homes of Illinois website, and plan tours based on your location.
The Hegeler Carus Tree
with the Bishop Hill tree
in the background

The Executive Mansion trees were decorated by the volunteers November 25, 26 and 28 to prepare for the first public showing on November 29. 

Dried materials from the Executive Mansion gardens complement the decorated trees. 

Parlor Tree at
The Hegeler Carus
Back home at the Hegeler Carus Mansion we are decked out for Victorian Holiday.  Our grand tree in the Parlor was decorated by some of our dedicated volunteers.  New swags were made for the mantles by our volunteers. 
This year we also added flameless candles from Batteries and Things in all of the windows and placed throughout the house to provide ambiant light for our holiday tours, parties and events.  A fireplace insert for use in the main hall was donated for the Christmas Season by Maze Lumber of Peru.

New Mantle Swag, Flameless
Candles and Fireplace
The Hegeler Carus Mansion is open for tours Wednesday through Sunday at noon, 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm.  There is a special evening tour on December 23.  Call (815) 224-5982 to make a reservation.  Check the website for holiday hours

01 December 2011

You are cordially invited

Edward and Camilla Hegeler
played by
Steve Seaborn and Maryhelen Bidasio
The year is 1899 and you are cordially invited to the home of Edward and Camilla Hegeler for our annual Christmas party.
This year's party promises to be great fun!

We have parlor games, music and a toast to the new century!

We have some wonderful guests visiting us this year from all over America and several friends are joining us from Germany!
Chad Brokaw as Paul Carus
Meridith Donohue as Mary Hegeler Carus
Our daughter Mary and her husband Dr. Paul Carus will co host this party with us this year.

Our guest list already includes:
Ida McKinley
Washington, DC
played by Carol Pratt

Karl Benz
of Ladenburg, Germany
Played by Dick Dorsch

Bertha Benz
of Ladenburg, Germany
Played by Kelly Klobucher
William LeBaron Jenney
of Chicago
played by Ken Ficek

Sarah Winchester
of San Jose, CA
played by Sandee Donahue
Lydia Moss Bradley
of Peoria, IL
play by Helga Interrante
Louis Comfort Tiffany
of New York
Played by John Graham

Frances Hodgeson Burnett
of Long Island New York
played by Sue Graham

Charles Gunther
of Chicago
Played by John Byrne
Madame Curie
of France
Played by Kimberly Maack

A few tickets remain for Thursday 1 December, Friday 2 December, Sunday 3 December.  Call Heather at (815) 224-5895 to reserve your space.  Tickets will not be available at the door.