Tea in Angie's Garden & Book Signing in LaFox
Join author Ann Brack Johnson on Saturday May 30 for a book signing of “Angie of Garfield Farm” at the 1860s homestead of Angeline Garfield Harvey at 1N370 LaFox Road in LaFox , IL. An introduction to the history of Angeline Garfield’s adulthood home will be given by Donna Neiler, Garfield Heritage Society president. A brief history of LaFox and its 19th century relationship to the Timothy Garfield 19th century farmstead will follow.
Mrs. Brack- Johnson will do a selected reading and sign copies of “Angie of Garfield Farm”, fictional account of area life in 1847.
This is a gracious and unusual opportunity on the part of Mrs. Neiler to offer her garden to help readers connect to the historical continuity of life in the LaFox and Campton Hills area. The book focuses on the youngest daughter of Timothy Garfield who bought hisfarm in 1841 from settler Sam Culbertson. Establishing a country inn, Garfield and his wife Harriet prospered from farming and innkeeping.
Using places and names of 1847, author Brack-Johnson created a tale of life seen through the eyes of 9 year old Angie Garfield who is anxious to assume adult responsibilities with childlike wonderment.
The 1840s were an era of a young America as the prairies of Illinois were being turned into the nation’s breadbasket. The promise of the new and excitement of a nation is reflected in young Angie’s anticipation of her first dance her father is holding in his new brick inn on the well travelled St. Charles - Chicago Road. However Angie soon learns of responsibilities that come with growing up both for her and her community at large.
Although the account is an imagined tale, the known facts of Garfield Farm, its family and neighbors are incorporated into the story reflecting the era. The book is a serious attempt to capture and encourage the next generation?s interest in the region’s history.
Written to be enjoyed by all ages, it opens a dialogue for parent and child to learn about life before the coming of the railroad, an era whose promise was tarnished by the institution of slavery and a growing national divide.
Angeline would marry John Harvey and build their home and farm in the then 8 year old railroad village of LaFox. They farmed and had children whose descendants by the names of Scott and Divine still live in the region. Ed Harvey, a son, would help his widowed aunt, Hannah Mighell Garfield to have a large dairy barn built at the Garfield Farm in 1906.
Visitors will be offered refreshments and a donation of $5 per adult and $2 per child under 13 years of age will go to the ongoing effort to preserve Garfield Farm Museum.
Books will be available. Reservations may be made by calling (630) 584-8485 or e- mailing firstname.lastname@example.org as space is limited.