CANDLELIGHT IN THE 170-YEAR-OLD
TIMOTHY P. GARFIELD INN DECEMBER 3&4
One can find in Campton Township the modern and the traditional December season as the wonderment of light and music can be enjoyed on Saturday and Sunday December 3 and 4, 3-7 pm.
Many are aware of the modern light show and electronic music that accompany the holiday decorations of a private home located off Rt. 38 and Anderson Road but odds are, few have made the connection that off Rt. 38 and Garfield Road a historic display of candlelight and live traditional music on hammer dulcimer has been a 37 year tradition many have frequented to start their holiday season.
Discovering the similarities and differences of 170 years of marking yearís end just 3 miles apart in the rural countryside can be had by visiting Garfield Farm and Inn Museum. When Timothy Garfield ran his home as a country inn for weary travelers in 1846, beckoning candlelight and a fiddlerís tunes muffled by the innís thick brick walls promised relief and celebration for just surviving the cold winterís roads for travelers of all types.
Today, leaving oneís car, one walks along the candle lighted path towards the warm inn drinking deep of an experience people of 170 years ago also knew, stepping down from their stagecoach, climbing the front steps of the then newly opened inn. The soft glow of candlelight that throws fanciful shadows upon the walls as the ballroom dulcimer music drifts down the stairs to the taproom and ladiesí parlor, recalls deep seated ancestral memories of those who lived in such times.
The simplicity of celebration and the quiet reserve with which these sons and daughters of New England Puritans held for actual Christmas Day contrasts to modern life as the last six weeks of the year is a mad scramble by merchants to make most of their yearís revenues and party after party can confuse the significance at hand.
Garfield Farm and Inn Museumís Candlelight also features a bake sale with interpretive displays in the museumís Atwell Burr House relocated to the farm 25 years ago to serve as a visitorsí center and museum headquarters. On Sunday afternoon from 3- 5 pm Dr. Steven Smunt and The Century Air Minstrels will perform traditional American and Irish seasonal music in the Burr House.
Dona and Dan Benkert and the Scantliní Reunion will perform both days in the brick inn on dulcimers and penny whistle with limberjacks for the rhythmically inclined of all ages. Visitors will be offered spice tea and tea breads.
So travelling the former St.Charles ĖOregon Road that became Lincoln Highway known as ILL Rt. 38, just a 3 mile distance can transport one between life of today and 170 years ago, from computerized symphonies and LED displays to live instrumental performances, interacting with museum friends and visitors, all bathed in a golden glow of flickering candlelight.
The hundreds of volunteers and the thousands of donors that make each year possible to transport young and old alike to a time long gone for just a few hours makes the American experience come alive of life once lived on the Illinois prairies.
Donations are most appreciated and opportunities for museum membership, purchases of baked goods or the childrenís book, Angie of Garfield Farm all help this donation supported project now in its 39th year. Garfield Farm & Inn Museum is a 375 acre historically intact former 1840s Illinois prairie farmstead and country inn that is being restored to serve as an 1840s participatory living history museum.
The museum is located 5 miles west of Geneva, IL off Ill Rt. 38 on Garfield Road in Campton Hills, IL. For information, call 630 584-8485 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.