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Annual Candlelight Reception Dec. 6-7

     Take time away from the chaotic rush of the holiday season and travel down the country road to Garfield Farm Museum on Saturday and Sunday, December 6th & 7th for its annual Candlelight Reception from 3-7 pm. Interpreters wearing period clothing will share with guests what life was like for people during the height of the horse and wagon era.

     Candlelight at Garfield Farm Museum recalls an era when the coming of the year’s end was not a two month long celebration filled with commercial sales and hype. Enduring the onset of winter and the challenges of the road in unheated wagons and stagecoaches meant a speck of light in the distance on a dark winter’s evening, promised relief to weary travelers. That speck of light meant warmth by a fire, a hot supper, and a mug of hard cider to wash away the day’s tedium and cold. The jostled body and bone jarred spirit from every bump in a frozen, rutted road could seek respite in a feather bed or on a straw tick before another day of travel began.  For the innkeeper and his family, new faces and their news from afar provided entertainment in an era when conversation was still an art and one’s word was one’s reputation.

    It is this spirit so foreign in today’s world that the glow of candlelight, the sounds of dulcimer in the inn’s ballroom, the aroma of spiced tea give the modern visitor respite from all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Just taking time to let one eyes adjust to the soft lighting, exchanging greetings and banter with the museum’s hospitable volunteers, cause pause to wonder how we who live by the nanosecond could ever survive a slower paced time, a time when a wood burning stove was a high form of technology.

     It is this escape, the beauty of a candlelit pathway on a starry night or reflections off a snow frosted window that set a scene so foreign to our modern day world.  On Saturday and Sunday, the Scantlin’ Reunion will perform traditional 19th century dulcimer music at the inn and Dr. Steven Smunt and his friends will perform at the Atwell Burr House Sunday afternoon from 3:30 – 5:30 pm. A bake sale is planned and volunteers will be demonstrating fireplace cooking in Burr House.

    The open house is a favorite event of many museum members and is an opportunity for new visitors to learn about this 37 year old effort to save and preserve the site as an 1840s living history farm and inn museum. Donations are welcome to help defray the cost of the candles and refreshments.     The 375-acre Garfield Farm Museum is the only historically intact former 1840s Illinois prairie farmstead and teamster inn being restored by donors and volunteers from 3500 households in 37 states as an 1840s working farm museum. Garfield Farm Museum is located 5 miles west of Geneva, IL off ILL Rt.38 on Garfield Road. For information call (630) 584-8485 or email