On this All Hallow's Eve I will begin with the most important, though not the most scarey. Last night I attended a fund raiser at the Inn at 835 for the Historic Preservation Fund. It was exciting to hear that plans are in the works for a very well-designed Historic Trails through Springfield, Illinois. It will help to offer a connectedness for visitors between our many beautiful historical sites.
Of course, the Inn at 835 is a marvel of restoration, and it was a pleasure to visit it for the Gala (http://www.innat835.com/). Plus the food is very good too.
Now for more spooky updates.......
The Halloween season would not be complete without offering a pre-show scare at Clayville's Haunted House (http://www.clayville.org). Fortunately the night was clear, and cold, and the attendance was good for the night that I was there.
I even started off by scaring some of the visitors by just getting into costume!
One young lady let out a shriek when she saw something black moving in the shadows. I didn't spoil the moment by telling her it was just me pulling on a warm, black, robe. And, at least, that was not my only shivery offering - the stories gave a few more.
I also had great fun by telling ghost stories at Montvale Estates last Friday. The seniors were really into the spirit of the holiday.
I finished out the Halloween stories at the Dana Thomas House (http://www.dana-thomas.org/). They were again offering their Halloween event, which included docents telling of actual ghostly occurrences, and with me telling more traditional tales.
It was a great evening, and one of the most lovely venues I have been in, since I was situated in the gallery. The audiences were steady and engaged. While I was delighted to have so many interested in my stories I was even more happy to see so many visiting such a intriguing house.
I guess the spirits were content with my stories as I had no unusual visitations, but I know that the docents have had plenty of stories to share with the visitors. Someday I hope I can hear some of those stories too!
And since it is All Hallow's Eve and the discussion has been of ghost stories it doesn't seem fair not to offer one here......
Two men were on a commuter train, with one gentleman reading, and the other looking out the window.
Finally the reader gave a snort of disgust, and said, "I can't believe anyone would believe in such drivel about ghosts!"
His seat partner said, "I take you don't believe in ghosts?"
"No, of course not," answered the reader.
"Too bad," said his companion, who promptly vanished.
History has been my focus for the last month and a half, particularly since I have been a docent in training on Wednesdays at the Elijah Iles House (http://www.ileshouse.org/). I have really loved being able to immerse myself into the history of the house, and to help support it.
Late in September there was the History Meets the Arts for downtown Springfield. The opening, arranged by Sangamon Historical Society (http://sangamonhistory.org/) and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum (http://www.alplm.org/), offered a viewing of Alison Davis Wood's documentary, "Lincoln: Prelude to the Presidency." This was a fascinating look at Lincoln as a circuit rider. It showed how his years as a circuit lawyer provided him both the training and the network of supporters to led to the presidency.
For the first time ever I was able to attend U of I - Spfld's "Lunch and Learn" series; the topic for the afternoon was, "Chasing the American Dream to the Heartland." The program covered the Lithuanian and Latino immigrations to Illinois, and Springfield in particular, and was a powerful one since both speakers were first generation immigrants. Here is the url to Lithuanians in Springfield, IL. (http://lithspringfield.com/), which was mentioned in the program.
There was also the Clayville Fall Festival, which was blessed with gorgeous weather. It was a joy to perform - as I had a shaded chair by the main track, and visitors often stopped to hear a tale.
My only wish is that I had had more time to go really look at the additions to the Broadwell Inn. After I admired the new balcony and porch I managed to get a peek at the new ladies' parlor in the Inn. (http://clayville.org/home).
I am a Springfield, IL based storyteller with a fascination for how folklore travels, and for history.