Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Lincoln Dance at David Davis Mansion

~ Photos contained herein by both the talented Jackie and the decidedly un-talented Myself ~

Here in central Illinois, there are very many historic sites that have to do with, in one way or another, perhaps the most famous man in American Civil War history – Abraham Lincoln.

Most people I know who are resident of this area are heartily sick of Abraham Lincoln, but there is no doubt that his name connected to a site draws tourists – which means money – so of course, the State does all it can to aid and abet this commercialization of Mr. Lincoln’s name.  So we are accustomed to seeing his name associated with everything from restaurants to shops to streets and to towns, which often as not can boast no other claim to Mr. Lincoln than being part of the state that he once lived in. But if the name is merely there, People come. So we are a Lincoln speckled state. We are the picnic table beneath the tree inhabited by dozens of feathered creatures, and he is the bird droppings thereon.  

This past weekend saw The Lincoln Festival in a nearby city. It was terribly hot, so the boys and I did not go out during the day but in the evening we dropped them off with their grandma and David and I, as well as our dear friends Jackie and Peter (who are, to offset any doubts upon the subject, NOT “a couple”) went to the David Davis mansion to enjoy a fun evening at the outdoor dance held on the lawn.

Despite the heat, a good time was had by all, I think. The music was excellent, the companionship very fine and the Vendor of Sodas a popular figure and the goods thereof of unquestionable quality.

To make the evening more pleasant, free rides in a fancy horse-drawn carriage were available and David and I enjoyed a leisurely trip around the grounds.

David was very upset with me because he could not sit next to me, but I assured him it was more proper for him to sit across from me rather than crunch himself up on the bones of my hoopskirt, which, when spread out, covered the entire seat I was sitting upon. He therefore sat across from me and tried to look pained and annoyed, but I think he just looked sweaty and uncomfortable.

Jackie and Peter enjoyed dancing. This was Jackie’s first time coming out to an event and I am so glad she had a good time! You either love or hate reenacting and I’m glad she did not hate it. The purple gown I made several years ago for my mother in law worked nicely for her and now that she has got her feet wet, so to speak, we can work on making her a gown of her own.

I wore the gray ballgown I made earlier this spring and it was nice and cool to wear during the sultry summer evening. Peter was cool and confident in his cotton vest and shirt although we do have to work on getting him some proper trousers and a coat of some kind made. Peter even met a girl, which pleased me greatly, although I do not think anything especially interesting came of the meeting.

Dear Female Readers, if any of you are looking for a trustworthy, loyal man consider our friend Peter – we are on a hunt for a Wife for him. Despite his rather odd sense of humour and his tendency to sarcasm and his obvious delight in anything to do with computers and his ability to create horrific faces for picture-takers on a whim, he is really a very nice boy and has been a fantastic and faithful friend to me these past 10 years. 

The dances were fun and the callers fantastic. I so enjoy dances where the callers give out the dance instructions in simple, easy to understand steps. It is so nice when the spectating public can join in and everyone knows what they are supposed to do. I have been to some dances where the dances are not called and only a select few, who knows the dances well, can actually perform. It is more interesting to watch perhaps, but not nearly as fun. We had tons of couples dancing together under the tent and a good time of laughter and conversation was had by everyone. The lady below made her gown from Truly Victorian patterns and we quickly dubbed her the "Cupcake Lady", meaning no offense by the somewhat un-elegant term, but great appreciation for the frills and ruffles and flowers and the whole beautiful effect it all had together. She looks like Cinderella!! Or a fashion plate!

David enjoyed the company of Mr. Jebb, a young reenacting friend of ours and a fine gentleman.

This fine gentleman consented to waltz with me and was honest enough to tell me I am a terrible waltzer, which fact pleased me greatly and did much to increase my respect of this certain young man. (the fact he was honest, not so much the fact, also as firmly established, that I do not waltz well).

With such fine friends is it any wonder the evening passed too quickly?

We went to Steak and Shake for supper and Mr. Jebb accompanied our little party. There was no lack of humour and wit in the conversation that flowed between Mr. Jebb and David at our table and I am afraid I gave way to a few unladylike snorts and bellows after some especially shocking or hilarious statement made by the gentlemen mentioned above.  

We did agree that Mr. Jebb very much resembles Sherman of the infamous March to the Sea. 

Our evening concluded, we returned home. Mr. Lincoln, thank you for making the David Davis mansion popular by benefit of your name and for, in some supernatural or spiritual sense, being the host of the festival held to honor you, to give the participants a very good time indeed.



  1. I've NEVER been so upset about missing something as I am about missing this. :(:( We're were going to go, but 2 days before we figured out we had to go to Chicago instead. :( I seriously feel like crying after seeing these pictures.

    Y'all look fantastic and I'm so glad you had a good time. Jackie is so beautiful! And you looked really stunning as always. :) I love the picture of you, Jackie, and Chris. :)

    Wishing I could have been there to see you in person,

  2. The evening went by kinda quick. :(

    Sarah was my partner in sewing there that night. She came running as soon as she saw that hook was apart when I was getting off the carriage. Thank God there was some corners around, so no one was around to see that embarrassing moment of having a hook undone. lol. I tell ya, I don't know what I'd do without you!

    Oh my gosh, this add for Peter is sorta hilarious lol. :)

    One lady even told Sarah she had the best dress there, and she was right! Hopefully next time, they will have more water available. We all went to Steak N' Shake after the ball and it sure was a good time! :) Sorry I'm kinda going on & on here. :P

  3. Brooke, I really missed seeing you! I'm so sorry you weren't able to make it, but hopefully you will be able to next year! Will you be at Galesburg in August? Did you know Princeton will be happening this year, too? Will you be there?

    Jackie, it was indeed very fun. I'm *SO* glad you were able to go with me. It wouldn't have been nearly as fun if you weren't there!

    And yes, we must do all we can to aid Peter in his quest to find a Suitable Wife, as I do not think Ms. E, whom he met at the dance, has any intention of continuing the correspondence. . .She must just not be the Right One.

    Lauren, thank you! :)

  4. We are planning to be at Galesburg next month. As well as Princeton, my specail event. :D It was my first plus its right around my birthday so we kinda go to it for that and I'm turning 16 this year so I'm determined to make it. :).

  5. Dear Sarah Jane,
    This was such a happy post and I thoroughly enjoyed it. You have some delightful friends. By the way, your past hesitations about your ballgown prove unfounded, for the ensemble becomes you perfectly; the combination of a relaxed air and a handsome dress is resistable. Hoping that one of them may be the ground for a formal portrait.
    Very best,

  6. Sarah, You look so beautiful in your gown! I enjoyed seeing you work so diligently on it and I was thrilled to see you so radiant in your beautiful work.

    I want to ask your permission to use my photo editor to do a digital Daguerreotype version and a Albumin version for you. If you like them you might consider having one framed for yourselves. I just think you'd treasure in your future having something so special to enjoy looking at in your home. If you'll allow me to oblige you, I would be happy to meet your preferences on how to get the digital images back to you. Its a breeze to do, so fun and special, and I expect nothing more than your joy. :) Thank you for having such an inspiring blog. I really do enjoy reading about your blessed life! Your sister in Christ, Gretchen :)

  7. Sarah, you are so beautiful in all your photos...but I noticed something about this post immediately...and that is I have never seen a photograph of you SMILING! Oh my goodness, you need to post more of those!

  8. Oh my goodness you look stunning! What a wonderful time!


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!