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October 10 Program Features Historic Tiskilwa Home

During a 2007 interview for the Tiskilwa Historical Society’s oral history project, Ellen Stevens Lawton mentioned that, when she was growing up in their family’s home on Main Street during the 1920s and ‘30s, train travelers often walked over to their house from the depot and asked to rent a room. They thought such a huge place must be a hotel.

Scores of people have admired that elegant house for decades, and on Monday evening, October 10, Tiskilwa Historical Society invites the community to join speaker Sara Phalen, owner of the former Stevens House, to learn more about the history of this landmark structure.

Now called 140 East, Sara and her husband Brad Kimme have been working on a major project of historic preservation and restoration for more than a year. During Tiskilwa’s 2022 Pow Wow Days, 120 visitors enjoyed free tours – in timed entries so that rooms wouldn’t be too crowded. For those who missed that opportunity, Sara will be conducting a virtual tour with before-and-after photographs and explanations.

In her presentation, “Accessible Preservation: A Communal Duty to Engage,” Sara will also discuss ways that historic homes can be made a part of local communities such as Tiskilwa, using the structures as sites for education and engagement. She will share exciting plans for its future use.

Beginning at 7:00, the program will be followed by refreshments and social time in the museum galleries. As with all the society’s programs, the evening is free and open to the public. Before or after the program, visitors may wish to take a closer look at a fascinating display concerning 140 East in the Timeline Gallery showcase, where several related artifacts from the early 1840s and beyond are displayed.


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