Traditional smalltown Victorian-era activities are the underlying theme of the annual Okawville Heritage Days, June 11-12, 2011 in Southern Illinois.
The event is on the lawn of the Schlosser house (114 West Walnut Street) which is open for tours during the run of the annual event. Behind the house a stage is set up against the old garage for entertainment. (You might even find the Schlosser’s vintage car inside the garage!)
Food, Games, Flea Market On the grounds and nearby are traditional foods like homemade butter, ice cream, and bread, kettle corn, and more. There are kid’s games (including turtle races), a Farmer’s Market and Country Store, surrey rides ($3), and a snack bar serving meals. Not only is there a huge benefit flea market each day in the street behind the property, but yard sales will be going on around town in conjunction with Heritage Days.
Free Tours of the Schlosser Home
The focus is on the Schlosser Complex Historic Site, the centerpiece of which is the Schlosser home, a museum of life at the turn of the 19th Century. The home was the residence of the Schlosser family whose members closed it off as members of the family died until, with the passing of the last of the two young sisters in the 1960’s, it was boarded up completely. Left alone by time, including, thankfully, burglars and vandals, the home was reopened to find everything intact, left in place as each part of the house was shut down. The mother’s laundry shop and the father’s harness shop next door still have the equipment and even the commercial products in use when operating. The house has the same furniture, commercial products, and other items left behind. The Schlosser’s stubbornly refused to electrify the house as the decades passed.
There is another historic house across the street and the preserved Dr. Poos home a few blocks away.
Entertainment at the main stage includes the dulcimer group Thursday Night Thunder, the Thunder and Lightning Cloggers, the Harmony Roses ladies barbershop group, and the Venedy Band on Saturday.
On Sunday, entertainment opens with The Groenert Girls at 11:45am, continues one hour later with bluegrass by the Pickin Chicks, and that leads into the annual Action Auction benefitting the Heritage House Museum Association.
Artisans and demonstrations will include rope making with a 130 year old rope maker, wheat grinding, lye soap making, gourd art, and more.
Free event Hours are Saturday, June 11, 10am Io 5pm, and Sunday, 10am to 5pm.
Admission is free.
Local accommodations include The Original Springs Hotel, the Super 8 Motel, and the McIlwain Mansion Bed and Breakfast.
Okawville is In Washington County, located about one hour’s drive east of St Louis’s Gateway Arch just off I-64.