Bucket List Ideas #1: Quincy Museum
1601 Maine St., Quincy; 217-224-7669; firstname.lastname@example.org; thequincymuseum.org
The Quincy Museum is located in the historic Newcomb-Stillwell Mansion at 16th and Maine Streets. The 1891 mansion is a beautiful example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture and is located on what National Geographic Magazine identified as “one of the most architecturally significant intersections in the United States.”
The mansion was originally the home of Richard F. Newcomb, a Quincy businessman and civic booster. Later it was the home of his son-in-law, John Stillwell who was one of the founders of the Electric Wheel Company.
The mansion features gorgeous stained-glass windows on all three floors as well as different types of wood, ornate fireplaces and hand-laid mosaic tile.
The Quincy Museum offers guided tours of the beautifully restored first floor and self-guided tours of the second and third floors. The second floor contains a restored bedroom and new exhibits of local interest are presented on a rotating schedule. The third floor features a ballroom and family-friendly exhibits on dinosaurs, Native Americans and Mississippi Wildlife. The Museum Gift Shop features American Girl Dolls and accessories, old-fashioned toys and items related to current exhibits.
The Quincy Museum offers educational classes for schoolchildren as well as special events throughout the year.
A favorite event is the annual Folk Life Festival held in October. Old-time craft demonstrators, children’s games, food and musical entertainment are featured. This year will mark the 25th anniversary of the event and will be held on Saturday, Oct. 2.
During the Christmas season, the museum is decorated from top to bottom with a variety of beautiful Christmas trees and holiday displays.
The Quincy Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 1-5 pm. The Museum is closed January through March for exhibit development.
The Museum needs volunteers to provide guided tours of the first floor, help with special events and assist with other museum related activities including exhibit preparation during the winter months, occasional office duties, garden chores and more. Interested individuals should call the museum for information.
Memberships are $20 for individuals and $35 for families. Members receive free admission to the museum and special discounts in our Museum Store. Business memberships are also available.
For more information on the Quincy Museum, to become a member or to volunteer, call 217-224-7669 or email email@example.com.
Photo by Jenna Seaborn (Fall 2018)
Bucket List Ideas #2: Governor John Wood Mansion
John Wood Mansion, 425 S. 12th St., Quincy; 217-222-1835; hsqac.org
Organized by prominent Quincyans Rev. Samuel H. Emery and Thomas Pope on October 6, 1896, the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County (HSQAC) is one of the oldest non-profit historical societies in the country. This year it is celebrating it’s 125th anniversary! Its’ original purpose is similar to its mission today: to discover, receive, commission, procure, preserve, and publish historical information and items which reflect the rich history of Quincy and Adams County. The extensive collection of the Historical Society consists of manuscripts, books, artifacts, art, photographs, maps, letters and journals. Collections can be seen in the Society’s five properties including the John Wood Mansion campus with the livery, visitor’s center, research center, log cabin and the History Museum on the Square.
Following its mission to preserve area history, the Society’s most important acquisition was the purchase of the Greek-Revival home of Quincy’s founder, John Wood, at 12th and State Streets in 1907. The Mansion was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and is listed on the Architect Institute of America’s list of 150 most influential structures in Illinois. The 1835 home opened in 1907 as a museum for the public. It was renovated in the 1980s using professional preservation standards and today offers visitors a view of one of the first restored houses in the Midwest. HSQAC continues to preserve and maintain the Governor John Wood Mansion as a historically significant architectural structure.
The public is invited to become a member of the HSQAC. Membership levels vary; memberships are tax deductible and members receive many benefits. Donations and bequests are also accepted and appreciated.
An education program for Adams County schools has been designed around the home. The Mansion also provides an opportunity for guests to step back in time to the 19th century through guided tours. For more information about events, hours, locations and more call 217-222-1835, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit hsqac.org.
Photo submitted by Arts Quincy (Fall 2018)
Bucket List Ideas #3: Woodland Cemetery Tours
Woodland Cemetery, 1020 S. 5th St., Quincy; hsqac.org; 217-222-1835
The fall is known for the Historical Society’s Ghost Tours! These walking tours take visitors on a unique adventure to experience Quincy’s past in Woodland Cemetery which overlooks the Mississippi River. Guides will lead attendees through the cemetery in programs that focus on the people who made significant contributions to Quincy’s heritage.
This year, Topics include the Underground Railroad, the Civil War and Quincy history which are all themes incorporated into current exhibits at the History Museum on the Square.
The tours are scheduled for five Saturdays in October and on Halloween night.
October 2 & 16: Road to Freedom, Underground Railroad. Guided Tours at 5:30, 6, 6:30 and 7 pm.
October 9 & 31: Quincy’s Civil War Legacy. Guided Tours at 5:30, 6, 6:30 and 7 pm.
October 23 & 30: Golden Age of the Gem City. Tours every 20 minutes from 5-7 pm. This tour will feature costumed re-enactors performing vignettes as “ghosts” in the cemetery.
The cost is $15 per person. Call the HSQAC office at 217-222-1835 to make a reservation. Proceeds from the events are designated for maintenance and preservation projects for the Society’s historic properties. Learn more about the organization, museums, and programs at hsqac.org.
Photo by Jenna Seaborn (Spring 2019)
Bucket List Ideas #4: Villa Kathrine
532 Gardner Expressway, Quincy, IL; 217-224-3688; villakathrine.org
You’re invited to visit Quincy’s very own Mediterranean-style Castle on the Bluffs, the Villa Kathrine! The Villa Kathrine is one of the most unique architectural sites in the Midwest, and was built in 1900 by architect George Behrensmeyer for Quincy native and world traveler, W. George Metz. Mr. Metz and his 212-pound Mastiff named “Bingo” were well-known characters in the early 1900s in Quincy.
The exterior of the castle is modeled after the Villa Ben Ahben in Morocco, and the interior has a number of interesting features, including a courtyard with an overlooking balcony surrounding a marble mosaic reflecting pool. The Villa is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Illinois Register of Historic Places and is often mentioned in travel literature as a “must-see” site of the Midwest.
Friends of the Castle, Inc. was established in 1978 as a not-for-profit organization with the specific mission of saving the Villa Kathrine from demolition, restoring it to its original beauty and preserving, maintaining and operating it as a community asset.
Since 1987 Friends of the Castle have been “Welcoming the World to Quincy” by providing service in the Parlor of the Villa as Quincy’s Official Tourist Information Center and Great River Road Interpretive Center. During that time, Volunteer Hosts have provided information and assistance to thousands of visitors from all 50 States and many countries of the world. It has also been home to the Quincy Area Convention & Visitors Bureau since 2008.
The Villa is open seven days a week year-round, including most holidays. March through October hours are Monday -Saturday: 9 am-5 pm and Sunday: 1-5 pm. November through February hours are Monday-Saturday: 9 am-4 pm and Sunday: 1-4 pm. Volunteers are needed to serve as hosts in the Tourist Information Center or offer skills in other areas.
The Villa is available for individual and group educational tours during all business hours and by special arrangement. Tour guides can be scheduled for your group or self-guided tours are always available. Guided school and youth group tours can be tailored to fit group needs or classroom curriculum. The Villa is also a beautiful events space for weddings, receptions, reunions, showers, parties, meetings and more. For full details, call 217-224-6922 or 217-224-3688 or email email@example.com. A brand new interactive app for Android phones about the Villa is available for free download at http://tinyurl.com/VillaApp.
Photo submitted by Arts Quincy (Fall 2018)
Bucket List Ideas #5: Prairie Mills Windmill
Prairie Mills Windmill, 902 Prairie Mills Rd., Golden; 217-696-2722; goldenwindmill.org
Located in the northeast corner of Adams County, Golden is home to one of only two restored Dutch smock windmills in downstate Illinois. The Golden Historical Society (GHS) operates and manages The Prairie Mills Windmill and the attached Anna Weinke Museum.
The site is open for tours on weekends from May through October from 1-4 pm or by appointment. Signature events of the GHS are the annual Windmill Follies and carry-out dinners for farmers, residents and visitors to enjoy.
Anyone can be a part of windmill history by joining the GHS. Members learn about the unique history of the mill, its design and how to operate and maintain the windmill. Members also help with restoration efforts. Annual dues are $25.
For more information or to schedule a tour visit goldenwindmill.org. Donations and memberships can be made by mailing: Golden Historical Society, P.O. Box 148, Golden, IL 62339.