Candlelight at the Inn returns Dec. 4 at Garfield Farm Museum

"Candlelight at the Inn" returns to Garfield Farm Museum in Campton Hills on Sunday, Dec. 4, from 3 to 7 p.m. after a two-year absence.

Interpreters wearing period clothing will share with guests what life was like for people during the height of the horse and wagon era. There is no charge for the Candlelight event, but donations are most welcome.

Candlelight has always been one of the most popular events at this 1840s farm and tavern museum. It evokes a pace and peace that is so foreign to life today.

It requires a conscious effort on the part of the modern-day visitor to linger and savor the experience, to strike up a conversation with others, and enjoy what was once a great luxury: a brightly lit home full of travelers and neighbors, making for a most jovial atmosphere on a winter's night.

Nineteenth-century music by Last Night's Fun will be played in the ballroom and refreshments will be offered in the inn's dining room.

Candlelight welcomes visitors to Garfield Farm for an 1840s-style holiday gathering on Sunday, Dec. 4. Courtesy of Garfield Farm Museum

The first Garfield Inn sat in the junction of the St. Charles-Oregon and Sycamore roads.

From July of 1841 until October of 1846, a log structure greeted travelers. It was replaced by the more substantial 10-room brick inn.

At the time, a heavily loaded team of horses with good weather could only travel about 15 miles a day.

Inns were busy places that offered weary travelers an occasion to take a break from the monotony of their journey. A guest of the Garfield's could eat, sleep and most importantly talk to others.

News traveled slowly and travelers provided news from far and near, as well as telling entertaining stories.

Inns became a center for the community hosting dances, militia drills, weddings, "donation" parties for local clergy, political meetings, and other functions.

Following a visit to the 1846 inn, walk up the glowing lantern path to the Burr House where the museum will feature a homemade bake sale.

Visitors can learn of volunteer and membership opportunities as the museum has launched the 2027 Bucket List Campaign to complete major projects in time for the museum's 50th anniversary in 2027.

The Burr House was built by Atwell Burr (namesake of Burr Road in St. Charles Township) in the 1840s and stood half-mile southwest adjacent to the Timothy Garfield farm.

In 1990, it was moved to the museum and donors invested over $500,000 to adapt it as the museum's visitors' center and office.

Burr House was last owned by the Van Bogaert family. A ground level ceramic tile floor was recently installed with donations from the Van Bogaert family who inscribed tiles with their past and present generations' names.

After a visit to the 1846 inn, walk along the glowing lantern path to the Burr House where the museum will feature a homemade bake sale. Courtesy of Garfield Farm Museum

The Candlelight tour offers visitors a chance to meet the volunteers and donors, who are the lifeblood of the farm.

Visitors can become members of the museum or support its various restoration projects.

The event is a time for those interested in becoming involved to meet those who already give so much to help sustain the museum and keep it moving forward.

The event also benefits the museum's ongoing efforts to restore the historic buildings and to provide educational programming.

The 375-acre Garfield Farm Museum is the only historically intact former 1840s Illinois prairie farmstead and teamster inn being restored by donors and volunteers from 3500 households in 37 states as an 1840s working farm museum.

Garfield Farm Museum is located on Garfield Road, off Route 38, five miles west of Geneva.

For information call (630) 584-8485 or email Visit or

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