Sunday, December 3, noon – 5 p.m.
Butterworth Center, 1105 Eighth Street, Moline IL
Deere-Wiman House, 817 11th Avenue, Moline IL
In the eagerly awaited return of a seasonal Quad Cities tradition, visitors can experience the wonders of a classic Victorian holiday season in Moline's unique Deere-family homes through 19th Century Christmas, the Butterworth Center's and Deere-Wiman House's annually beloved December 3 event boasting litany of yuletide treats including live music performances, interactive tours, make-and-take activities, refreshments, and, of course, a special visit by Santa Claus.
Originally the 1892 home of Katherine and William Butterworth, Molin e's Butterworth Center will provide a number of festive treats between noon and 5 p.m.: cookies and punch in the dining room; electronic tablets offering engaging information about the house, its occupants, and much more in the second-floor Green Room; and showings of Partners in Preservation, a 10-minute film documenting the restoration of the Butterworth Center's historic leaded window held in the lower-level Oak Room. A series of musical performances, meanwhile, will be held in the venue's library, with the Rock Island High School Chamber Singers performing from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., the Moline High School Chamber Orchestra from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m., the Moline High School String Quartet from 2:45 to 3:30 p.m., and the Euphonium Quartet from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m.
In the neighboring Butterworth Education Center at the corner of 12th Avenue and Seventh Street, 19th Century Christmas guests ate invited to tour the former garage, built in 1910 and remodeled in 2009, and see how the original squash court and servants’ quarters contrast the modern entry, meeting space, and projection room. There will be screenings of videos created by the Butterworth Foundation and WQPT Public Television: Uncommon Assets: The Life & Legacy of John Deere and Hidden Treasures: Discovering Butterworth Center & Deere-Wiman House through the Eyes of a Child, both shown on the first-floor squash court. Guests are invited to view Splash Back in History, an exhibit of the story of the Deere-Wiman swimming pool screened in the second-floor entryway. And there will be children's crafts and activities sponsored by WQPT in the main Garage Room – hot chocolate, hot spiced cider, and milk are also available here – with Santa himself offering treats for all youngsters and a free book for the first 400 to arrive.
In addition to self-guided tours of the residence offered from noon to 5 p.m., the Deere-Wiman House – the 1872 home of Charles Deere, son of John Deere – will host a quintet of musical performances in the venue's first-floor living room: a slide trombone quartet playing from noon to 12:45 p.m. and from 2 to 2:45 p.m.; pianist Eric Newton from 1 to 1:45 p.m.; guitarist Andy Klindt from 2:45 to 3:30 p.m.; and the Moline High School String Quartet from 3:45 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Meanwhile, just east of the Deere-Wiman House on the driveway, the neighboring Carriage House will offer holiday children's make-and-take crafts, caricature drawings by Josh Wright, face painting by Xochi Pannell, and delicious refreshments of hot chocolate, hot spiced cider, and Christmas cookies.
19th Century Christmas begins at noon and ends at 5 p.m. on December 3, admission is free, and more information on the return of this seasonal event is available by calling (309)743-2700 and visiting ButterworthCenter.com.