Central Church is delighted to be participating in the exciting events to be held during the 39th Annual Galesburg Railroad Days. All of our activities will be held on Saturday, June 25. We hope you can attend these outstanding events.
LUNCH ON THE LAWN
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Have lunch with us! Burgers and brats, sides and beverage. Seating provided. All proceeds go towards preservation of our historic building.
Railroading in the Prairie State
The Origin of Illinois Railroads: Failure to Triumph
Auditorium, 10:30 a.m.
Illinois Railroads in the Twentieth Century: From Profits to Despair and Renaissance, Auditorium, 1:30 p.m.
A rapid run through the colorful, surprising, and important history of the railroad industry in Illinois, from original failure to unprecedented success to near-extinction and then unexpected renaissance. Part 1 at 10:30 a.m., Part 2 at 1:30 p.m. A book signing will follow each presentation.Simon Cordery is the author of The Iron Road in the Prairie State: The Story of Illinois Railroading (Indiana University Press, 2016) and chair of the nominations committee of the National Railroad Hall of Fame.
Dr. Simon Cordery was recently named chair of the Department of History in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University.
Mrs. Lincoln’s Salon
South Room, 12:00 noon
Mrs. Lincoln’s Salon takes place in her Blue Room on April 4th, 1865. Mr. Lincoln and their youngest son, Tad, are at City Point, Robert, their eldest, is with General Grant in pursuit of Robert E Lee and Mary is alone in the Executive Mansion. The audience is invited to reminisce with Mrs. Lincoln about her childhood, her days in Springfield and her children as she celebrates Tad’s 12th birthday, and the end of the Civil War. Drawing from her own letters to friends, family and political figures of the era, Mrs. Lincoln’s Salon paints a picture of Mary Lincoln that is both sympathetic and truthful.
Mrs. Lincoln’s Salon is a 30 to 45 minute presentation with a question and answer period afterward.
Debra Ann Miller is a professional actress, vocalist and voice-over artist with over 30 years of experience as a performer for live audiences, television and film. Debra has balanced her career between commercial and educational theater since graduating from Michigan State University’s Department of Theater in 1981. Since 1997, she has toured the country with Michael Krebs as one of our nation’s more controversial First Ladies, Mary Todd Lincoln. In recent years she has focused on writing and producing one-woman plays in which she portrays important historical figures such as Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott and others, including Mary Todd Lincoln in “Mrs. Lincoln’s Salon.”
Broad Street entrance, 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m.
Join us for a free guided tour of the beautiful Central Congregational Church, built in 1898 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Tours begin on the front steps of the church.
We’ve just added a new gallery with photos taken at the Bickerdyke event held on May 11, 2016, at Central Congregational Church. The link below will take you directly to the photos.
2nd Bickerdyke Day Photo Gallery
Mary Ann “Mother” Bickerdyke, as portrayed by Pam Johnson, will be at Central Congregational Church on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Stories from her fascinating life will be told in a fast-paced presentation beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. Before and after the presentation, the South Room (parlor) of the church will be set up with living history displays of what was going on right here in Knox County during the Civil War. Reenactors, all in period dress, will demonstrate some of the ways our town and county supported the men and boys who were away at war. Come and see how bedding, clothing and food were made, gathered and shipped to battlefields. Learn about the personal items and mementos from home that the soldiers carried into battle. You will learn about the role of horses, both at home and at war, and how the value of horses changed as the war went along. Meet a Union army recruiter. Talk with one of the townsfolk who took it upon himself to call on the families that the soldiers left behind, and hear how the town supported those loved ones. Visit with Mary Allen West, as portrayed by Gail Masinda. Songs from the Civil War era will be performed. A bake sale, with proceeds to benefit the Central Church Preservation Fund, will be available.
The event is free and open to the public.
We’ve added some photos to our collection! First is a set of photos taken at the “National Icons, Local Treasures” benefit concert held on April 27, 2016.
Click here to see the photos.
Next we have two wonderful photos of Carl Sandburg appearing at Central in 1953.
Click here to see the photos.
The month of April is packed with activities for the Sandburg Festival. Of note for Central Church is the concert on Wednesday, April 27. Proceeds from the evening will equally benefit the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site Endowment and the Central Church Historic Building Preservation Fund. For more details, check out the following sites.
Click this link to go to the Sandburg Festival site event page. Scroll until you get to April 26. (The date of the event is actually WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27!). There are lots of great details of the event and presenters. We hope to see you there!
Click this link to go to the Galesburg Register-Mail story that ran April 25 which gives a brief description of the remaining events.
Click the link below to open a PDF version of our monthly newsletter, “The Crier.”
April Crier 2016
Please bring your friends and join us for an evening of great music!
A bit late but here is the November 2015 edition of our monthly newsletter, The Crier. Click the link below to open a PDF version.
2015 November Crier
Features reporter Fran Riley and photographer Randy Biery from KWQC TV Channel 6 were back for another taping at Central. This time the topics were the organ, the Director of Music/Organist for the congregation, and a very special upcoming event.
Click here to view the segment.
Our beautiful church was the setting for taping a TV segment about Mary Ann “Mother”Bickerdyke. History knows her as the “Mother to the Boys in Blue,” Civil War nurse and tireless advocate of health reform. Here in Galesburg, she was also known as a member of First Congregational Church, pastored by Dr. Edward Beecher. Her funeral service was held at Central Congregational Church in 1901.
Our thanks to reenactors Pam Johnson and Gail Masinda, and to John Barker for providing the behind-the-scenes photos.
Click here to see the TV segment and view the photo gallery.