The Jarrot Mansion is opened only periodically for special events due to current restoration projects and staffing levels.
Sunday, October 10th was a grand day. Nicholas Jarrot’s replica headstone was dedicated by Fr. Idagbo of Holy Family Parish.
Joe Morice, Holy Family Parish Council President welcomed attendees. William P. Shannon IV, Curator of St. Clair County Historical Society, spoke on “Cemeteries: Place & Memories.” Jarrot Mansion Project volunteer Chairman Molly McKenzie translated the Jarrot stone’s wording from French to English.
A delightful reception followed the dedication of Nicholas Jarrot’s new headstone. Members of the Holy Family Parish catered the affair. The public was invited to tour the historic 1810 Jarrot Mansion and nearby 1799 Holy Family Log Church. If you’d like to see the Jarrot family headstones, they are located just behind the old Log Church, within the oldest cemetery in the region.
Attendance at the St. Nicholas Day event was very brisk. The Jarrot Mansion was one of two dozen St. Louis regional historic sites and museums open that day for Christmas-themed activities with shared publicity. It was a tremendous success!!
Special Anniversary Open House
Tour the Jarrot Mansion on Saturday, September 11, 2010 from 1pm to 4pm.
Visitors may learn about this stately 1810 structure and gain unique insights into the original paint schemes and wallpaper designs that are being carefully duplicated in the house, including the second floor ballroom. The interior is so intact that Nicholas Jarrot would find his home familiar today.
Meet the experts, volunteers & officials involved in the study and preservation of this important historic landmark. Confirmed to participate are:
- Architect Jane Rhetta, Historic Preservation Agency; author of Jarrot Mansion National Historic Landmark application and design reviews of site restoration work.
- Historian Bob Moore, National Park Service; author and lecturer on Jarrot v. Jarrot, the celebrated legal case that ended slavery in Illinois.
- Archaeologist Floyd Mansberger, Fever River Research; responsible for numerous excavations and published reports on the material culture of the Jarrot family and their historic era.
- Blacksmith Kenneth Valdejo, Bittersweet Forge; original research, design, and fabrication of cast and forged reproduction hardware elements (hinges, locks, sash pulleys and weights) of the restored Jarrot Mansion.
- Carpenter Gerald Franklin, Franklin Woodworking; expert woodworking skills utilized in sash-making, sill, door and mantle repairs, and roof shingle treatments.
Volunteers of the Jarrot Mansion Project, Inc. determined to complete a lighting acquisition program in recognition of the Mansion’s 200th anniversary. Historic reproduction sconces and a chandelier have been purchased and installed at the site. Several electrified reproduction fixtures and exhibit area lighting required professional installation, an effort also initiated and underwritten by the JMP, Inc.
Visitors to the Anniversary Open House will be the first to witness these remarkable lighting accessories that help us to understand how the Jarrots experienced daily living in the Mansion.
Music of the historic period by “THE PEACOCKS” of Sparta, Illinois.
Refreshments will be served, including the “Steal Two Chickens Bouillon” of Cahokia legend, thanks to Big JR, our chef du jour.
Old Time Music Fete, America’s #1 Porch Music Festival on Sunday, September 19th
- The 19th Annual Old Time Music Fete will be held in Cahokia, Illinois on Sunday, September 19, 2010 at the Historic Cahokia Courthouse. Jam sessions under every tree, a guitar raffle, and a professional sound system for the main stage (the courthouse porch) for the enjoyment of all. Food and drink are available for purchase, and there is plenty of shade. Located one block south and one block west of the intersection of Illinois Rt 3 and Illinois Hwy 157. (Cahokia RV Park – just follow the signs.) Noon to 5pm, rain or shine. For more information about the event, contact the Cahokia Courthouse at 618/332-1782.
- Players at the 2010 Fete include Helen & Friends Sing John Denver; O’Fallon Folk; Sisters of Song; The Stephanie Brickey Band; Black Mountain Flower; and Celtica.
- Sponsored by: Fete du Bon Vieux Temps, Inc., KDHX FM88, and PepsiCo. This program is sponsored in part by a grant from the Jacoby Arts Center and the Illinois Arts Council – a state agency. Additional funding provided bywww.saveIllinoishistory.com.
Fete du Bon Vieux Temps held on February 13, 2009
- 23rd annual Fete du Bon Vieux Temps – Saturday, February 13, 2010
“Festival of the Good Old Days” (Saturday prior to Ash Wednesday). The Fete is a colonial Mardi Gras with music and dancing reminiscent of the celebrations held by the area’s French settlers more than 200 years ago. During the hours of 2pm to 5pm, multiple activities and demonstrations as well as tours will take place at the 1740 Cahokia Courthouse, 1790 Martin-Boismenue House, 1799 Holy Family Parish Log Church, and at the 1810 Jarrot Mansion. The Colonial Mardi Gras Ball will be held from 7pm to 11pm at the Cahokia Knights of Columbus Hall located on Route 3 at 5th Street. Period dances to old-time fiddle tunes will be performed, including contra-dances, reels and waltzes. Attendees will participate in the traditional method of selecting Mardi Gras royalty. All sites are located near Route 3 and Hwy 157 in Cahokia, Illinois. All activities from 2pm to 5pm are free and open to the public. Tickets are $10 per person to the 18th century Mardi Gras Ball to which all are invited. Period clothing is encouraged, but not required. Food and drink will be available for purchase on site. For additional information, please call 618-332-1782 from 9am to 5pm, Tuesday through Saturday.
- On October 3, 2009, from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm, a special presentation, “The Life and Times of Arthur St. Clair” was presented at the Old Courthouse. A discussion of his life, political and military career was featured. The event if free and open to the public. For more information call 618-322-1782.
- 23rd annual Fete du Bon Vieux Temps – Saturday, February 13, 2010
- On Saturday, September 12th, 2009, the public had a rare opportunity to tour the Jarrot Mansion. Visitors viewed the meticulous restoration of plaster and paint inside Illinois’ oldest brick home.
- Partners in Pelts: The French Fur Trade in 18th-Century Illinois – Saturday,February 2, 2008 at 2:30pm, Holy Family Parish Log Church, Cahokia, Illinois
The Fur Trade was central to the economic and social development of French Creole colonies in the Illinois Country. Dr. Fred Fausz, history professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, will present an entertaining show-and-tell public lecture featuring his incomparable collection of furs and trade goods from the Voyageur Era.
- French Colonial Fur Fashion Show follows Dr. Fausz’s Presentation:
Cahokia Courthouse at 4pm.
Dr. Fred Fausz is an internationally-respected scholar of Indian- European relations in the 17th and 18th centuries and organized the 9th North American Fur Trade Conference in 2006. Three of his publications have won “best essay” awards from historical societies in Missouri, Virginia, and Maryland, and he received the 2007 (Missouri) Governor’s Award in the Humanities for Service to Community Heritage. He drove his Museum on Wheels over 13,000 miles during the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial, presenting public lectures in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Fred’s book on Auguste Chouteau and the Founding of St. Louis will be published in 2008.