Friday April 21, 2017 Dinner/talk: “30 years of Restoring Natural Communities in Central Illinois, while walking in the footsteps of the Captain".

... at Wildhare Cafe - 5:30p on Friday April 21, 2017 ...

     by Vernon LaGesse, Ex. Dir. of the Friends of the Sangamon Valley, a charitable membership organization dedicated to the preservation of our natural heritage by acquiring, restoring and protecting ecological significant lands within the Lower Sangamon River Watershed.

       The talk will encompass the fascinating challenges of restoring prairie, timbers and wetlands across Central Illinois for 30 years for various Conservation Groups.  A long time devotee of Captain A.H. Bogardus, he has not only collected items and stories related to Bogardus, but also has restored many of the endangered or threatened  natural areas described by Bogardus’s book,  “Field, Cover and Trap Shooting” written in 1878.

A special Photo Workshop is scheduled  for Friday April 7,  from  9:30a-11:30a, with Gracie Tierney a commercial photographer in Logan County for over 5 years,  who is currntly earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. With this workshop, both beginner to intermediate level photographers will learn to compose beautiful photographs of the wildflowers flowers on Elkhart Hill, and enhance technical skills along the way.

March 24 Dinner Lecture:

“Legacy: Inspiration from the Seven Daughters
of John Dean Gillett” . . .

which will highlight the lives of these interesting and influential women who were born at a pivotal time in our nation’s history.  Theirs was a life that included both work and play, and exposed them to Springfield society during the beginnings of the Abraham Lincoln era, he being a good friend of their father as well as his legal counsel.  Gillett, known in many circles as the Cattle King of Illinois, raised his family in the Elkhart area, educating all of his children in the finest schools of the day, thus preparing them for the future. 

     Our presenter is Marcy Brooks, who studied at LCU many years ago, and who now lives in Greeneville TN, where she has established “Destiny Life Skills Institute”.  She is a skilled musician and speaker, and is remembered for playing the organ at our Christmas Candlelight Service in years past, as well as leading various motivational talks in the area.    She has been intrigued by the history of Elkhart for numerous years, and promises to bring an exciting and revealing inside look at the lives of the Gillett women.

     The Dinner Lecture esd held at Horsefeather’s Wild Hare Café on Friday March 24, 2017, at 5:30 pm



Saturday- - March 18, 2017



“Welcome to Hollywood”  

with Karl Luthin, DVM


at Wildhare Cafe


Friday February 24, 2017

 Dinner Lecture 5:30 pm


      Karl Luthin has been involved in over 60 movies, either in the capacity of on-site veterinarian, as a re-enactor, or as prop supply this category includes both live and plastic horses, uniforms and horse equipment from wars dating back to the French and Indian War thru WWI.

        It will cover many of his experiences while working on the movie sets in over 60 productions and mini-series.  Multi-faceted Luthin  is often the on-site veterinarian, or re-enactor, frequently providing props, set dressings, and horses, or as an advisor helping to insure the historic accuracy of the equipment or costumes being used.

      Some of the productions he has been involved in are, “Gods and Generals”, “Glory”, The “John Adams” mini-series,  “Into the West”, “Gettysburg”, “Cold Mountain”, and most recently providing a massive amount of props as well as the horse Daniel Day Lewis  rode in the movie  “Lincoln”. Karl will be bringing film clips and slides from many of these movies, as well as movie posters, and the behind-the-scenes stories. 





Safari of African Animals with Peter Niehaus


Join us January 27, 2017 at the Wild Hare Café in Elkhart, Illinois, for our dinner lecture entitled, 

"On Safari With Peter Niehaus: South Africa and its Animals."


Peter Niehaus will share his knowledge of the animals of South Africa. Enjoy a choice of a hearty Tuscan vegetable soup and salad dinner or a traditional dinner with two all-time South African favorites. The full dinner includes a portion of mild Malay Chicken Curry and Beef Bobotie accompanied by rice and the traditional relishes and salads typically served with these dishes.  A warm lemon pudding follows, or as an alternative, vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate sauce.   Iced teas and coffee are included.  


Reservations are required and can be made by calling 217 947 2238, and the deadline for reservations is January 22, 2017. The price of $40 per person for the dinner or $27.50 for the soup and salad includes the meal, tax and tip and $10 to the Elkhart Historical Society.

For more about Peter, go to --> SPEAKER

9 Jan., 2017 LDN:  Elkhart Dinner Lecture to feature Peter Niehaus



                   Virginia Blue Belles                                               Rare White Blue Belles 

  The Elkhart Historical Society is “Going Wild” in April ... Each Saturday in April & early May - by reservation - guided wild flower nature walks will be offered that share the beauty and variety of the ephemeral spring wild flowers on Elkhart Hill. The guides for the flower walks are Gillette Ransom and Susan Jeffers,  a team that has done a lot of research not only on the flowers but much of the folklore and medicinal uses in the past.  The finale includes an 6:00 am or 4:00 pm bird walk, with Ornithologist Rhetta Jack, Lara Borgerson, and Joe Funk all superior birders with fascinating knowledge of the birds not only of Elkhart Hill but in many places around the world.  Come sharpen your skills or learn for the first time.  A walk will be given at 10 am which will combine  birds, wildflowers and lunch, at the Wildhare Cafe. 

Specially-constructed wagon for flower tours

Arlen, Nancy, Maizie Peebles
Trillium medicinal plant
Annual Report Of the Elkhart Historical Society <-- click here