Clinton, Illinois: History of the C.H. Moore Homestead and Apple 'n Pork Festival

Updated on September 29, 2018
KT Dunn profile image

KT Dunn is a Midwest native with a lifelong interest in history and mystery.

The Moore Mansion

The big old house sat quietly deteriorating on the north edge of Clinton, Illinois, for many years, even though it was home to a great deal of history involving both DeWitt County and the nation. John and Minerva Bishop built the original part of the house in 1867, utilizing the finest of materials and fashionable design. Following the death of Mrs. Bishop, it was sold to her brother, Clifton Moore, a prominent local attorney. Mr. Moore oversaw the addition of an elaborate two-story library wing, completed in 1887, to house his vast book collection.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
C.H. Moore homeHistoric downtown office buildingGift shop entrance on west side of home
C.H. Moore home
C.H. Moore home | Source
Historic downtown office building
Historic downtown office building | Source
Gift shop entrance on west side of home
Gift shop entrance on west side of home | Source

The Lincoln Connection

Here, in Clinton, on July 27, 1858, Lincoln is believed to have made the speech which included the familiar quote, “You can fool all people part of the time and part of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

Mr. Moore, Mr. Davis, and Mr. Lincoln

Clifton Haswell Moore (known as C.H. Moore) partnered with Abraham Lincoln in his downtown Clinton office building for a time (1856-1858). He had moved to Clinton in 1841 and practiced law in the Eighth Circuit, both locally and traveling from town to town for regular court sessions, as did Lincoln. Moore supported Lincoln’s political aspirations, but did not pursue politics himself. Together with Eighth Circuit Judge David Davis of Bloomington, Moore invested in land purchases in several states, which helped secure his wealth. A large trust estate was established upon his death in 1901.

Source

DeWitt County Museum

219 East Woodlawn, Clinton, IL 61727

217-935-6066

www.chmoorehomestead.org

The Museum Association Finds a Home

In the fall of 1968, a little over one hundred years after the house was built, a preservation group held a fundraiser for the purpose of beginning restoration of the old mansion as a museum. It was a luncheon/social type thing, typical of small towns. No one could have foreseen the growth of the DeWitt County Museum Association's Apple ’n Pork Festival since that time.

Source

The Apple 'n Pork Festival

Every year after that first festival, more rooms in the house were completed, tours expanded, and the grounds further renovated to welcome increasing numbers of visitors. From the beginning, the festival rules prohibited commercial or non-homemade goods from being sold on the museum property itself, but gradually a large festival weekend flea market grew up on the adjacent fairgrounds north of the property. Up and down the streets of the surrounding neighborhood, booths sprang up during festival time, offering everything from sandwiches and drinks to jewelry and craft items.

During the last full weekend of the month of September, the museum property became the focal point for a community celebration of the harvest season featuring traditional foods and skills. Each year the festival itself grew a little larger, with ever-changing features and exhibits. Cauldrons of ham and beans and apple butter cooked over open fires. The newly reconditioned barn became the center of operations for distribution of ham and bean dinners served up with fresh cornbread, while other food tents and booths offered pork sandwiches and corn on the cob, as well as funnel cakes, caramel apples, and other treats.

Demonstrations of folk arts such as spinning, chair caning, and woodcrafts, as well as music and dancing, took place on the expansive lawn. Down past the barn, in the area where farm museum buildings were later added, log-sawing and meal-grinding took place powered by antique engines.

Across town to the west, an antique mall and adjacent craft store near the high school became the center of yet another antique flea market. Meanwhile, shuttle buses began operating between the high school parking area and the town square, where tractor-drawn trams were available to convey visitors the remaining few blocks to and from the museum grounds.

All of this has evolved and changed in the 50 years since its inception, but much remains the same. The festival has settled into a familiar pattern and an annual tradition for the townspeople and tens of thousands of visitors.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
View of the two-story library The libraryThe music room
View of the two-story library
View of the two-story library | Source
The library
The library | Source
The music room
The music room | Source

Visiting the Festival

For Travelers

Book your hotel as far in advance as possible. Options for accommodations in Clinton are few, and you may want to consider staying in the nearby towns of Forsyth, Decatur, Lincoln, or Bloomington. Wear comfortable shoes for walking, and clothing appropriate to the weather.

Best Option for Parking

The high school parking lot at the west edge of town offers paid festival parking (currently $5), and shuttle buses leave from there approximately every 15 minutes, taking passengers to the town square. Traffic is monitored by the local police department, allowing for easier access to the parking lot as well as to the antique mall grounds across the street from the high school.

Shuttle and Tram

A shuttle ticket/wrist band (currently $2) purchased at the bus stop in the high school parking lot buys a bus ride to the square and also allows access to the tram once you arrive at the square. Tickets may also be purchased at the tram stops on the square and in front of the museum if you arrive there first and wish to shuttle out to the antique mall.

Once you arrive at the square, you may board a tram on the north side of the square and ride down North Center Street to the museum. Or, if you prefer, stroll down North Center to enjoy the craft and food booths set up in front of homes along that street on your way to the museum just a few blocks away. You can then catch the tram at the museum to make your way back to the square if you wish.

Museum Grounds

Visit the many booths, exhibits, and demonstrations set up on the lawn and in and around the carriage barn, as well as the farm museums behind the house.

House Tour

During the festival the house is open for self-guided tours with a small admission fee (currently $5 for adults, $2 for students). Members of the museum association, dressed in period costumes, greet visitors at the door and are available to answer questions. The house tour includes the basement museum spaces.

Food

Lunch and snack foods are available in several locations on the museum grounds and nearby, during festival hours.

Flea Markets

Cross the covered footbridge to reach the flea market area (4-H fairgrounds) north of the museum property. In addition, a large flea market on the west side of town across the street from the high school is easily reached from the parking area there.

Today the Apple ’n Pork Festival hosts approximately 80,000 to 100,000 visitors throughout the weekend, running from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Saturday and Sunday, on the last full weekend of September. The museum and gift shop are open much of the year for tours and special programs. The DeWitt County Museum and the Apple ’n Pork Festival have become important contributions to the town of Clinton, both economically and in the preservation of its history.

The C.H. Moore Homestead was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Museum Hours

April-December

Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Sunday 1:00 PM to 5:00

Closed on Mondays and Holidays

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Source
Source
Source

Kent Collection and Museum Spaces

A museum space in the basement of the house features the collections of Emmett Kent (1892-1985), a local businessman, World War I veteran, and charter member of the DeWitt County Museum Association. In the early years of the museum, Mr. Kent himself greeted museum visitors who came to see his collections of war relics, Native American artifacts, and numerous other antique items of interest.

The DeWitt County Museum also features an antique doll collection on the second floor of the house, a gift shop on the first floor, and a log cabin replica in the basement, as well as farm museums and a memorial covered bridge on the grounds.

Engine powering meal-grinding apparatus during festival
Engine powering meal-grinding apparatus during festival | Source
Carriage barn at the C.H. Moore Home
Carriage barn at the C.H. Moore Home | Source

References

  1. Stites, Helen. (2006). Finding Lincoln in DeWitt County. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse.
  2. Fraker, Guy. (2012). Lincoln’s Ladder to the Presidency: The Eighth Judicial Circuit. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.

The C.H. Moore Homestead DeWitt County Museum

A
219 East Woodlawn, Clinton, Illinois 61727:
219 E Woodlawn St, Clinton, IL 61727, USA

get directions

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wanderwisdom.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://wanderwisdom.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)