The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

December 14, 2012

Museum offers treat for the holidays


DANVILLE — Not many communities can boast of an association with two public figures who have buildings named after them in Washington, D.C., but Vermilion County can.

Abraham Lincoln once practiced law here as he rode the 8th Circuit before he was elected president, and Joseph Cannon served as speaker of the U.S. House. Most people know about the Lincoln Memorial, but fewer realize the Cannon Office Building, where many members of the U.S. House have offices, was named after Danville’s Uncle Joe Cannon.

Local historical information like this and more will be on display Saturday as the Vermilion County Museum serves as host for its annual open house.

The event features many traditional holiday activities. Santa will be there, along with a couple of his reindeer. There will be decorations both in the main museum building and in the adjacent Fithian House. Dancers from local dance schools will perform, and singers from Danville Light Opera will provide Christmas music.

Visitors also will be able to learn about the county’s history in exhibits and from actors who will portray people from the area’s past. Those who attend will hear from the owner of the Fithian house and from Speaker Cannon, as well as the servants who worked for them.

The staff and volunteers at the Vermilion County Museum do a great job in preserving and presenting the interesting facts from the past.

The support from the community allows that work to continue, which will be a benefit for generations to come.

The open house will begin at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the museum, 116 N. Gilbert St., and will end at 4 p.m. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon, enjoy a large dose of holiday cheer and learn a great deal about Vermilion County’s rich heritage.