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By Connor Ashlock
The Jersey County Historical Society board held a special meeting Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. to discuss the current plan regarding its major upcoming fundraiser, the annual Apple Festival.
Concern was raised over the rising number of COVID cases in the county, as well as recently reinstated mask mandates, and how those things might impact the festival.
After conversation regarding the various factors were considered, it was decided that the society’s event would continue, but with some precautions implemented.
Folks can still expect to enjoy the live entertainment, food, vendors, kids activities and local history that characterize the event, but only the society’s flagship building, the Cheney mansion, will be open for tours this year.
As for the Lone Star Schoolhouse, Union Forest Church, and the Hagen, Plummer and McAdams cabins, they will not be open for tours. Instead, a rope will be stretched across the thresholds of all those buildings, thereby allowing visitors to view the interior of the structures without actually entering them.
As for the museum and genealogical research center housed within it, they will be closed off entirely to the public this year.
Masks are recommended for visitors as they enjoy the day on the society grounds, but those wishing to tour the interior of the mansion will be required to wear masks while inside the home.
Ticket prices to tour the interior of the mansion will be $5 per person.
The pioneer crafts and chores area, where kids can complete old-fashioned chores to earn play money which can be spent at the mercantile, will also be in full operation. It costs $5 for kids to participate.
If any further developments arise, the society intends to keep the community posted on it’s Facebook page.
The Apple Festival will be hosted on the society grounds at 601 North State Street in Jerseyville on Saturday, Oct. 2., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Also at the meeting, the board decided to continue with its regularly scheduled special exhibitions, Dearly Departed and Christmas at the Cheney Mansion.
The Dearly Departed tour is a special exhibit hosted every weekend in October except for the first weekend in which visitors are guided through the funerary, embalming and mourning customs practiced in Jersey County and elsewhere from the mid-1800s through the early 1900s.
The home is dressed to appear as it most likely did in July 1900, when Prentiss Dana Cheney I passed away and was laid in state in the home.
The Christmas at the Cheney Mansion tour invites the community to come in and tour the home in all its yuletide splendor, featuring Christmas decor through the decades of the 20th century. The dates for the Christmas tours have not been set in stone as of yet, but will occur between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
As of now, the current policy at both special exhibitions is to reserve a spot ahead of time at a cost of $10. Masks are required to be worn at both special exhibitions.