Home for the Holidays House Tour

Save the date – Saturday, December 3, 2022, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Experience a simpler time in the quaint, historic Village of Elsah, Illinois. You’re invited to tour selected private homes decorated for the holidays. The whole village retains the character and feel of a bygone time. Many of the homes on the tour were constructed in the mid-19th century, often with the stone from the local quarry.

In addition to the private homes on the tour, other points of interest in Elsah, which are open to all, are the Village Museum, Farley Music Hall, the Village Civic Center and historic school room, Maple Leaf Cottage Inn, Green Tree Inn, Elsah General Store, Systir Studio and Life in the Postcard Gallery, The Look Factory, Christian Science Reading Room, and more.

There is no extra charge for a ride on a horse and carriage, which will circle the historic village during the home tour.

Advanced home tour ticket price $20
Day of event ticket price $25

Purchase Tour Tickets

Read about several Elsah residents and homes from previous tours:

House tour tickets may be purchased at Elsah General Store, Green Tree Inn, Maple Leaf Cottage Inn, and Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau in Alton. Advanced and online ticket purchases may be picked up at Farley Music Hall at 37 Mill Street. Day of event tickets may also be purchased at Farley Music Hall.

Historic Elsah Foundation celebrates, educates, and preserves the buildings in Village of Elsah. You may join Historic Elsah Foundation as a member at any time.

The Stories That Shape Us, talk by Janet Riehl

Hosmer-Williams Lecture
Farley Music Hall, Elsah, Illinois
April 28, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

We listen with interest and amusement when our parents tell us stories about our grandparents, and also when grandparents inform us of great grandparents. These intergenerational accounts—some yarns, some legends—create our personal histories; they confirm who we are.

Author, artist, and storyteller Janet Grace Riehl is heir to over 150 years of tales that the Riehl-Thompsons have swapped. These stories have shaped six generations of working and living atop the bluffs above the Mississippi in Jersey County.

In “The Stories that Shape Us,” (to be presented April 28, 2022, at 7:30 p.m., at Farley Music Hall, Elsah, Illinois) Janet will tell us about the power of stories and how her family’s narrative is woven into the life of our community.

Janet is a country girl who roamed the world and then followed her heart back home to Riverbend. She is the great-granddaughter of E. A. Riehl who founded the family home place—Evergreen Heights—in the 1860s, where she lives today. She is an award-winning author of “Sightlines: A Poet’s Diary,” and the companion audio book “Sightlines: A Family Love Story in Poetry and Music.” Her artwork has been shown internationally.

This program is one of this year’s Hosmer-Williams Lectures sponsored by Historic Elsah Foundation and underwritten by Liberty Bank: A United Community Bank.

Elsah Museum Opens 2022 Photography Exhibit

Current Photography Competition Information

The Village of Elsah Museum announces the opening of the Village of Elsah Museum for the 2022 season with its annual photography exhibit on Saturday, April 2 at 1 pm. The purpose of the exhibit is to celebrate and foster an appreciation of the beauty and unique qualities of the Village. The exhibit theme is “Elsah Postcard.”  

The judge was Erica Popp, an artist and photography teacher. She commented on the high quality of the submitted images. She felt that the winner gave a clear message encouraging winter visitors to come to Elsah and see the Eagles. The exhibit awards include the annual Village of Elsah purchase prize, four special recognitions and a youth prize.

The Village of Elsah Purchase Prize is for “Welcome to Elsah” by photographer, Patricia Ott of Godfrey, Illinois, pictured above. The purchase prize photograph will be part of the Village of Elsah Museum’s collection. As the winner of the Village of Elsah Purchase Prize, Ms. Ott will also receive the Green Tree Inn award of an overnight stay for two. The photograph is an image of the Village welcome sign on a snowy day with an Eagle perched on the sign. 

Ms. Ott is a well-known local nature photographer. She has taken many photographs of eagles.  She often feels a strong connection with her subjects. The photograph was taken on January 14, 2022, Sony A7R4 with a 70-200mm f2.8 prime lens. The photograph is customed framed, using an archival quality mat and UV filtering glass.

There were four recognitions for photographs with outstanding qualities. These were awarded to Joan Baker for “Elsah General Store” for the use of color and expression of theme, Tim Eckels for “Through the Past” for composition, Karen King for “The Tunnel” for its iconic image and storybook quality, and Jeff Vaughn for both his entries, “Bluffs and River Bend in Autumn Light” and “Redbud and Blue River Reflection,” for the outstanding quality of the images and prints.

For the fourth year, a Youth Award was given for the best photograph submitted by a person between the ages of 10 and 18 years old. The winning photograph was “Elsah Village Hall” by Penny Hosmer of Godfrey, Illinois. This is Penny Hosmer’s first entry in the photography exhibit.

The following photographers are represented in the exhibit: Joan Baker, Tim Eckels, Kaye Hayden, Jon Hosmer, Penny Hosmer, Karen King, Marty McKay, Yvonne Mossman, Patricia Ott, Holly Rain, Rosa Renner, Carolyn Schlueter, Jeffrey Vaughn, and Cynthia Verseman.

The Museum exhibit will be open the first weekend in April and every Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 pm until Sunday, August 7, 2022. Visitors are encouraged to wear masks and keep a social distance. Hand sanitizer is available at the door. A celebration of the winners and participants will be held on Saturday, April 2 at 1 pm with refreshments outside, weather permitting. All the photographs are for sale; and proceeds are retained by the photographer. The Museum will continue to be open Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 pm with its regular exhibits through the end of October.

Thanks go to all who make this exhibit possible with their funding and time. We thank the Village of Elsah Board of Trustees and Mayor Pitchford, Historic Elsah Foundation, Green Tree Inn, the Village of Elsah Museum Advisory Committee and Museum attendants, Sally Horbelt and Jeff DePew.