Five Mile House hosting open house


Mackenzie Freund

Jeannie Ahasay, a volunteer at the Five Mile House, demonstrates how women in pioneer times would spin yarn out of sheep’s fleece on Aug. 30. Ahasay said it would probably take about three to five hours to spin one spindle of yarn if she sat down and just did that.

Destiny Bell, Staff Reporter

The Charleston Five Mile House will be hosting an open house on July 24 from 1-4 p.m.

The open house will feature a presentation on the life of a Charleston native who worked as a lawyer for F.D.R. during the New Deal administration, a music segment and historical handicrafts and fun activities, according to a press release.

“The open houses have shown increased attendance by visitors year by year,” said Dick Hummel, the programs chair of the Five Mile House Foundation. “Sometimes the total afternoon visitors may peak at 20-25, other times we draw 75 or more.”

Hummel said the programs are free, with music segments during the event.

“We announce upcoming open houses in the local newspaper each week and also send an announcement to our email list of 250+ addresses,” he said. “We also send a report on each open house, describing activities and publishing pictures of the visitors enjoying the programs.

Eastern history professor Debra Reid will present “The Life and Times of Tilford Dudley: The Early Years.” Dudley was born and spent his early years in Charleston before going on to graduate from Harvard Law School and serve as a part of the New Deal administration. The Dudley’s family home on Seventh Street was donated to the Coles County Historical Society in the early 1980’s.

At 2 p.m., the Red Hills Dulcimer Society will provide a musical segment. Red Hills Dulcimer Society has played for the open house for the last three years.

All afternoon, handicrafts that existed during the early and middle period of the house’s history such as spinning, weaving, white cooper and broom making will be demonstrated.

The open house event is offered twice a month on Sundays.

The Five Mile House is located at 4810 Illinois Hwy Route 130 in Charleston.


Destiny Bell can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].