Jan 7, 2021
Dear Iles House Member:
We are pleased to let you know about a new vision for the Elijah Iles House. The Board of Directors has chosen to offer the Iles House and grounds to the National Park Service (NPS), thus assuring its care and maintenance for future generations. If accepted, the Iles House will become a part of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site.
This action is prompted by a proposal of The Abraham Lincoln Association (ALA) to reconstruct the Lincoln Cottage as it looked when the Lincolns moved in in 1844. The cottage would be built on a now vacant lot across the alley and a little to the north of the Iles House. The ALA proposes to donate the cottage to the NPS, and it would if accepted become a part of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. The ALA has been working on this project for more than 6 months and has raised over $300,000 of a budgeted $400,000 to complete the project.
The Iles House proposal and the ALA proposal will move forward in tandem with proper presentation to the NPS. The ALA project has full support from major public and private figures – from our mayor up to our senators, Chamber of Commerce, and leading historians. We will keep you advised as to the progress being made on this matter.
In the meantime, the Iles House must remain closed due to the Covid pandemic. As soon as it is permitted and it is safe, the House will reopen and return to its regular schedule, pending action on the proposal to the NPS.
If the Iles proposal is accepted by the NPS, the Iles House Foundation will remain intact with assets consisting of the parking lot at the Town House along Cook Street, the Strawbridge Shepherd House and its two paying tenants, and an endowment fund held at the Community Foundation.
Questions? Please call James (217-714-6469) or leave a message at the House (492-5929).
We thank you for your ongoing support.
James M. Cornelius
President, EIH Foundation board
Sandi Scurlock says (Mar 1, 2021):
That is good news that the Elijah Isles house will be a National Historic site. I did my college internship there in the summer of 2008. One of the people who helped me was Elaine Kerlicher. Does she still work there? I also interned at the IHPA under Jane Rhetta. Does she still work there? If they are no longer there, who do I put down when filling out applications for positions at historic sites? Thank you. Sandi Scurlock