A new chapter for Eldon House

IMG_1534bAs of January 1, 2013 Eldon House embarked on the exciting, liberating adventure of becoming its own incorporated organization/heritage museum. Still owned by the City of London, Eldon House will now manage itself with the direction of a board of directors appointed by the city and with the help of a new interim manager.

The Eldon House board began its work in September 2012 in preparation for the heritage museum’s independence day. I was honoured to be one of five appointed members, serving as Vice-Chair. As we approached January 1, we had the opportunity to work with the staff and hear from stakeholders who help maintain Eldon House as a London treasure and oldest residence. The feedback from those partners was highly valued, helping us make the needed decisions for day-to-day operations as well as plan exciting programming for 2013.

EH2013LeveeInviteMediaWe kicked-off this new chapter for Eldon House with the age-old annual tradition of throwing a New Year`s Day Levee. This no-charge event was a fun way for Eldon House to host a party, inviting the public to celebrate the continued success of this important heritage site. And wow, this house is a great place to host a party!!

Visitors were ceremoniously greeted and announced by London’s famous Town Crier Bill Paul upon entering the front door.Costumed staff welcomed everyone inside and gave guided tours  and answered questions about the home, educating visitors about the history of the Harris family who lived in the home until 1960. Strains of music could be heard from inside the drawing-room, emanating from the violins of Harmony Five, who filled the house with their beautiful music and singing.

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Photo credit: J. O’Neil

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At 2pm everyone assembled in the Interpretive Centre, a renovated room attached to the old coach house at the back of the property, to hear board chair Maureen Spencer Golovchenko welcome guests with greetings and introductions. I presented staff with a book of artwork on Eldon House by talented London artist Angela Lorenzen to mark the occasion and show my appreciation for the work done by this incredible team.

Afterward, a cake cutting ceremony encouraged guests to partake in delicious refreshments, including, of course, tea in china cups. Mingling and the sharing of Eldon House stories continued until 4pm, at which time visitors reluctantly took their leave. It was energizing to see so many new faces at the party, folks who had never been to the house, or those who had always meant to stop in. It was heartwarming too, to see the return of many dear friends of Eldon House, loyal supporters who, over the years, have volunteered or regularly attended events in supporting this valued piece of London’s heritage.

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Photo credit: J. O’Neil

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As we set off, full-steam-ahead, into the rest of the year, Eldon House is ready for action and adventure with new events and workshops, and now includes the community for feedback and involvement.

On January 27, a community round table event was held to gather feedback on past events and input on ideas for the future. We covered several key topics and enjoyed some engaging discussions about what makes Eldon House so unique and why people love coming back again and again to share in a piece of London`s history.

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If you didn’t have a chance to attend to express your thoughts for Eldon House’s future events, please complete the survey and share your ideas. You can email the completed survey to me at misstoricalfiction@hotmail.ca.

In addition to the fantastic support that Eldon House has received from individuals in the community, the local media have also stepped up to the plate to help ensure that Eldon House is included as an important hub in London’s art and heritage scene. Many thanks for their support! Links to various media coverage are shared below.

As mentioned, Eldon House has some exciting, new events for 2013 as well as some of the annual events that Londoners have come to look forward to. Be sure to come visit the house this year and help Eldon House make history! See the growing 2013 program list below or visit the official website for more information and for updates on events! A print friendly version of the 2013 program is available here.

ELDON HOUSE 2013

EXHIBITIONS

Treasures from the Vault
January to March
Celebrate the latest chapter in the history of Eldon House by viewing artifacts recently returned to Eldon House from the storage vault at Museum London.
Admission by donation.

SPECIAL TOURS

Sunday Afternoon Tours
February 17 and March 10, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 p.m.
Enjoy a 50-minute guided tour of Eldon House with a costumed historical interpreter who will provide an in-depth history of the house and the Harris family who lived there.
Admission by donation.

EVENTS

Drawing classes at Eldon
4 Saturdays, February 2 to 23
Join Fanshawe College Professor Paul Dreossi to discover the artistic details of Eldon House. Predominantly using the medium of pencil, this class will explore different perspectives of architectural space and still life subjects forum within the historic interior and furnishings of Eldon House. Ages 15+, familiarity with drawing an asset.
Cost: $100. Call to register.

March Break Program
March 11 – 15
Children learn about local history through play, games and crafting.
Call for registration and cost.

Children’s Easter Party
Sunday, March 24, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Children prepare for the Easter Bunny’s arrival by playing games, making crafts and treats. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Groups of 12 or more please call to register.
Cost: $3.00 per person.


Eldon House in the media

February:

http://www.rogerstv.com/page.aspx?lid=237&rid=9&gid=107990

December/January:

http://www.rogerstv.com/page.aspx?lid=237&rid=9&sid=3268&gid=105889

http://london.ctvnews.ca/video?playlistId=1.1094188

http://www.londoncommunitynews.com/community-story/1356405-eldon-house-christmas/

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About Misstoricalfiction

Historian, researcher and writer specializing in historical fiction with a supernatural twist. By day marketing specialist in the insurance industry.

Posted on February 10, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Congratulations to Eldon House! No doubt it will be a great year.

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