Step back in Decatur’s history to the era of 1915 for an elegant dinner followed by the sizzling true-life entertainment, “A Time to Remember,” based on actual historic Decatur events. The evening is hosted by the James Millikin Homestead, and proceeds benefit the restoration, outreach, preservation and educational activities of the Home- stead. The dinner will begin with cocktails at 6 p.m., Saturday, March 9, in the University Com-mons at Millikin University and is open to the public. Reservations are $100 per person and sponsorship opportunities are available. Black tie is optional, and 1915 Edwardian-style attire is welcome.
Millikin’s Chef Brian Pehr will be serving up authentic dishes of the period. “This is an evening that will appeal to fans of “Downtown Abbey” as well as to history buffs and to those who are fans of the book on which our event is based,” says Linda Ostrander, president of the James Millikin Homestead Board. “It has a “Real Housewives of Decatur” sort of feel, too.” The popular book that serves as the foundation for the event is “The Forgotten Life of Sarah Grady” by local author Mary Lynn.
The after-dinner entertainment is set at a high-society dinner in 1915. It features live performers in a dramatic re-enactment of a true and scandalous love triangle from the early 1900s: Sarah, a Decatur housewife; her unsupportive and successful businessman husband, William; and her secret lover, Ed, a business associate of William’s. Author Lynn had written her book after finding love letters to Sarah from Ed hidden away in the attic of Sarah’s former home on Millikin Place in Decatur. Local residents Molly Shade and Jan Hooten, both with years of experience in music and theater productions in the Decatur area, have developed the night’s program and are among the featured performers. Since 1976, a nonprofit, volunteer board has been responsible for the preservation and maintenance of the Homestead.
The 143-year-old Decatur landmark is the former home of Millikin University Founder James Millikin and his wife, Anna. It has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1974 and hosts hundreds of visitors each year for educational and community activities. The Homestead is also a popular rental venue for weddings, meetings and other events. To make reservations to “A Time to Remember,” or for more information, call Homestead Board Member Ann-Marie Hillyer at 217-855-0363 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.