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Living History Site to host Effingham Festival
Danny Harden making ax handle
Danny Harden demonstrates making an ax handle. - photo by Photo provided

Folks, a new annual activity will premier April 12 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Effingham Festival at the Living History Site will offer a great day for those in attendance. The date is that of the former Olde Effingham Days. The event will be held on Historic Effingham Society’s Living History Site at the corner of North Pine and Early Streets in Springfield. The Effingham Museum in the Old Jail will be open for tours as well as their gift shop.

Effingham Museum offers displays from prehistoric to the 1960s including: Native American Indians, Civil War, Veterans Room, the old jail cells and infirmary and much more.

The Living History site has 12 buildings dating from 1830 to 1950 that will be open. Furnished houses, an old pole barn, blacksmith shop, carpenter shop, and the Blandford Railroad Depot offer a step back in time for the visitors. Live demonstrations of old crafts and handicrafts will be scattered throughout the grounds. Local historian Norman Turner will have old tools and explain how they were used in days gone by.

The Sons of the Confederate Veterans Camp Davis group will have an encampment and they will hold drills in uniform.

A doll and quilt show sponsored by the Springfield Garden Club will be held in the Ruth and Herman Gnann House.

Historic Effingham will have food on site for sale including their signature “hash and rice” along with pork barbecue sandwiches, hot dogs, chips and drinks. Other vendors on site will be offering information, crafts and treats.

Baked goods will be offered in a bake sale throughout the day featuring goodies from many of Effingham’s finest bakers.

There will be tractors, old cars, musical bands and solo artists, rambling musicians and many surprises. Children’s activities from back in the day will contrast the modern bouncing feature being brought in to delight the youngsters. Entertainment scheduled so far includes Josh Sanders, Joyful Noise, Brian Fuller and our returning Tommy Hall and his band.

If you would like to volunteer, please call because it takes many to staff the event. We are grateful for the Boy Scouts and Springfield Fire Department who are assisting. Items are also needed for the bake sale.

Baked goods can be dropped off April 11 at the museum, or call for other arrangements. For vendor or other information, contact Effingham Museum at 754-2170, Betty Renfro at 826-4705 or check the website at

An area around the north end of the courthouse, including part of Early and Pine streets, will be closed to accommodate the festival and vendors. Plenty of parking will be available. Come one and all and have a great Saturday looking back in time, sampling great food, touring the site and enjoying the entertainment.

This was written by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. If you have photos, comments or information to share, contact Susan Exley at 754-6681 or email her at: