Edwards Place: The Springfield Art Association live theater for a cause

Edwards Place: The Springfield Art Association live theater for a cause

Edwards Place, built in 1833, and remodeled in 1857, is an historic house museum that tells the story of social and domestic life in Abraham Lincoln’s Springfield.

Benjamin Edwards, an attorney and the youngest son of Ninian Edwards, who was Governor and brother-in-law to Mary Lincoln’s sister, first owned the home.  The house is home to the famous “courting couch,” which is said to be used by Abraham and Mary Lincoln during their early romantic years. 

Edwards Place was received by The Springfield Art Association in 1913 with the purpose of becoming the association’s headquarters.  The association has since expanded and is no longer headquartered at the house, but continues to manage the home and preservation of the historic site.  Modern restoration of the first floor began in June 2014 and finished in February 2015.

Restoration of the Italianate mansion continues as The Springfield Art Association continues to raise funds to restore the second floor.  They have been awarded a grant, which has a one-third matching through the Jeffris Family Foundation in Janesville, Wisconsin to assist with these efforts.  Attending events organized by The Springfield Art Association is one of the best ways to help the association raise money to maintain this unique piece of art and history. 

For those who enjoy dinner theatre, role playing, and detective games, The Springfield Art Association holds bi-annual themed Murder Mysteries.  They discovered just how popular Murder Mysteries are having sold out not only their first, but second, and now third events.  Its third Murder Mystery, which was held in late October, sold out in three days even with the addition of another event date. So what makes these events so popular?

The Springfield Art Association coordinates the entire evening from writing and directing to costumes, location, casting, and rehearsals.  Having experience in putting on productions and a background in art and writing, The Springfield Art Association is able to put on a quality production unlike any other available in the Springfield area.  On top of this, all Murder Mysteries have been held at Edwards Place which has a rich history all its own.  Prior to restorations of the first floor, stories say that frequent 3am calls were made to the house as motion detectors would trip the alarm.  Police would arrive early in the morning to find a vacant home without any sign of disturbance.  Yet another reason this is the perfect location for a Murder Mystery.  Spooked by this?  No worries, there have been no incidences since completion of the first floor restoration efforts.

If you find that a Murder Mystery isn’t for you, The Springfield Art Association will also be hosting a literary evening November 12th.  Guests who attend will have the chance to hear 19th century literature and prose read by period appropriate interpreters throughout Edwards Place.  The live entertainment will be followed by a wine and dessert reception, and for the holidays, Christmas carols will be played on Mary Lincoln’s sister Elizabeth’s piano on December 18th.

To learn more about how you can support Edwards Place Historic Home, you can visit their site at:


(217) 523-2631