It’s Bureau County Homestead Festival time once again.
A bevy of events is scheduled from Thursday through Sunday that will showcase the Princeton area’s many attributes during this 47th annual event.
People have only to pick up a festival brochure, or read the schedule in the BCR’s special Homestead Festival section in today’s paper, or view the listing of events online to realize the magnitude of this celebration.
With so many things going on, three slots in the schedule might be easy to miss.
• Owen Lovejoy Homestead tours, Friday, 1 to 4 p.m.
• Owen Lovejoy Homestead tours, Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon, and again from 3 to 5 p.m.
• Owen Lovejoy Homestead tours, Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.
The restoration of Owen Lovejoy’s house, completed in the early 1970s, was celebrated with special events at the time.
The dedication went over so well that Princeton leaders of that era decided to have an annual festival in honor of the city’s connection to Lovejoy (1811-1864), the famed 19th-century congressman, abolitionist and pastor whose brother, Elijah P. Lovejoy, was murdered by a mob in Alton, Illinois, in 1837 because of his anti-slavery beliefs.
This year, displays at the 180-year-old Lovejoy Homestead, on East Peru Street near the edge of town, have been freshened up, so some of what visitors see on tours this weekend will be different than what they’ve seen in the past.
(Of course, the secret room where Lovejoy hid runaway slaves, in his role as a leader of the pre-Civil War Underground Railroad movement, can still be viewed as before.)
Lovejoy’s moral and political leadership, and his 10-year collaboration with Abraham Lincoln, hastened the demise of slavery in this country. A 2014 book, “Collaborators for Emancipation: Abraham Lincoln and Owen Lovejoy,” by William F. Moore and Jane Ann Moore, co-directors of the Lovejoy Society, details this important collaboration that also developed into a friendship.
We hope everyone has a wonderful time at the 47th annual Bureau County Homestead Festival.
We also hope for a nice turnout for tours of the Lovejoy Homestead whose restoration nearly half a century ago launched this premier community festival.
— BCR Editorial Board