As part of the 2023 Bishop Hill Civil War Days on Sunday May 7 at 10 a.m. at the Dairy Building, Miss Ellie will present a free 2-hour program on 1850’s Tasting History.

The 1850s housewife had many of the same challenges modern homemakers have: what to feed the family that is healthy, affordable and available. Unlike today, however, she also needed to contend with issues such as milk curdling before she got the butter made; making a tough old chicken tender enough to serve; and curing her family’s illnesses with only medicines she made herself. Ellie has researched the cooking techniques, period appropriate ingredients, and recipes of the 1850s homemaker. The class is taught in costume, with tools, recipes and ingredients that could have been used in the Illinois in the late-1850s, right around the time Lincoln was debating Douglas.  1850’s food will be provided for tasting (the menu is shown below).

Menu for Tasting Civil War Era History:

Root Vegetable Stew
Fried Cornmeal Mush
Apple and Rhubarb Compote
Apple Cider or Coffee

There is no charge for attending this program and food tasting but reservations are required.  Walk-ins are not allowed.  To make a reservation, please contact the BHHA at 309 927-3899 or at  Please make your reservation by Friday April 28.  The Dairy Building is located at 410 North Erickson Street, Bishop Hill IL.