Flowers and Jazz in Bloom

July 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

Jazz in bloom 3 (2)The Dana-Thomas House Foundation hosts Jazz in Bloom, their annual fundraiser, from 6 to 9 tonight.  It is always a delightful evening with a jazz band entertaining the guests who enjoy a light catered supper served under a tent in the courtyard.  Party goers are invited to bid on items in a silent auction and to stroll through the house where volunteers are posted in various rooms to answer questions.

Wearing a white satin gown with a diamond necklace, Susan hosted a similar party in 1906, but on a much grander scale.  According to contemporary newspapers, the “reception and garden party” was from three to six in the afternoon and from eight to twelve in the evening of June 22. No less than 44 women assisted Susan in receiving the guests at the Lawrence House.  Two orchestras entertained the revelers: one on the balcony overlooking the reception area in the house, and one in the courtyard accompanying the guests who danced on a platform under a canopy.  Maldaners, a restaurant still serving Springfield today, catered.  Newspapers reported that nearly 1,000 attended.

The description of the decorations in the Illinois State Journal reveals that the entire house was in bloom for Susan’s party:

In the entrance hall, where the receiving line stood, the floral color scheme was of cream and yellow. The reception hall was made specially attractive by a cluster of large Spanish bayonets and a huge jar of yellow roses.  At the fountain, water lilies and white and yellow daisies were artistically arranged…The whole fountain was entwined with asparagus vines.

In the dining room the decorations were yellow and white daisies and along the conservatory corridor baskets of white and yellow daisies were suspended, while asparagus vine was wreathed around the pillars.

Inconceivably pretty and attractive was the garden in the evening, lighted by numerous Japanese lanterns suspended symmetrically overhead and throwing a soft light on the merry-makers below.  Along the walls that enclose the garden was a huge Greek vase filled with holly hocks and old-fashioned flowers.  The feature of the garden, however, was the lily pond….lined with a score of water lilies, forming one of the prettiest of the decorations.

The lily pond is still the main feature of the garden, and the well-manicured plants and other blooming flowers create a special ambiance in the courtyard.  Guests tonight will be treated to jazz and flowers in bloom just as Susan would have planned it.

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