Deere sites will shine Dec. 4 in all their holiday glory

Deere-Wiman House
This traditional Victorian Christmas tree is one of the stars of the 19th Century Christmas at the Deere historic homes in Moline. CREDIT BUTTERWORTH FOUNDATION

The 150th Anniversary celebration of Moline’s Deere-Wiman House continues Sunday, Dec. 4 with a 19th Century Christmas – an annual tradition celebrated by the William Butterworth Foundation historic sites.

Not only will visitors to the party be able to take a photo by the traditional Victorian Christmas tree to document the sesquicentennial of the home built for the Charles Deere family in 1872. But for the first time since 2019 they can experience the wonder of a traditional Victorian Christmas at all of the site’s Deere family homes.

Deere-Wiman House
Visitors to Moline’s four Deere historic sites will encounter spaces like this dining room decked out for the holidays during the 19th Century Christmas. CREDIT BUTTERWORTH FOUNDATION

Those who join the event, scheduled for noon to 5 p.m., are especially fortunate that this year’s Deere-Wiman House and Butterworth Center’s 19th Century Christmas will be back in all their glory after COVID-19 restrictions heavily impacted the 2020 and 2021 events. 

For example, organizers tried to offer scheduled visits in 2020 and then had to completely cancel. In 2021, only Deere-Wiman House – which was home to four generations of John Deere’s family –  was fully decorated and tours were conducted in limited numbers with timed entries. Other buildings were partially decorated for group meetings.

For 2022, the entire complex on Moline’s hilltop will be wearing its holiday best, the center promises. That includes the Butterworth Center, which was built in 1892 by Charles Deere as a wedding gift for his daughter, Katherine Deere Butterworth.

This year’s guests will be welcomed beginning at noon and all of the favorite traditions will be back: cookies, punch, Santa, free children’s books, music, poinsettias, trees, and decorations aplenty, according to the Butterworth Foundation.

Here’s some of what visitors to the sites can sample on Dec. 4 at the historic Moline homes:

  • Butterworth Center, 1105 Eight Street: At the 1892 home of Katherine and William Butterworth, enjoy cookies and punch, tour three floors decorated for the holidays, and enjoy singers and musicians from local high schools. 
  • Butterworth Education Center, corner of 12th Avenue & Seventh Street: Tour the Butterworths’ former garage, built in 1910. Meet Santa, who will pass out treats to all and free books to the first 400 youngsters. Drink hot chocolate and spiced cider, and make a take home craft, sponsored by WQPT Quad Cities Public Television. 
  • Deere-Wiman House, 817 11th Ave.: Tour the 1872 home of Charles Deere and soak up the holiday sounds of accomplished pianist Asher Ciaccio and the Slide Trombone Quartet. 
  • Deere-Wiman Carriage House – 817 11th Ave. (east of the Deere-Wiman House): Sip hot chocolate, munch a Christmas cookie, and make a holiday craft. Get a face painting by talented Xochi Pannell and a portrait by expert caricature artist Josh Wright. 

If you don’t get a chance to enjoy Christmas at the homes, the Butterworth Center also is using the event to remind potential visitors that all of the homes, which once belonged to John Deere’s descendants, also serve year-round as community centers.

Throughout the year, the historic buildings host free, family-appropriate events, including community group meetings, concerts featuring a variety of musical genres, lectures by local and national  experts, tours that highlight regional and Deere family history, day camps and educational  programs for students, and community events that attract thousands each year. 

All events are funded by the William Butterworth Foundation, which manages both Butterworth  Center and Deere-Wiman House. 

For a full calendar of community events,  visit butterworthcenter.com

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