The president of the Vandalia Historical Society believes that organization’s event at the Vandalia Statehouse on Saturday went over well.
“I think it was a huge success,” Susan Williams said. “It was such a fun time.” And that success, she said, was largely due to the amount of support the historical society received from businesses, organizations and individuals. Wine & Ale with Abe filled the Statehouse lawn with a wine-tasting area, a number of local vendors and music by local performers. The event was held to raise money for the Statehouse window restoration project. Five of the old capitol’s 36 windows have been restored, and five more are in the process of being restored, according to Andy Lester of Lester Construction, the general contractor on the project. The restoration cost is $3,000 per window. “Our goal (with Saturday’s event) was to be able to pay for two more windows, and at this time, it appears that we will be able to do that,” Williams said. The event was a success, Williams said, because of all of those people who stepped forward to help and be involved. “We had so much help from individuals, organizations and businesses,” she said. “There were just so many volunteers,” Williams said. “We had people calling, saying, “I will help all day, just tell me what to do.” “We have a board (of directors) of some very-hard working volunteers, and that’s the kind of volunteers we had for Saturday,” she said. “We’re just so appreciative of everyone who volunteered or supported the event by showing up on Saturday,” Williams said. “And we’re so thankful for the crews from Vandalia Correctional Center who came to help set up and then came back on Sunday to tear down and clean up the grounds,” she said. “Everything was so wonderful, and we’re hoping to do this every year,” Williams said. With Wine & Ale with Abe in the books, the historical society will now turn its attention to holiday events coming up. The organizations will be involved when the Statehouse is open during Olde Tyme Christmas in downtown Vandalia. The historical society is also gearing up for its annual Christmas event, the Christmas Gala at the Vandalia Statehouse on Friday evening, Dec. 8, the night before the Christmas Open House at the Statehouse. Tickets for the evening of holiday food, live music and drinks are $50 each. Those attending the event will also receive this year’s Statehouse Christmas ornament.