The Governor Duncan Association’s Kentucky Derby party provided a display of some very big hats and hearts, as well. The Governor Duncan Mansion is a historical attraction for the Jacksonville area and as most any historical structure or building, there is maintenance and upkeep of the once home of Illinois Governor Joseph Duncan and his family for four years, starting in the year in which Duncan had it built, 1834. Today, the mansion is owned and operated by the Rev. James Caldwell Chapter NSDAR; not only is it the venue for a Kentucky Derby themed fundraiser, it is also open for tours otherwise. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, the mansions houses many of the original Duncan family furnishings. “The mansion has recently completed many restoration projects to the house and grounds to help stabilize the home, and create a more accurate historical representation of the time period of the Duncans,” notes literature found at www.duncanmansion.com. The mansion is a piece of local Illinois history, which is available to anyone.
Though the recent Kentucky Derby celebratory gathering featured guests in gawdy, heavy hats or decorative fascinators and added ornamentation of plastic toy horses spray painted gold and a particular derby hat stitched with bills or various denominations, the style of the mansion remains once the supporters and heightened derby ambiance left for the day.