Spring Afternoon Tea

***Please be advised, due the to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) we have postponed the Spring Tea until Fall. September 13th is only a tentative date***

You are invited to a Spring Afternoon Tea to celebrate the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage, the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Your host will be Esta Barrett, the owner of Indian Hill Manor from 1918 to 1947, who was an advocate for working women. She welcomes noted suffragist Catharine Waugh McCulloch who will share her thoughts on this momentous occasion.Catharine Waugh McCulloch, a lawyer, suffragist, and advocate to women’s rights from Rockford. McCulloch grew-up on a farm north of New Milford and graduated from Rockford Female Seminary in 1882 where she did her thesis on wages paid to women. She went on to earn her law degree and practice law in Rockford before moving to Chicago with her husband.

She was an activist for temperance, women’s suffrage and legal rights for women, and served as the legislative chair of the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association from 1890 to 1912. She lobbied for a bill to ensure women’s suffrage for local and presidential elections in Illinois, and drafted legislation to give wives equal guardianship rights over their children.

She was president of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois from 1916 to 1920 and was an active member, legal advisor and frequent speaker for the National American Women Suffrage Association. After the 19th Amendment was passed, McCulloch continued to work for women’s rights with the League of Women Voters.

Cost of the tea is $35. Reservations are limited. To reserve a seat for the tea call Smeja Homestead Foundation, 815-964-6464 or email Smejafdn@gmail.com by April 24th. Payment may be made via cash, check or PayPal –paypal.me/SmejaHomesteadFdn . Payment is due in advance to reserve your seat

Dress in suffragist white and/or yellow appropriate for 1920 if you’d like. White and yellow satin were the suffrage colors.

To reserve a spot, please contact us at 815-964-6464 or smejafdn@gmail.com or register below.


Ho-Chunk Flute Making Workshop at Indian Hill Manor

Friday through Sunday, August 23 – 25, 2019
Led by William Quackenbush, Deer clan member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, and Tribal Heritage Preservation Officer.
Cost: $150, including all materials to make your flute and carrying bag. Register below.

This 3-day instructional Workshop will teach you about the history of the Native American courting flute, then guide you on how to make, and play your very own flute. You’ll leave with a beautiful Ho-Chunk style courting flute and will have the skills to play the flute.

The Workshop’s location is at Indian Hill Farm at 7058 Kishwaukee Road, Rockford, Illinois. The farm is located near the confluence of the Kishwaukee and Rock rivers, southwest of Rockford, that is the site of many historic Ho-Chunk cultural features.

The workshop will be held over 3 days: Friday, August 23, 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.;
Saturday, August 24, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; Sunday, August 25, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

  • The workshop is limited to 14 participants.
  • A minimum of 7 participants are needed to hold the Workshop.
  • Participants must be 18 years or older and be able to work with woodworking tools.
  • Meals are on your own. Bring snacks and beverages or go to nearby sandwich shops. A refrigerator and microwave are available to use.

A limited number of beds are available at Indian Hill Manor, across the road from the farm, for $50/night/person (single bed, double occupancy), or $75/night (double bed), for Friday and Saturday nights. A down payment of the first night’s rental fee is required to reserve a room at the Manor. Bring your own food for breakfast and other meals (a refrigerator is available), or go out for meals at nearby restaurants.

The workshop is sponsored by the Smeja Homestead Foundation, Inc., a private foundation that owns and operates Indian Hill Manor and Farm, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Foundation works to preserve the Manor and Farm and local history.

To reserve a place in the Workshop, and beds at the Manor, call 815-964-6464, or e-mail Jerry Paulson at Smejafdn@gmail.com. Your reservation will be secured when payment is received.
Checks should be made payable to: Smeja Homestead Foundation and sent to 6901 Kishwaukee Road, Rockford, Illinois 61109.

For more information about the workshop contact: Kim Smeja, 815-994-0803, or via e-mail: iamcowgirl54@gmail.com.

Register For Workshop


Afternoon Tea at Indian Hill Manor

Join us for an afternoon tea at Indian Hill Manor and learn about the history of this enchanting place! Dress for a 1927 tea party if desired.
$35.00 per person, limited seating.

To reserve a spot, please contact us at 815-964-6464 or smejafdn@gmail.com or register below.

Register Below