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Sliding Stairs New Artifact at DeMoulin Museum(Monday, August 29, 2016) - The DeMoulin Museum, located in downtown Greenville, Illinois, has added another strange lodge initiation item to its arsenal. The Sliding Stairs, manufactured by DeMoulin Bros. & Co. during its fraternal period in the early 1900s, could be the museum's rarest piece. Museum staff believe very few were manufactured due to the size and nature of the device.
“It's remarkable the factory sold any of them,” observed John Goldsmith, DeMoulin Museum curator. “The blindfolded candidate sat upon the top step of the stairs. A lodge member would trip the mechanism causing the steps to collapse, resulting in the candidate quickly sliding to the bottom. All of our volunteers agree the users of this device must have sustained a few injuries.”
As was the norm for DeMoulin initiation devices, a blank cartridge was also discharged and a bell would ring.
The contraption was purchased from an Austin, Texas antique dealer who found it in a store in Indiana, where it was about to be used as a display shelf. Fortunately the Texas dealer identified it as possibly being a DeMoulin device and immediately contacted the museum. “I'm not sure what amazes me more---that the DeMoulin Sliding Stairs exists or the good fortune that brought it to us,” Goldsmith noted.
(Above Right: DeMoulin Museum curator, John Goldsmith, demonstrates the trick to the sliding stairs.)
Click to enlarge photo!
Thanks For Choosing Us!(Sunday, July 31, 2016) - We're proud to be your choice as Bond County's Best Summer Fun Place and Best Family Fun Place! (Bond & Fayette County Shopper poll)
(Right: DeMoulin Museum volunteer places a Best in Bond County window cling on the museum's door.)
Overview of Museum
Founded in 1892 as a manufacturer of lodge paraphernalia and regalia, DeMoulin Bros. & Co. of Greenville, Illinois is one of the nation's leading makers of marching band uniforms. The company's diverse production history has included graduation caps and gowns, choir robes, church and lodge furniture, and lodge initiation devices.
The DeMoulin Museum, founded in 2010, pays tribute to the founders, employees, and amazing products created by this unique factory. Though the museum contains examples of many of DeMoulin's creations, the lodge initiation devices---including the Bucking Goat; Invisible Paddle Machine; and Lifting and Spraying Machine---are what have attracted visitors from over 30 states.
June through August:
Fri: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Sat: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Sun: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
September through May:
Sat: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Admission by donation.
Group tours welcome.
110 W. Main, Greenville, IL, 62246
One block east of the Greenville square.
Help support the DeMoulin Museum!
The DeMoulin Museum is supported by a not-for-profit organization through the Bond County Community Foundation. Although endorsed by DeMoulin Bros. & Co., the DeMoulin Museum is not operated by the factory. Your donation is important to maintaining the museum.