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Historical Society Needs a Few Good Volunteers

Everyone in Western Springs is familiar with the Water Tower Museum. However, the Historical Society’s office at the Grand Avenue Community Center houses most of its collection of photos and records.

You may have toured the Western Springs Historical Society museum in the village’s historic water tower. Or, perhaps you’ve visited the restored Ekdahl House, behind the village’s main fire station. If so, you’ve seen some great artifacts and photographs depicting the town’s 126 year history. But, there’s another side of the Society that fewer residents have seen.

The Archives office, located on the second floor of the Grand Avenue Community Center, is a treasure trove of newspaper clippings, photographs, slides (remember slides?), and negatives relating to the village’s history.  The archives office also houses hundreds of genealogical files relating to Village residents, as well as historical information about many of the village’s homes.  See second photo.

Maintaining some sense of order is a cadre of volunteers. As shown below, the Society’s volunteers use personal computers to inventory all of the artifacts donated to the Society, as well as to conduct research.  See third photo.

Insuring the accuracy of membership records is also a challenge. Harriet Potenza manages these, including mailing out those all-important renewal reminders. See fourth photo.

Keeping track of historical information relating to residences is also a major effort.  Long-time volunteer Jeanette Fanta often helps residents who are interested in researching the history of their homes.  See fifth photo.

To preserve files and photographs for future generations, volunteers like Ray Gustafson are helping digitize as many such items as possible. Volunteers also enjoy occasional coffee breaks, as Ray is demonstrating below.   See sixth photo.

This dedicated group meets on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to Noon.  However, there is a need for more volunteers. If you’re interested in helping us and making some new friends, just call and leave a message any time (708-246-9230).

If you cannot volunteer on Tuesday mornings, the Society is also considering opening the Archives one evening each week with volunteers who aren’t able to donate time on weekdays. And, if office work isn’t what interests you, the Society has other volunteer opportunities in event planning, conducting tours, or serving on a board committee.

So, regardless of your skills, interests, or work status (homemaker, retiree, or wage earner), we have a spot for you!  We hope you’ll consider volunteering to help preserve our village’s rich history for future generations.       

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