Wednesday, October 5, 2011
The annual fundraiser still has some spots available for the Nov. 5 event.
The La Grange Area Historical Society’s, 444 S. La Grange Road, main fundraiser every year is their Trivia Night. It’s a night of fun, trivia and competition at the Park District of La Grange Recreation Center, 536 East Ave. The event is ‘Ravinia Style’ and contestants are encouraged to bring their own snack and beverages. This is an over twenty-one event so beer and wine are permitted. I talked to Karen Lynch, President of the LGAHS about the upcoming fundraiser. She gave me a little history of the fierce competition this event tends to bring out. The first year the neighbors on the 100 South block of Madison Ave. were the champs with the Miss Patty and librarians from the La Grange Public Library, 10 W. Cossitt Ave., coming in second. …
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
After receiving a grant for Past Perfect cataloging software, the La Grange Area Historical Society continues to input all their treasures for easy identification.
Every time I visit the La Grange Area Historical Society, 444 S. La Grange Rd., I notice something that I hadn’t seen before. On my last visit, I spotted an old map of La Grange that I don’t remember seeing. I asked volunteer Mary Ann Sward if it had always been in that spot and she responded, “It’s been there every time you’ve been here.” That got me thinking about the amount of items they have and how they keep them all straight. When I asked about cataloguing all their treasures, three volunteers quickly responded, “You need to talk to Ed our computer guy.” I talked to Ed Thoele, the resident ‘computer guy’ who has been a long-time volunteer at LGAHS to find out how they keep all their treasures organized. “Last year we were able to …
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Today is making tomorrow’s history, and the LGAHS would like your stories about living in La Grange.
I remember not long after moving into my home, my next door neighbor told me about her visit to the La Grange Area Historical Society, 444 S. La Grange Rd. She wanted to find out the history on her home. After her visit she had some interesting information on her house. Her garage is only a one-car garage; it’s extra long, but not long enough for two cars. She found out that one of the owners had built the garage for his furniture caning business. In the warmer months he did his work in his garage. That same owner raised four children in her home and after the birth of each child they planted an evergreen tree to honor the birth. Apparently the trees became too big and were removed by the previous owners…
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Picture gallery of vintage hats on display at the LaGrange Area Historical Society.
This week, Viewfinder features vintage hats from the La Grange Area Historical Society, that will be on display through the summer. These pictures are just a fraction of the spectacular hats you can view. Make sure you find the time to check out the rest of this display over the summer.
Monday, April 11, 2011
It has changed hands several times since it was built in 1893 by School District 102.
The Kensington School in La Grange currently runs a day care, preschool, kindergarten, after school programs, and summer camps out of its two buildings: a historic school house at 127 N. Kensington Ave, and a modern, larger school at 125 N. Kensington Ave. Their smaller, historic school building has had a long history in the local education system. The La Grange Area Historical Society, 444 S. LaGrange Road, gave me a wealth of information about the history of the building. As La Grange was starting to organize as a town, there was a school at the corner of Cossitt and Ashland avenues. (It is now the location of the First United Methodist Church, 100 W. Cossitt Ave.) Members of the church held Sunday services in the school for a time. By …
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
The northwest corner of Brainard and Hillgrove avenues housed the birth of commerce in the village back in 1868.
On a visit to the La Grange Area Historical Society, 444 S. La Grange Road, I learned that the brick building at the northeast corner of Brainard and Hillgrove avenues stands in the location of the first business in La Grange. Historical Society volunteers also gave me the history behind the buildings that occupied that location over the years. John Unold and John Robb open Unold’s Grocery and Market in 1868 at the spot where Vintage Charm now exists. Many of the local farmers traded at the market. The two-story frame building also had a hall on the second floor, which was rented out for parties and meetings. The hall was also used for dancing. On dance nights horse-drawn carriages had a route that they traveled picking up 12 to 20 …
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
In the 1950s, Marlboro cigarettes had a famous advertising campaign featuring men that were real people, not professional models—one La Grange man working on the campaign was also featured.
I was born in the '60s, and have vague memories of the decade. One thing I do remember is the smoking. I remember every restaurant had a cigarette machine at the entrance and in addition to mints they also had books of matches with their logo on them. It was much different times. You could smoke anywhere, cough, cough. A La Grange resident, E. Lee Stanley, ended up in one of the print ads as a Marlboro Man. The La Grange Area Historical Society, 444 S. La Grange Road, was able to supply information about this creative man. Stanley was a longtime resident who attended Cossitt Avenue School and Lyons Township High School. He was an ad man, like the AMC series, "Mad Men". While working at Leo Burnett as vice president and art department …
Monday, April 4, 2011
In October 1942, La Grange parted with the one-ton artillery to help the efforts of World War II.
Nearly 70 years ago, the La Grange village hall was guarded by two Spanish-American War cannons that sat in front of the entrance at the beginning of the last set of steps facing LaGrange Road. The one-ton cannons were rather grand and stately, as you can see in the picture attached to this article. What happened to the two cannons? During World War II, there was a shortage in material needed to produce ammunition. All over the United States, scrap drives were being held to help with the war effort. Paper drives were held along with scrap metal drives. It was a national effort to recycle and was considered very patriotic at the time. La Grange officials decided to do their part by donating the two large cannons that flanked the entrance of…
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
When membership increased, the course needed to expand from nine holes to 18 holes and was forced to move—err, roll—to its current location.
According to local history tracked by the La Grange Area Historical Society, the La Grange Country Club, 620 S. Brainard Ave., was founded in 1899 and was one of 30 golf clubs in the Chicago area by the end of 1900. It didn’t always reside at its current address on Brainard, though. Originally, the Club was a nine-hole course located at the southeast corner of 47th Street and La Grange Road—it was forced to move to a new location because of expanding membership. The game of golf was gaining popularity and its 47th Street property did not have enough land to hold 18 holes. It was decided by Howard VanDorn, the architect, that the 47th Street clubhouse could be used as a second floor of the new clubhouse on Brainard. The original clubhouse …
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Built in 1901, this landmark in our village was built to out-shine—but pay homage to—a nearby depot.
Over the years, buildings in La Grange have been built and eventually torn down to make way for bigger, better, or more efficient buildings. One that still remains since its construction in 1901 is the Stone Avenue Station, 701 W. Burlington Ave. It’s a beautiful building that is rich with early La Grange history, which the volunteers at the La Grange Area Historical Society, 444 S. LaGrange Road, relayed to me. The first train to pass through La Grange in 1864 actually originated in Aurora. The Aurora Branch Rail Road was built at the cost of one million dollars with the original stop, a milk stop just west of Brainard Avenue called Hazel Glen. It was moved in 1868 to a settlement on Brainard. Commuter service started in 1869. In 1901, …