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Recalling busier days along Route 36

Recalling busier days along Route...

The Town n' Country Motel sign points the way to cabins which were...

Recalling busier days along Route 36

Recalling busier days along Route 36

The Town n' Country Motel sign points the way to cabins which were once part of The Shady Rest motel court, operated a mile south of Chrisman.  It catered to a post-war tourist boom in the 1950s when...
A close play at home plate in the Cubs old West Side Park

A close play at home plate in the...

The Chicago Cubs played in West Side Park from 1893 to 1915, as shown...

A close play at home plate in the Cubs old West Side Park

A close play at home plate in the Cubs old West Side Park

The Chicago Cubs played in West Side Park from 1893 to 1915, as shown on this pre-linen postcard featuring the wooden grandstand.  The old Cook County Hospital is visible in the background. (Postcard...
Dairy Desserts

Dairy Desserts

Stop in at The Creamery in Chandlerville for a lemon chiffon soft...

Dairy Desserts

Dairy Desserts

Stop in at The Creamery in Chandlerville for a lemon chiffon soft serve cone on a warm summer day.  (photo by William Furry)

 

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Publications

Illinois Heritage is our publication designed to encourage various professional, amateur historians and the general public to explore and write about Prairie State history for a broad audience.

The Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society is the scholarly publication with peer-reviewed Journal articles, essays, and documents about history, literature, art technology, law, and other subjects related to Illinois and the Midwest.

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Historical Markers

Since 1934, the Illinois State Historical Society has erected more than 500 historical markers statewide. Subjects of historical significance to Illinois are co-sponsored by local organizations and supporters. The Illinois State Historical Society coordinates the placement and management of historical markers throughout the state.

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Amazon is one of the most widely used websites in the world. Just by shopping you can help support ISHS and our mission. For each of your eligible purchases the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate up to .5% of the purchase price toward ISHS. To find out how to participate and help ISHS using Amazon Smile click "More Info" below.

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    Please use the form below to submit your article/event for consideration to be added to the Illinois State Historical Society website.  Upon review it, you will be emailed the status of the article and possibly asked for additional information.  If approved we will post your article on our news roll and/or calendar of events.

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Latest News & Upcoming Events

24 Illinois sites added to National Register Historic Preservation Agency helps...

24 Illinois sites added to National Register
Historic Preservation Agency helps place 24 Illinois sites on National Register in 2014

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency’s efforts to preserve and promote the state’s heritage paid off last year with 14 buildings, eight historic districts and two archaeological sites being added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The buildings and neighborhoods are scattered from Chicago to Springfield to East St. Louis. They include family homes, warehouses and government buildings. They relate to Abraham Lincoln, racial integration, Native American art, the role of immigrants in building Illinois and much more.

Sites are added to the register by the National Park Service based on recommendations from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, which houses the state’s Historic Preservation Office.

“Reading the list of sites added to the National Register last year really drives home what a wonderful legacy we enjoy in Illinois,” said Amy Martin, director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. “Preserving historic buildings and districts helps communities stay vibrant, and this agency is proud to help the people and organizations that work so hard to make that happen.”

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Thousands of Illinois historic and prehistoric places have been designated, and more places are added each year by applicants who want the prestige, financial benefits and protections that National Register designation provides.

Every one of the 102 Illinois counties has at least one property or historic district listed in the National Register. Together, they represent a cross section of the Prairie State's history from its early settlement to the mid-20th century. In general, properties have to be more than 50 years old to be eligible. Listing on the National Register places no obligations on private property owners but does make properties eligible for some financial incentives.

The 2014 additions to the National Register from Illinois include:

COLLAR COUNTIES
David Hall House, Lake Villa
The David Hall House, designed by Chicago architect Ralph Wesley Varney, is an inventive melding of early 20th century revival and Art Deco styles. Art Deco was rarely employed for residential architecture, particularly since the style’s popularity generally shadowed the Great Depression when fewer new homes were constructed.

Elgin Downtown Historic District, Elgin
This area served as the community’s first major business center, from early shops of the 19th century to department and chain stores of the 20th. It also was the transportation and government heart of the community. The district contains a significant number of historic commercial structures.

William and Helen Coffeen House, Hinsdale
The Coffeen House and its coach house are outstanding works by master architect George W. Maher. Designed in 1899, they represent a pivotal period in the evolution of his Prairie School design. The house displays the simple unadorned forms and complex details in stained glass and carved wood that Maher was developing as hallmarks of his work.

COOK COUNTY
Chrysler Village, Chicago
Chrysler Village exemplifies a fundamental but often unacknowledged moment in the history of housing: the partnership between private developers and the federal government to house war-industries workers during World War II. The area was named for the nearby Dodge-Chrysler Plant, home to the production of engines for the B-29 Superfortress.

Oak Park Village Hall, Oak Park
Oak Park Village Hall played a key role in the village’s struggle to halt white flight. Oak Park received national attention for the way it inspire

Volume 107, Numbers 3-4, Fall-Winter 2014 issue of the Journal of the Illinois S...

Volume 107, Numbers 3-4, Fall-Winter 2014 issue of the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society

ISHS is pleased to announce the arrival of Volume 107 of the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Fall-Winter 2014, the fourth in a series of five Civil War 150th anniversary commemorative issues, this guest-edited by Robert Girardi.

Articles include:
*"Two Slaves in Jacksonville," by Patricia B. Burnette
*"General John Corson Smith and the Early Days of the Fighting 96th Illinois Infantry," by Wayne L. Wolfe and Bruce S. Allardice
*"Colonel Silas D. Baldwin: Guilty or Not Guilty?" by Richard Dexter
*"Was Illinois Governor Richard Yates Intimidated by Copperheads During the Civil War?" by James J. Barnes and Patience P. Barnes
* Colonel Mitchell's Wars: Confederates, Copperheads, and Bushwhackers," by Peter J. Barry
*St. Mary's Goes to War: The Sisters of Holy Cross as Civil War Nurses," by Cindy Intravartolo
*Plus more than 17 book reviews

Individual copies for the double issue are $36 plus shipping and available through the University of Illinois Press. For copies call 866-244-0626.

Mostly Mozart Join the Illinois Symphony Chamber Orchestra for the World Premie...

Mostly Mozart

Join the Illinois Symphony Chamber Orchestra for the World Premiere of Musica nostalgica

Hear the mastery of Mozart in his imposing Overture to Don Giovanni and his spirited and vivacious Symphony No. 35, “Haffner”. A world-premiere of Musica nostalgica written for this concert by acclaimed Uzbekistani composer Dimitri Yanov-Yanovsky, a collaborator with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, is the centerpiece of this magnificent concert. This new work is a homage to the memory of composer Albert Malakhov, one of the most remarkable Uzbekistani musicians. Be the first to hear this new work!

Mostly Mozart
Friday, March 20, 2015 | 6 PM & 8 PM | First Presbyterian Church, Springfield, IL

Saturday, March 21, 2015 | 7:30 PM | Second Presbyterian Church, Bloomington, IL

Buy Your Ticket Today for this Evening of Mostly Mozart!

Tickets for the Illinois Symphony Chamber Orchestra concert may be purchased in Springfield through the Sangamon Auditorium Ticket Office at 217-206-6160 and in Bloomington through the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Office at 309-434-2777. Single ticket prices range from $5 for students (6 years +) to $20 for general admission. Tickets for youth (5 and under) are free with a paying adult. Senior discounts are also available.

Composer Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. In 1986 he graduated from the Tashkent State Conservatoire, where he took composition and instrumentation classes with his father, Professor Felix Yanov-Yanovsky. After graduating, Yanov-Yanovsky travelled to European Russia, where he benefited from the advice and support of, among others, Alfred Schnittke, Sofia Gubaidulina and Edison Denisov. He was a participant of Master Class in Lerchenborg with P. Ruders and E. Denisov (1992) and he took part in Summer Academia at IRCAM in Paris (1993).

Yanov-Yanovsky has won a number of awards for his musical compositions; among them, second prize at the 4th International Competition of Sacred Music (Fribourg, Switzerland, 1991) for his piece Lacrymosa for soprano and string quartet; ALEA III International Prize (Boston, 1992) for his work Presentment for chamber ensemble and tape; and Special Award of Nantes at the International Film Festival (France, 1992) for the musical score in the film Kammie. In 1993-94, Yanov-Yanovsky performed and recorded the chang part in his piece Chang Music V with the Kronos Quartet. In 2000, he performed and recorded his Music of Dreams for harpsichord and chang with Elisabeth Chojnacka. Yanov-Yanovsky won a fellowship from Siemens Corporation USA and spent two months in New Jersey as a composer in residence. Between 2002 and 2004, Yanov-Yanovsky was a composer in residence with the Belgian ensemble Musiques Nouvelles. In 2006 he was invited to join other composers in the Carnegie Hall’s Professional Training Workshops for Young Musicians. From 2008 to 2010 Yanov-Yanovsky was a composer in residence at Harvard University.

Performers of Yanov-Yanovsky’s music have included the Arditti Quartet, Dawn Upshaw, the Kronos Quartet, the Moscow Ensemble of Contemporary Music, ALEA III Ensemble, Erwartung Ensemble, the New Juilliard Ensemble, Jerusalem Contemporary Players, Xenia Ensemble, Musiques Nouvelles, AntiDogma Musica, the Xenakis Ensemble, the Nieuw Ensemble, Sentieri selvaggi, Alter ego, Joel Sachs, Sarah Leonard, Barbara Bayer, Dennis Rassel Davies, Diego Masson, Phillis Bryn-Julson, Herve Desarbre, Pascal Rophe, Ensemble Caput, Elisabeth Chojnacka, HK Gruber, David James, Yo-Yo Ma, the London Sinfonietta, and 2e2m. In addition to his concert music, Yanov-Yanovsky is known for his scores for 65 films and more than 30 theater performances.

In 1996 he founded the International Festival of Contemporary Music ILKHOM-XX in Tashkent. He was an art director of the festival until 2006.
Read more

Making Matzot (Matzah), Sunday March 22 Chicago Foodways Roundtable presents...

Making Matzot (Matzah), Sunday March 22

Chicago Foodways Roundtable presents

Matzah, The Bread of Faith
Making Model Shmurah Matzot*
Under Supervision of Rabbi Yosef Schanowitz

Sunday, March 22, 2015

12:00 pm** At Central Avenue Synagogue
874 Central Avenue, Highland Park, IL 60035
Street Parking

Program cost: $3.

(Please reserve to assure enough flour and water. Bring an apron.)

When the Children of Israel left Egypt, they were in such a hurry that there was no time to wait for the dough to rise. They therefore ate matzah, unleavened bread. With only this food (but with great faith), they relied on the Almighty to provide sustenance for the entire Jewish nation-men, women and children. Each year, to remember this, Children of Israel eat matzah on the first two nights of Pesach, thereby fulfilling the Torah's commandment, "Matzot shall you eat . . ."

The Humblest of Foods
Matzah symbolizes faith. In contrast to leavened bread, matzah is not enriched with oil, honey, or other substances. It consists only of flour and water, and is not allowed to rise.

Shmurah matzot
Shmurah means "watched," and it is an apt description of this matzah, the ingredients of which (the flour and water) are watched from the moment of harvesting and drawing.

The day chosen for the harvesting of the wheat is a clear, dry day. The moment it is harvested, the wheat is inspected to ensure that there is absolutely no moisture. From then on, careful watch is kept upon the grains as they are transported to the mill. The mill is meticulously inspected by rabbis and supervision professionals to ensure that every piece of equipment is absolutely clean and dry. After the wheat is milled, the flour is again guarded in its transportation to the bakery. Thus, from the moment of harvesting through the actual baking of the matzah, the flour is carefully watched to ensure against any contact with water.

The water, too, is carefully guarded to prevent any contact with wheat or other grain. It is drawn the night before the baking, and kept pure until the moment it is mixed with the flour to bake the shmurah matzah.

Also in the bakery itself, shmurah matzot are under strict supervision to avoid any possibility of leavening during the baking process. This intensive process and careful guarding gives the shmurah matzah an added infusion of faith and sanctity-in fact, as the matzah is being made, all those involved constantly repeat, "L'shem matzot mitzvah"-"We are doing this for the sake of the mitzvah of matzah."

Shmurah matzot are round, kneaded and shaped by hand, and are similar to the matzot that were baked by the Children of Israel as they left Egypt. It is thus fitting to serve shmurah matzah on each of the two Seder nights for the matzot of the Seder plate.

*After making Matzot, we visit a period kitchen
After making matzot, you're invited to visit a period kitchen in the Highland Park Historical Society at 324 Central Avenue, Highland Park. Culinary Historians of Chicago member and long time Highland Park Historical Society member Leah Axelrod will conduct a tour of this project.

**If you take Metra North to Highland Park station, train leaves Ogilvie Transportation Center at 10:35 am arriving Highland Park at 11:24 am. Advise if you are taking the train to allow someone to give you a lift to the synagogue.

* * *
This program is hosted by the Chicago Foodways Roundtable. To reserve, please e-mail your reservation to: CulinaryHistorians@gmail.com.

Check our website for future dates, programs and podcasts: Read more

Prairie wildflower exhibit opens March 19 The delicate paintings by Illinois art...

Prairie wildflower exhibit opens March 19
The delicate paintings by Illinois artist George Olson of prairie wildflowers and grasses, which have been admired worldwide at galleries and botanical institutions, will be seen during the next three months at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago.
Olson will attend the opening reception for his Museum exhibit, “Homage to the Tallgrass Prairie,” at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 19. Sixty of his acclaimed works in pencil and watercolor were published in “The Elemental Prairie” (University of Iowa Press, 2005).
“The work is composed like a piece of music or good writing,” Olson said of his showing at the Horticultural Society of New York. Viewers “appreciate the delicate detail of the plants, the textures depending on the time of year, the gesture created by the plant.”
From more familiar examples like milkweed and morning glory, to less known specimens such as spotted horsemint and hoary vervain, he finds that every prime tallgrass plant “expresses something about the prairie.”
A man who practices what he preaches through art, Olson has been involved in prairie restorations in two Illinois counties for more than 30 years. He also produces publications, workshops and slide lectures, and has held more than 80 solo exhibitions.
A graduate of Augustana College who has a master’s degree in fine art from the University of Iowa, Olson taught at the College of Wooster in Ohio from 1963 until his retirement in 2000. During leaves for research, he served as artist-in-residence at the Missouri Botanical Garden and made drawings of specimens in the Dixon Prairie Restoration at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
The Swedish American Museum will supplement the George Olson exhibition with two special programs: Friday, April 10, 9 a.m. to 12 noon, Start with Art; Friday, April 24, 4 to 7 p.m., Family Night. The exhibit is scheduled to conclude Sunday, May 31.
Many more events are scheduled
Friday, March 13, 20 and 27, 7:30-10 p.m.: Three weekly basic techniques programs of Scandinavian Dances with Linda and Paul for beginners and advanced participants (Museum members $10 per class or $24 for three classes; non-members $15 or $36).
Saturday, March 14, 11 a.m.: Guided tour of the permanent exhibit, “A Dream of America: Swedish Immigration to Chicago”; reservations at museum@samac.org (Museum members free; non-member adults $4, seniors and students $3).
Sunday, March 15, 10-11 a.m.: Bullerbyn, a program of stories and songs for young children and adults who speak Swedish; email lnordstrom@samac.org for information and reservations (Museum members free, non-members $5).
Sunday, March 15, 4 p.m.: The art exhibit, “Streets, Blocks and Neighborhood,” closes.
Wednesday, March 18, 6-9 p.m.: The Museum will participate in the Field Museum’s Passport to Scandinavia promotion for the “Vikings” exhibit.
Friday, March 20, 11 a.m.-12 noon: Hejsan, a program for children with stories and crafts based on animals and nature in Sweden; the topic is “Birds” by Kevin Henkes (reservations suggested at snyman@samac.org.
Saturday, March 21, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.: Museum-sponsored family program on the “Vikings” exhibit in the Crown Family PlayLab of the Field Museum.
Wednesday, March 25, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.: Vaffeldagen celebration of the Feast of Marie Bebadelsedagen (Annunciation Day) with Swedish waffles ($5 per serving).
Thursday, March 26, 2 p.m.: “Get Smart About Brain Health,” a seminar on steps to take care of one’s memory and mind, led by a physician from Great Lakes Clinical Trials.
Saturday, March 28, 10 a.m.-12 noon: Nordic Family Genealogy Center discussion of the book, “The Orphan Train,” led by advisory board member Sue Nordstrom; reservations requested at genealogy@samac.org (Genealogy Center members free, non-members $10).
Monday, March 30, through Thursday, April 2: Easter-themed activities for chi
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