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News & Media

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ann Piccininni
Marketing and Communications Assistant, Wheaton Park District
630.510.4987 | apiccininni@wheatonparks.org

October 27, 2022

DuPage literary roots on display at new exhibit

WHEATON – DuPage County has a history of producing authors of acclaimed works of fiction, poetry, and comics, from “Anna and the King of Siam” to “Little Orphan Annie.”

An exhibit exploring how DuPage County shaped the lives and works of nationally recognized and beloved authors is on display at the DuPage County Historical Museum through March 25, 2023.

“Stories of DuPage: Reading Between the Lines,” curated by Museum Curator Emily O’Brien, is open to the public during Museum hours and will be complemented by a series of special events highlighting famous literary works and their creators.

The exhibit and series were funded by a $2,500 grant awarded to the Museum by the History DuPage Fund of DuPage Foundation.

DuPage Foundation is a 501(c)(3) community foundation that has awarded more than $65 million in grants since its founding in 1986 to not-for-profit organizations serving DuPage County residents.

At 7 p.m. on August 3, the Museum will partner with the Wheaton Public Library to present a virtual, free event featuring Laura Keyes of Historic Voices as she recounts how the fabled fictional character of Sherlock Holmes met Irene Adler, another of Arthur Conan Doyle’s memorable characters. To register, visit wheatonlibrary.org.

Next up, a program titled “Louisa May Alcott” will feature a presentation about the well-known author’s life at 7 p.m. on August 18 in the Museum auditorium. The event is free; please register at dupagemuseum.org.

Three discussions of author Luis Alberto Urrea’s work, “The House of Broken Angels,” will be presented at the Wheaton Public Library in September. To register, visit wheatonlibrary.org. Urrea is featured in the Museum’s “Stories of DuPage” exhibit.

A free, in-person event at 1 p.m. on September 10 will be held at the Museum. Western Illinois University professor John Hallwas will talk about poet Carl Sandburg’s “Chicago Poems” and how Sandburg’s works illuminate the importance of fostering a sense of community.

Fictional detective Nancy Drew, the protagonist featured in a series of mystery books, was conjured up by authors writing under the pen name Carolyn Keene, much to the delight of generations of fans. Historian Leslie Goddard will explore the series’ popularity at a presentation titled “The Mystery of Nancy Drew” at a free event scheduled for 1 p.m. on September 24 in the Museum auditorium.

At 1 p.m. on October 8, Terry Lynch will portray legendary American author Mark Twain in a program titled “Between Two Comets: The Life of Mark Twain” at a free event in the Museum auditorium.

The Museum auditorium will be the site of a free program at 1 p.m. October 15 titled “Leapin’ Lizards” Craft Workshop. Attendees will have the opportunity to create crafts based on works of children’s fiction. To register, visit dupagemuseum.org.

The Wheaton Public Library again teams up with the Museum to present “C.S. Lewis and the Marion E. Wade Center: Wheaton’s Connection to Britain” at 7 p.m. on November 3 in the Museum auditorium. The event will feature Laura Schmidt, archivist of the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College, which holds the largest collection of C.S. Lewis material in the United States. This is a free, in-person event.

For more information, please visit dupagemuseum.org.

Stories of DuPage Exhibit

WATCH: Recognizing Trailblazers: Confident and Courageous Women Who Shaped DuPage

Video © Kmiecik Imagery

Event Description:

The purpose of this event was to celebrate Women’s History and Black History months by honoring Black women who have been trailblazers in DuPage County. These strong women were essential parts of their communities, serving with honor, humility, and reverence for the greater good. The event introduces these women through their stories, struggles and triumphs to create lasting change in DuPage County. The event also recognizes the importance of women’s clubs locally.

Event co-hosted by: Confident and Courageous program
Special Guests include: Local author Glennette Tilley Turner and Naperville Woman’s Club

The event was held on March 6, 2022 at 1P in the DuPage County Historical Museum Auditorium.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ann Piccininni
Marketing and Communications Assistant, Wheaton Park District
630.510.4987 | apiccininni@wheatonparks.org

March 18, 2022

DuPage County Historical Museum is Awarded $750,000 Grant

Grant to fund masonry and gutter repairs on 131-year-old building

WHEATON-The Wheaton Park District recently was awarded a $750,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to pursue a project aimed at stabilizing the masonry and rebuilding the gutters of the DuPage County Historical Museum building.

The historic 1891 building located at 102 E. Wesley Street, Wheaton, originally housed the Adams Memorial Library and currently houses historical exhibits, artifacts and archives that help tell the story of the county’s history. The Museum is operated as a facility of the Wheaton Park District and is owned by the County of DuPage.

The grant will be issued through the IDNR’s Museum Capital Grant Program.

“The quality of your plans to enhance museum opportunities for Illinois’ citizens is recognized by your selection in this year’s very competitive selection process,” Gary K. Eicken, Chief of the IDNR’s Office of Grant Management Assistance, wrote in a letter to Wheaton Park District Executive Director Michael Benard. “Congratulations on being a successful applicant and thank you for your dedicated efforts to improve cultural and educational opportunities in Illinois.”

“The much-needed building repairs to the DuPage County Historical Museum, enabled by this generous grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, will allow county residents and visitors to continue benefiting greatly from the Museum’s exemplary programs and exhibits for years to come,” said Mike Benard, Executive Director of the Wheaton Park District.

The Wheaton Park District would like to thank the community and all of those who were instrumental in helping to secure this grant funding, especially Judy Beaver, president of the Wheaton chapter of the League of Women Voters; David Thiel, president of the DuPage County Historical Museum Foundation; Vickie Austin, president of the Wheaton Chamber of Commerce;  Becky Adamowski, director of the Wheaton Public Library, and Nancy Flannery of the Wheaton Historic Commission.

For more information, please contact Margie Wilhelmi at mwilhelmi@wheatonparks.org.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Margie Wilhelmi
Director of Marketing, Wheaton Park District
630.510.4984 | mwilhelmi@wheatonparks.org

September 21, 2021

History Shines a Light on DuPage Ghost Towns in Historical Museum Exhibit

Wheaton, IL – Compare a modern map with a map from 100 or 200 years ago, and changes quickly become apparent.

Town names and the settlers who named them move on and new names replace them, along with new cultural influences, new demographics, shifting populations and land uses.

Where in DuPage County was Cloverdale, Fulllersburg, Eola and York Center? What were these places like and why did they vanish?

Ghost Towns of DuPage County, a new exhibit currently on display in the DuPage County Historical Museum’s Textile Gallery, takes visitors on a deep dive into how the county has evolved.

Through historical photos, illustrations, maps and a selection of three-dimensional artifacts, the exhibit tells the tales of four Potawatomi villages that existed in the county before Midwestern Native American tribes were forced to move westward.

Visitors will learn how and why DuPage County ghost towns disappeared to make way for new towns during the Settlement Era from 1830 to 1860, when European Americans founded communities, through the Railroad Era that followed from 1860 to 1940 and the Suburban Era that began in 1940 and continues today.

The exhibit will remain on display through June 11, 2022.

The DuPage County Historical Museum is located at 102 E. Wesley Street, Wheaton. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays and 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Suggested donation amounts are $5 for adults and $2 for children and seniors.

Learn more:

Contact: Michelle Podkowa, Museum Manager & Educator, mpodkowa@wheatonparks.org
Facebook: facebook/dupagemuseum

Herbert J. Tweedie

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Margie Wilhelmi
Director of Marketing, Wheaton Park District
630.510.4984 | mwilhelmi@wheatonparks.org

June 14, 2021

DuPage County Historical Museum Foundation Announces the Induction of Herbert J. Tweedie into the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame.

Wheaton, IL – Due to Herbert J. Tweedie’s contribution to the growth of the game of golf in the Midwestern United States through his design of 21 golf courses, popularizing golf, and work at Spalding Company, Herbert J. Tweedie is one of six candidates selected for induction into the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2021. The induction ceremony will be held Friday, October 1 at The Glen Club in Glenview, IL, home of the Hall of Fame.

Bob Jacobsen, local golf historian, and DuPage County Historical Museum Foundation board member led the team of local historians who nominated Herbert Tweedie for the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame.  The Hall of Fame was created by the Illinois PGA Foundation “to recognize and honor those individuals who have contributed to the rich history and tradition of the game of golf here in Illinois.”

“Our goal in the submission of Herbert J. Tweedie’s nomination was to continue to research, publish and exhibit the history of golf in DuPage County so that young and old will know and appreciate this beautiful local history,” said Jacobsen.

Jacobsen was joined in his DuPage County golf history research efforts by fellow historians Bill Weber, Nancy Flannery, James Tweedie, Randy Crow, and Dan Cermack.

The DuPage County Historical Museum and Foundation published a golf history book, Wheaton, Illinois:  Golf History Starts Here in 2018 which highlighted Tweedie’s story and accomplishments.  Jacobsen was instrumental in writing and seeing the completion of this book.  This book is now in its second reprint and will be available for sale at Arrowhead Golf Club Pro Shop and the DuPage County Historical Museum in July.

The book is just one documented piece of local golf history.  There is a mini-exhibit at Arrowhead Golf Club in Wheaton that chronicles how Wheaton played a pivotal role in the development of Midwestern golf in the late 1800s into the early 20th century. The exhibit brings local golf history to life with the display of early golf artifacts on loan from a local collector.

Tweedie was born in India on July 21, 1864.  He spent his youth in Hoylake, England where his father was a founding member of the Royal Liverpool Golf Club.  Herbert was a junior amateur in England, winning the 1870s Hoylake’s Junior Championship. He relocated to Chicago in 1887.

After Tweedie arrived in the United States, he began a career managing livestock. His next profession involved becoming a golf representative with AG Spalding & Brother and managing the Chicago store, which he did for the rest of his life.

Following the early success of the Chicago Golf Club, in Belmont, IL (now Downer’s Grove), Tweedie became Chicago’s preeminent golf course architect, designing 21 courses throughout Illinois and the Midwestern states to include Belmont Golf Club in 1899, Flossmoor Country Club in 1899, Glen View Golf Club in 1897, Rockford Country Club in 1899.

Tweedie encouraged the formation of the Western Golf Association on April 27, 1899, and became the first editor of the Western Golf Association Magazine.

Tweedie passed away on July 9, 1906, in Wheaton, IL at the age of 41.  When he died only two years after the death of his wife Mary, his family was left without provisions. Spalding appointed their son, Douglas Herbert Tweedie, to run the sports store in Chicago, which allowed the Tweedie family to remain together in Wheaton.

To purchase the Wheaton, Illinois:  Golf History Starts Here book, please visit Arrowhead Pro Shop or DuPage County Historical Museum.  The catalogs will be available in July.

For further information on the Wheaton, Illinois:  Golf History Starts Here mini-exhibit, visit Arrowhead Golf Club or contact Michelle Podkowa, Museum Manager & Educator, at mpodkowa@wheatonparks.org.

For further information about the Foundation or to get involved, please contact Margie Wilhelmi at 630.510.4984 or mwilhelmi@wheatonparks.org.

 

Herbert J. Tweedie

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Margie Wilhelmi
Director of Marketing, Wheaton Park District
630.510.4984 | mwilhelmi@wheatonparks.org

April 7, 2021

DuPage County Historical Museum Foundation adds three new board members

Wheaton, IL – The DuPage County Historical Museum Foundation is pleased to welcome to its volunteer board Philip Buchanan of Naperville, Susan Benjamin of Carol Stream, and Daniel Wagner of Wheaton.

Phillip Buchanan’s passion for historic preservation has led to a career as a Project Manager for exhibit companies that focus on Museums and trade shows. One of his most recent projects included the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield.

Susan H. Benjamin, member and Treasurer of the Carol Stream Historical Society, has spent time organizing and documenting artifacts with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County and most recently with the Robert R. McCormick House at Cantigny. Susan is also an active member of the League of Women Voters.

Daniel Wagner, Senior Vice President of Government Relations for The Inland Real Estate Group, LLC serves on numerous real estate industry and government boards and committees and is familiar with the vital role the DuPage County Historical Museum plays in our county. In 2014, the Museum received a $200,000 donation to replace the Museum’s roof from The Inland Real Estate Group, LLC CEO Daniel Goodwin.

“I am honored to be on the DuPage Historical Museum Board of Directors,” commented Dan Wagner, senior vice president of government relations for The Inland Real Estate Group, LLC. “I look forward to continuing to help preserve history for the future generations of DuPage County citizens.”

The DuPage County Historical Museum Foundation board also includes President David Thiel, Vice President Marty Keller, Treasurer Bob Jacobsen, Secretary Michael Benard and members, Samantha Bauman, Melody Coleman, Emily Doyle, Don Puchalski, and Troy Rodman.

The Foundation exists to raise funds in support of the Museum’s mission to educate the general public through the collection, preservation, interpretation, and exhibition of materials that document the history of DuPage County. The Foundation relies on revenue from special events such as Casino Night, Octoberfest and Night at the Museum. Unfortunately, with the ongoing limitations on special events due to the pandemic, the Foundation wasn’t able to host events in 2020 but is focusing its efforts on developing new and unique fundraisers for 2021.

Through the Foundation’s fundraising success over the years, its support has been able to assist with many temporary exhibits, the restoration of two civil war flags which are on display in the Museum auditorium as well as the development of various specialty publications including catalogs titled, 1917: Catalyst for a Modern Era, Early Illinois Folk Art, and Wheaton, IL: Golf History Starts Here. Many of the artifacts included in the Golf History catalog are currently on exhibit at Arrowhead Golf Club, located on Butterfield Road in Wheaton.

The Museum offers a variety of virtual and in-person programming and new exhibits including Celebrating 100 Years: Wheaton Park District Centennial opening in May, Together We Win: DuPage in World War II in July and Ghost Towns of DuPage County opening in September. The Museum functions as the only institution dedicated to the collection, preservation, and interpretation of the material culture documenting the county of DuPage, Illinois. The collections represent artifacts collected by the DuPage County Historical Society since 1929 as well as artifacts collected by the Museum since its founding in 1965.

The Museum is FREE to visit but donations are greatly appreciated. The Museum relies on revenue through donations, special events, and programming. It is open Tuesday – Friday 10:30A to 4P and Saturday 12 to 4P.

Learn more:

Contact: Michelle Podkowa, Museum Manager & Educator, mpodkowa@wheatonparks.org
Facebook: facebook/dupagemuseum

The Underground Railroad in DuPage County: A Path to Freedom

February 25, 2021

Curator Zachary Bishop and other local Underground Railroad experts discuss the Underground Railroad in DuPage County during the 19th century in a video produced by College of DuPage.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Margie Wilhelmi
Director of Marketing, Wheaton Park District
630.510.4984 | mwilhelmi@wheatonparks.org

January 29, 2021

DuPage County Historical Museum awarded $2,500 Grant to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the United States’
entry into World War II.

Wheaton, Ill. – The DuPage County Historical Museum received a $2,500 grant to fund an exhibit and associated programs to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War II. The grant comes from the History DuPage Fund of the DuPage Foundation as part of their Community Needs Grant Program.

The exhibit, Together We Win: DuPage in World War II, will tell the story of World War II through the eyes of DuPage County residents, and will run from July, 2021 to May, 2022. DuPage men and women served overseas in the armed forces and supported the war effort at home by rationing, buying war bonds, participating in volunteer organizations, and working in the defense industry.

“As with Americans all over the country, the people of DuPage County made great sacrifices during the war to protect freedom throughout the world,” Curator Zachary Bishop said. “Together We Win will honor the contributions of DuPage residents to the war effort overseas and at home.”

The exhibit will further discuss how the controversial aspects of the war shaped DuPage and the world for the rest of the 20th century, especially war casualties, the Holocaust, Japanese internment, and the use of the Atomic Bomb.

As part of the planned virtual and in-person programming, the Museum will host local professionals who lecture, portray historical persons and sing about the 1940s. Programming will reinforce themes as well as to introduce new topics not able to be discussed at length in the exhibit.

“We are thrilled to bring this exhibit and programs to the public in honor of all those who fought for our freedom,” said Michelle Podkowa, Museum Manager and Educator. We are privileged to be working with the History DuPage Fund through the DuPage Foundation and we thank them for their continued support.”

Interested in learning more? Contact Michelle Podkowa, Museum Manager & Educator, at mpodkowa@wheatonparks.org.

1910 Suffrage Auto Tour made Stops throughout Fox Valley

December 11, 2020
Learn more about the auto tour, the suffrage movement and how local organizations are celebrating the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. Zach Bishop, Museum Curator, discusses two museum exhibits on the topic.

Read More

Exhibit Explores 19th Century Education

September 22, 2019
WDCB’s Brian O’Keefe talks to Museum Curator Zachary Bishop about the Museum’s new exhibit, Making the Grade: Education in the 19th Century.

Exhibit Explores 19th Century Education

Museum Explores the History of Local Newspapers

May 1, 2019
WDCB’s Brian O’Keefe talks to Museum Curator Zachary Bishop about the history of newspapers in DuPage County as highlighted in the new exhibit, “Read All About It! Newspapers and Journalism in DuPage County.”

Listen: Museum Explores The History Of Local Newspapers

Architectural Walking Tour

August 17, 2018
Eric Schelkopf of Suburban Life interviewed Museum Manager Michelle Podkowa about the Museum’s Architectural Walking tour that took place on August 18.

DuPage County Historical Museum tour to showcase architecture in downtown Wheaton

Wheaton Theater b/w photo

Exhibit Highlights DuPage Architects

August 12, 2018
WDCB’s Brian O’Keefe talks to Museum Curator Zachary Bishop about DuPage County’s rich architectural heritage as showcased in the Museum’s DuPage Architects exhibits.

Exhibit Highlights DuPage Architects

b/w photo of museum exterior

Wheaton, Illinois: Golf History Starts Here

On Exhibit: at Arrowhead Golf Club opened June 27, 2018

July 15, 2018
WDCB’s Brian O’Keefe talks to Museum Manager Michelle Podkowa about golf history in Wheaton in a segment released during the weekend of the 2018 U.S. Senior Women’s Open at the Chicago Golf Club.

More at Finding U.S. Golf History’s Roots in Wheaton

Wheaton IL Golf Starts Here exhibit logo

Historic Death Culture of DuPage County

Death in DuPage

On Exhibit: October 14, 2017-June 24, 2018

November 1, 2017
WDCB’s Gary Zidek talks to DuPage Historical Museum curator Mogan Valenzuela about the new exhibit, Death in DuPage.

death in dupage exhibit logo

NCTV17 Joins Museum for Birthday Celebration

Museum Celebrates 50 Years | 1967 – 2017

October 21, 2017
DuPage County History Museum Turns 50 from Naperville News 17 on Vimeo.

DuPage Historical Museum Looks Back at Origins

Adams’ Dream

On Exhibit: April 15, 2017- October 29, 2017

May 1, 2017
The history of the DuPage County Historical Museum began with one man, who had one idea. Take a journey to the past and learn about this fascinating building and the man who created it. Listen as DuPage County Historical Museum Curator, Ashley Downing, tells WDCB Reporter, Gary Zidek, about the exhibit Adams’ Dream.

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