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Legendary Purdue coach Ward "Piggy" Lambert poses with Allen Menke after awarding him the Ward Lambert Trophy for athletic and academic achievement in 1943.

Meet Allen Menke

By Sally Schneiders Heads turned toward us as we made our way to a table at the Bluestone Restaurant one day last November. Ninety-five years old, yet still standing almost completely erect at 6’5″, my lunch companion looked impressive in a brown leather bomber jacket, tan slacks, and relaxed expression. As my friend pulled out my chair for me to […]

This beautifully renovated home at 644 Walden will be the site of the 2017 WHS Gala event Big Noise from Winnetka on June 10.

WHS Gala: “Big Noise” on a Quiet Street

By Laurie Petersen The theme of this year’s Winnetka Historical Society’s gala is “Big Noise from Winnetka,” inspired by the Big Band tune of that name. Music and merriment will fill the air at the beautiful home and garden of hosts Becky and Chris Hurley. Their remodeled house at 644 Walden Road, designed by Paul […]

The North Shore Hospital, a familiar Winnetka landmark for clsoe to 70 years was demolished in 1969, making way for Centennial Park. Winnetka Talk February 24, 1969.

Centennial Park: Settlers, Sanitarium and Open Space

By Susan Whitcomb The earliest people to walk the land we now know as Centennial Park were Native Americans who moved north and south on the Green Bay trail. In the early 19th century, trappers, mail carriers and settlers began to trod the same ground. The first permanent dweller on the land that comprises Centennial […]

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Curator’s Cache: In Your Easter Bonnet

“In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it, you’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade…” so sang Fred Astaire and many others in the popular song, but having a new hat in the latest fashion has been around for a long time. The Winnetka ladies who wore these hats when they […]

Curator's Cache: A Token of Love

Curator’s Cache: A Token of Love

Valentine’s Day Cards, c.1880.  Winnetkan Susan Garland received these cards sometime in the 1880s.  While valentines were still sent to romantic loves, in the 1800s, people began to send greetings to a larger circle of loved ones or friends. Victorian valentines were often hand-decorated with ribbon, lace, or sometimes feathers and real plants and flowers. These valentines […]

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In Memoriam: David James, 1923-2016

Being the first African-American to buy a house in Winnetka was just one of many milestones in the eventful life of David James. His multi-faceted personality and lifelong work for social justice were recalled at the July 29th funeral mass at Sacred Heart, where he was a longtime parishioner. Born in St. Louis, Mr. James […]

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Winnetka’s Spiegel Family: Installment Credit Pioneers

By Tane Beecham For more than four decades, 410 Sheridan Road was home to the Spiegels, founding family of the Chicago-based mail order company, Spiegel Inc., and its iconic “Spiegel Catalog.” Universally known to consumers in the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s, the company opened its doors in 1865 under the name “J. Spiegel & Company” […]

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The Laundry: Still Fresh at 40

By Laurie Petersen In January, 1976 the Winnetka Talk featured the surprising headline, “Doing the Laundry can be fun.” This was because a large commercial laundry building in the middle of the Village would no longer be taking in dirty clothing—it would instead offer elegant new apparel for sale. It would also have stores offering […]

A sleigh ride on Chatfield Road, c. 1994

Curator’s Cache: Season’s Greetings!

Christmas tree hat, 1965. Gift of Eleanor Tippens. Velvet and white fur hat and stole, 1897. Gift of Frances Drummer Logan. Beaver fur top hat, c. 1930. Gift of Elizabeth Knode Greeley. The Winnetka Historical Society has approximately 800 hats in our collection. Because they are rarely seen, we thought it would be fun to […]