Blog

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 […]

DavidJames2_crop

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 […]

spiegel photo 001

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” […]

laundry-ad

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 […]

dsc_0024

Curator’s Cache: Burgundy Velvet Visiting Costume

Burgundy visiting costume, c. 1883. Velvet, silk faille, taffeta and voided velvet; ornamented with glass beads and a small amount of chiffon ruffle at the cuff. Found in Collection.   For November’s Curator’s Cache we feature this exquisite deep burgundy velvet suit, c. 1883. It was selected as a companion to Silhouette: An Intimate History of Undergarments […]

jet closeup

Curator’s Cache: Jet Black

Black silk dress c. 1913. Ornamented with embroidery, chiffon and jet beads. Found in collection. First in a series of Curator’s Cache objects, this exquisite black silk dress dates from the early nineteen-teens, probably about 1913. It is both as ornate as a Victorian dress with embroidery and chiffon embellishments; and as simple as an […]

Map showing geological context of the Skokie Lagoons.

Getting to Know Winnetka’s Own Science Guy

An interview with WHS Board President Charlie Shabica By Sally Schneiders It all started just prior to a recent Winnetka Historical Society board meeting when Charlie Shabica plunked down on the table a replica of a Tully Monster, an antique flintlock pistol and a seventeenth century silver Spanish dollar. Charlie passed each artifact around so […]

660 Prospect in 1971

House of the Season: 660 Prospect Avenue

by Justine Hourihane Rounding the bend of Prospect Avenue, on an elevated parcel of land within walking distance to the lake and town, the Sturgis family saw the ideal location for their custom home to be designed by renowned architect William Otis. Originally from France, Charles Inches Sturgis started working as a clerk at the […]

Winnetka Fourth of July Foundations

By Susan Whitcomb The Fourth of July was designated a national holiday by the United States Congress in 1870, just one year after Winnetka was granted its village charter by the State of Illinois. The oldest official evidence of Winnetka’s independence celebration is a printed program from 1873. Headlined as a “National Celebration,” it took […]