Back in the Day – Women’s Exchange, A Launching Point for Life

This article originally appeared in the January 14, 2020 issue of the Winnetka Current as Back in the Day: Women’s Exchange — A launching point for life By Holly Marihugh Tucked in between two Redbud trees in the Harkness House section of the Community House in Winnetka are two unremarkable heavy wooden doors with windows. A […]

Peter Butler, New Board President

Appeared in the Gazette, Fall/Winter 2019  “The Stories of Winnetka Are Powerful” By Peter Butler It has been my honor to take over as President of the Winnetka Historical Society Board following the wonderful leadership provided by Helen Weaver. I am also very lucky to be in my role when we already have a great […]

Page of Bible from WHS's collection

Curator’s Corner: Smith Family Bible

Appeared in the Gazette, Fall/Winter 2019 By Rachel Ramirez A recent research request came to us from someone in New Hampshire who found a reference in a 1984 genealogical publication. The researcher, hoping to learn about a captain named David Smith, saw a notation describing a “Smith Family Bible” in the Winnetka library. I had […]

Back in the Day – Winnetka Treasures: 15 Decades, 15 Objects

This article originally appeared in the November 12, 2019 issue of the Winnetka Current as Back in the Day – Winnetka Treasures: 15 Decades, 15 Objects By Holly Marihugh Harry Potter books personally signed by none other than J.K. Rowling. A large weathered door that washed up on the shores of Lake Michigan. A farrier knife […]

1880s Handbill

1880s | No Malaria Here!

No Malaria Here! In 1889, realtor E. Percy Maynard proclaimed Winnetka “the finest suburb in Cook County” and offered lots for sale for as low as $150. For the first time, Winnetka became a suburb lauded for its beauty and accessibility. Maynard highlighted the newly forged Sheridan Road and improved railroad connections as commuter routes […]


1860s | Shipwreck Hero

Shipwreck Hero In the wee morning hours of September 8, 1860, Jacob Conrad tied a rope around his waist and plunged from the shore bluff into Lake Michigan. His daring gesture saved as many as 28 people from the shipwrecked Lady Elgin. After the ship collided with the schooner Augusta and sank, more than 300 of the […]

Pen Register

1900s | Communication Contraption

Communication Contraption In the late 18th and early 195h centuries, fires were a menacing threat to all Winnetka. The Winnetka Fire Department could respond more quickly to local emergencies using a device like this one. The J.H. Bunnell & Co. pen register, much like a tickertape recorder, used telegraph signals to relay urgent messages in […]

Women's Suffrage Poster

1920s | Get out the Vote

Get out the Vote Descended from Samuel Maverick, the rancher who refused to brand his cattle, Lola Maverick Lloyd lived up to the Maverick name. Her ex-husband William Bross Lloyd was the son of muckraker Henry Demarest Lloyd, but she was a progressive in her own right. As an impassioned pacifist, Lola Maverick Lloyd helped […]

Victory Garden Poster

1940s | War Effort Victory Gardens

War Effort Victory Gardens While WWII raged overseas, Winnetkans on the Home Front went to work. Over 2,000 households registered Victory Gardens in 1943. Policeman Bethel “Tiny” Schultz of 796 Green Bay Road was a particularly patriotic gardener. He worked the night shift, so during the day he tended neighbors’ gardens and raised bees and […]