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Lakeside Firemen – Hose Company c. 1900

The Lakeside Fire Department practicing pulling the fire hose. The first paid fireman in Winnetka was Fred W. Schwall, hired in 1909, who also served as the town’s first paid policeman.  Prior to 1909, the Village relied on volunteer firemen who had dress uniforms allowing them to look very professional, even if they did face […]

In Gratitude for the Ultimate Sacrifice

By Helen Weaver When Eagle Scout candidate Brendan Bahan was looking for a service project, he found the answer close to home, at the corner of Church and Green Bay Roads. Although he had passed by this narrow triangular strip of land hundreds of times, he only recently noticed the faded and worn Park District sign […]

Penny Kohlmeyer: In Remembrance

  Penny was an active member of the Woman’s Board of the Winnetka Community House and spent many years as a volunteer at the Chicago Botanic Garden. While Penny enthusiastically participated on the WHS Board as an officer and a committee member, her most lasting contribution was as the founding editor of the Gazette. In […]

2017 Winnetka Preservation Awards

  The Winnetka Landmarks Pres­ervation Commission presented preservation awards to the owners of six private residences at the Vil­lage Council meeting on November 7, 2017. This year there were two awards presented for restoration and four for rehabilitation. For restoration, Nan and Wally Greenough worked with architect Ken Behles, Lynch Construction and Nature’s Perspective landscap­ers to […]

Out of Service: Farewell to the Filling Station

By Cecile Hales In the early years of the 20th cen­tury, an automobile was a prestige item available only to those with the finances and foresight to acquire this new technological marvel. As the number of autos increased after World War I, so did the opportuni­ties for local businesses to provide essential services to car owners. […]

Admiral Dewey’s Cannon

By Charles Shabica At the northwest corner of the Winnetka Village Green lies an old bronze muz­zle-loading cannon I discovered in 1971 when I attended my first July 4th celebration in Winnetka. According to my friend, long­ time Winnetka Historical Society member and veteran, Phil Hoza, the cannon may have been given to the Village by […]

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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” […]