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 board and outstanding Executive Director, Mary Trieschmann, who has done so much in her first year on the job. It’s an extra privilege to assume the role during Winnetka’s sesquicentennial. I was born in Winnetka and am old enough have been there for many of the big things that have been a part of our town’s history, such as hearing Martin Luther King, Jr. speak at the Village Green or watching “Home Alone”
being filmed on Lincoln Avenue.
Then there are the smaller things I have enjoyed that have been part of the rhythm of Winnetka:
• Joining in the 4th of July celebrations and races for more years than I would like to admit.
• Sailing off of Lloyd beach when Winnetka was the mecca of Sunfish sailing and racing in the Midwest.
• Skating for endless hours at Hubbard Woods Park.
• Taking a stroll through Charles Variety on Elm even if I didn’t buy something.
• Enjoying ice cream at the Sweet Shop with the model train that ran overhead.
The stories of Winnetka are powerful. Some are unique to Winnetka and others are connected to national or even world events. Many have been captured by the Winnetka Historical Society, but remain untold to many. The board of the Historical Society is now deeply involved in a strategic plan. We are reaffirming our mission to record and preserve our history while finding new ways to inspire and connect with you, the community.
We have wonderful assets with the Log House on Willow and the Historical Society’s home on 411 Linden. The programs that use these assets can be expanded, but we will also find new ways to bring the stories closer to you, including using today’s technology that lets us bring our artifacts, pictures, and documents right into your home. We hope to complete work on our strategic plan by the beginning of the next year, but we already know that we will need so many of you to help make it happen through partnerships with other Winnetka organizations, through direct volunteering of your time or through financial donations to support the facilities, programs, and staff that make it all possible. If you are so inspired, let us know! We can’t wait to tell you more.