It’s very fitting that the address of the Winnetka Historical Society on Linden Ave. is 411. The Society is the place to visit (or contact) for information on the history and architecture of the Village. Thousands of documents, photographs, costumes, and three-dimensional artifacts tell the stories of the people, organizations and schools, businesses, houses of worship, and governmental bodies that have made Winnetka what it is today. Are you interested in Winnetka’s changing landscape, from the development of neighborhoods to the creation of the Skokie Lagoons and the track depression? Come to the Society to examine original maps and plans. Or maybe you want to research the history of your home. The Society has files on nearly all of the architectural structures in the Village. The files have been largely dependent over the years upon the contribution of materials from residents, but may include old photographs and real estate listings, ownership histories, and house histories prepared by earlier owners. Society staff members are happy to share your house file and make copies of its contents.
The Society receives several research requests each week, from local residents as well as from people around the country who are interested in something or someone with a Winnetka connection. Many people learn of the Society through its Web site, www.winnetkahistory.org. In the past few weeks, research request topics have ranged from the prevalence of kit homes (e.g. Sears and Montgomery Ward) in the Village and the tradition of Neighborhood Circles to the history of the Chimneys on Green Bay Road and the significance of the Village Hall weathervane. Beginning with this issue of the Gazette, the Society will feature an interesting research request and response in a column called “Contact 411 for Information.” This issue’s request about the prevalence of one-story schools constructed pre-World War I came from a Park Ridge resident.
The Winnetka Historical Society has been collecting and preserving the Village’s history since 1932. Please rely on the Society as a valuable resource and further its mission by donating items that tell Winnetka’s rich story.
Appeared in the Gazette: Fall 2006