From the President

Vol. XV No. 2 - FALL 2004

By: Betty Mayian

Hello. Since this is the first time I am writing this column for the Scrapbook, I would like to introduce myself to you. My name is Elizabeth Mayian, a.k.a. Betty, and I am one of the Founding members of the Edgewater Historical Society. Initially, and until last year, I was the EHS Recording Secretary. When Reggie Griffin accepted that position, I was elected Vice-President. When Kathryn Gemperle, a.k.a. Kathy, made it known that she wanted to step away, temporarily, from being President, I accepted the position.

Kathy was, and is, our Founding President and the reason for the existence of the society. Back at the beginning, we were a band of friends and associates who worked with Kathy on an Oral History project which celebrated Edgewater’s first 100 years. Out of that project grew the desire to create a special organization which would be dedicated to the preservation of Edgewater’s history. Others joined us until we had a full Board of Directors of 21 people.

To return to the present, I would like to thank Kathy for all her mentoring and for staying close by, as Vice-President. I will be listening to and working with her for the duration of my term as president. We have always worked closely together and I have no doubt that we will be doing much of the same for a long time. Kathy’s voice will be the one which comes through in this very publication. I look forward to working with the other community groups and have great hopes for the future of Edgewater.

We all look forward to a 2005 which will be even better than this year. Our museum will have its kitchen in 2005. Then we will look to the completion of the garden, with fences, parking area, storage area in the gangway, and a mural for the southern fence. Our tours will keep on growing and our programs will make us proud. The 2004 Garden Party was to bring the families of Edgewater to the museum for good old-fashioned fun and games and food. We want this program to become more recognized and become a yearly summertime event for the children of the area. It has great potential and we look for many new ideas from the community to make it better every year. Please let us know your ideas for this and other events that EHS provides. We have need of ideas and volunteers to see them through.

We are and will be working with our friends in neighborhood groups to stem the flow of tear downs in our historic areas. The “Endangered Edgewater” exhibit concentrated on the remaining single-family homes of John L. Cochran’s Edgewater development on Kenmore and Winthrop. We will be seeing this through with the assistance and friendship of the home owners and community leaders of Edgewater.

My interest with EHS has been with EHS membership, Board membership and acquiring volunteers for the museum and our many projects. I reach out to the community with emails, mailings and phone calls, the purpose of which is to increase our visibility to people inside Edgewater and the rest of the Chicagoland area. We want our membership to grow and we want to be a source of pride to the whole of Edgewater and to its former residents who look to us for stories, artifacts and pictures about the history of this community.

We also want to increase our financial base so we can work at the beautiful museum and continue the home tours and walking tours which define our environs. To this end we ask for a stable and increasing membership which takes an interest in the events we sponsor and helps us by coming to our fundraisers. We also ask the business community to take ads in our home tour books and to help by giving us items for our Silent Auction table at our yearly fundraiser.

Another piece of a strong membership is having a vital board of directors. Our number can be as many as 21 people who want to work at keeping us involved. This aspect of joining the board might be something that you will enjoy. Our committees span quite a range of activities, from building management to gardening to fundraising and computer technology. Our most active committee is Collections, and they meet to sort through and categorize stacks of papers and photographs. My goal is increased membership in each of our endeavors.

Thanks, in advance, for all your help. Please join up (or renew your membership) for 2005. Also, think about board membership, if you have the time and energy. Volunteers are the backbone of EHS. Thanks to all of our board and volunteers for giving of themselves as docents for keeping our museum open on Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thanks to even more of you who have been docents on our walking tours and home tours throughout the years. I know of no other group that is operated entirely by volunteers. We are doing very well.

On 2 p.m. on December 18th, the Those Were The Days Radio Players, will be performing an hour of comedy from Radio’s Golden Age of Comedy. This group will perform several times a year in 2005, as well. I take a special interest in this group since my husband and I have been performing with them for a number of years.