House History

Vol. XVIII No. 1 - SPRING 2007

Recently, a group of 10 interested homeowners gathered at the museum to learn more about the history of Edgewater and the construction of their homes. The first step is learning about the history of your community and the neighborhood. The museum has this information available in Home Tour Booklets that are sold for $3. Each of these help you learn about your neighborhood and all the neighborhoods of Edgewater. Also at the museum is an exhibit which takes you through some of the steps of research. These include early maps, information on some developers and an exhibit of homes in the area which typify various architectural styles.

The participants were also treated to a wonderful power point presentation by Thomas Rosslei following his investigation into the history of his home at 5447 N. Lakewood. On Saturday, Feb 10th, the seminar participants gathered at the University of Illinois Daley Library to find the building permit and other information about their homes. They were assisted by Kathy Gemperle who reported that all participants found some information and are now ready to investigate more. It is not always possible to find all the information about a specific building. Sometimes guesswork and intuition are needed.

Since the founding of the Edgewater Historical Society in 1988, we have presented 22 home tours and researched over 150 homes. Obviously there are many more to research. If you are interested in learning about research, contact the Historic Sites committee. If you want to try doing the research on you own, go to the Chicago History Museum Web site to get a copy of the booklet produced by the City of Chicago called “Your House has a History.” You may download it and then follow the steps.

While some people love research, others do not have the time. We urge you to call the museum if you want to have the research done for you. There will be a charge for this research.