From the President

Vol. XXIII No. 3 - Fall 2012

By: Robert Remer

Happy Birthday EHS

Ten years to the day, we had another lovely crisp October day to celebrate your museum’s opening transformation from retired firehouse to a different but still vital community center preserving our local heritage.

We reprised the decade old ribbon cutting ceremony with old friends and reunioning former board members; it was great to see those who had given so much of their time to EHS in years past. Again, we hosted an antique fire engine thanks to our new friend Tom McDermott, and enjoyed musical performances and a picnic ambiance. We appreciate that Emily Volini took time from her college studies to keep the youngsters occupied in games, when they weren’t climbing on the fire truck.

We are very grateful to the musicians who gave freely of their time and talents to entertain our birthday guests: Eileen Censotti, Ken Rebholz, and the Lonesome Whippoorwills. They had given us their wonderful music this summer in the garden concerts and we were delighted they wanted to return to our treasured garden, so well tended by Sandee Remis, Elisabeth Szegho and Tom Murphy.

Many visitors signed up for our door prize at the front door, about 75 of them. The winner is Brian Gregg who has $100 to spend and Rebecca Romine won a one year membership in EHS.

Kathy Gemperle reminded us thru a delightful photo gallery exhibit of the awesome and difficult challenges that totally transformed the building during different stages. We can never forget the enormous contribution that Kathy, our founding president, made to Edgewater by her constant, unyielding, and devoted effort resulting in this impressive museum. With substantial financial support from the community Kathy, and our architect Thom Greene, spent years, undaunted by many hurdles, to bring the museum to fruition.

We are very grateful to the anniversary committee that did so much of the heavy lifting to plan and make the event a success: Chris Grant, Mike Volini, Betty Mayian, Kathy Gemperle, Barb Strauss, Tiffany Middleton, Dorothy Nygren, Marty Stewart and LeRoy Blommaert.

The tenth museum anniversary is only one of two anniversaries we are celebrating, as we look forward to the 25th anniversary of the Edgewater Historical Society in 2013. Our committee is already working on a year full of events and celebrations culminating in a Fall feast.

Nestled within the 10th anniversary celebration was our annual art exhibit featuring the Plein Air Painters, now becoming a tradition at EHS. Betty Mayian continued to offer her caring stewardship of this event; Barb Strauss, Pat Duff, Elisabeth Szegho and their team again tempted our taste buds with a welcoming opening reception spread. We are pleased that a record number of several artists’ works of Edgewater scenes were sold during the two weeks.

Kathy Gemperle’s new exhibit reprises the best of ten years’ past exhibits; we invite you to reminisce with us. Kathy and her other talented volunteer curators over the years have produced a wonderful array of material about Edgewater and Chicago; were it not for our space limitations, each of several of those exhibits could have filled their own exhibit halls as part of a permanent display of our fascinating community. Kathy does a great job making the most of our space and trying to bring refreshing new perspectives on Edgewater history. The board of directors also pitches in to provide important support in terms of materials, publicity, oral histories, etc. Dorothy Nygren, our Oral History chair, in particular, has contributed much by now making video oral histories part of each exhibit. We hope you will appreciate these enhancements.

As the anniversary committee gets back to work on the 25th, oral histories will become a big part of the next commemorative exhibit on Edgewater Treasures, which will celebrate both the museum historical treasures and the community’s human treasures. You will be hearing more about that as the year goes on, but suffice it to say that we believe so much of our local history is the sum of the work that individual citizens do to make a lasting difference in our lives. We will invite you to make your own nominations of friends and neighbors who did something special to contribute to Edgewater’s History. We are grateful to Marty Stewart who has agreed to co-chair this effort.

As we approach the 2013 celebrations, we at the Edgewater Historical Society wish you and yours the very best for the holidays and the New Year, and we thank you for your ongoing support.