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Collections Cameo Blog

Collections Cameo, May 2014

The Highball was a monthly newsletter published by and for employees of the Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad Company. The Historical Society has 29 issues in our archives, donated in 2004 by Ruth Nitsche, ranging between 1926 and 1932. The first volume of the newsletter was published in 1923. It could run to as many as 32 pages in length but was typically about 20.

The newsletter included updates about changes in North Shore Line train service, such as the opening of new stations, innovations in safety guidelines, construction on the tracks or the addition of more technologically advanced train cars. Largely, though, it was dominated by employee news: sales competitions like the “Better Business” campaign to drum up new customers; Red Cross training and other available classes; personal bulletins...

Collections Cameo, April 2014

This fire helmet has withstood the test of time – 100 years’ worth! It was worn in the 1910s by John E. Fitzgerald, the captain of the Lake Forest Volunteer Fire Department. Made by Cairns & Brother of reinforced black leather, the helmet has a typical “traditional” design, dome-shaped with a front shield and brim rolling to a long back tail (shaped to keep water from running down firefighters’ necks).

It is evident that this fire helmet has seen...

Collections Cameo, February 2014

This beautiful diorama captures a beloved longtime Lake Forest business like no photograph ever could. Hansen’s Children’s Shop was a clothing store for children and infants run for nearly 50 years by George and Frances Hansen. Store employee Cynthia Prais Dietz created the diorama in the late 1970s as a gift for the Hansens in celebration of their tenth anniversary at the Westminster location. For a long time, it stood in the store’s front window. Mrs. Hansen donated it to the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society in 2001. Lovingly made with wooden frame and furniture, pipe cleaner hangers and tiny fabric scraps, the diorama showcases how Hansen’s...

Collections Cameo, November 2013

The Lake Forest Gem was a short-lived, four-page monthly newspaper published in town in 1867. Advertised as “The first printed paper in Lake Forest,” it was a successor to earlier handwritten efforts like The Rising Sun, which was briefly distributed in 1860.

Our archives contains only one issue of the Gem, Volume 1, Number 2, dated July 1, 1867, donated to the Historical Society by Richard and Betty Cutler in 2004. (For five additional issues, see Lake Forest College Donnelley and Lee Library.) The Gem is a gem...

Collections Cameo, October 2013

This wonderful collection includes seven puppets used by educator Margaret Lindman (right) in the 1950s and 1960s for her children’s marionette shows. Dr. Lindman donated them to the Historical Society in 2001. A few of them, including Rumpelstiltskin (pictured at left), were featured on “Just Imagine,” a children’s story hour televised on WTTW.

A Chicago native, Margaret Rohner Lindman came to Lake Bluff about 1948, when during the summers she taught preschool at the Lake Bluff Children’s Home. During the 1950s she taught at Lake Bluff East...