Volume Sixteen

No. 3


May 1975       

Batavia, Illinois

Published by the Batavia Historical Society


Many people of all ages and temperament have enjoyed our Batavia Depot Museum since its opening April 12.  Almost a thousand persons have visited the museum.  Some large groups, such as the Art Institute (48) and school children (250+) made no attempt to register.  Others registered for a whole family.  Mary Todd Lincoln room is the chief attraction.


Until a new curator is hired, there is special need for Batavia Historical Society and friends to help as guides, technical workers and “artists.”  At least fourteen hosts and hostesses are needed each week, plus extras for group appointments.  Some have special assignments, such as Mary Anderson (manikins) Ella Mae Doty (photographs) and Jean Conde (accession sheets).  To assist in June, whether twice a month, once a month or when needed, please call Barbara Sawitoski, (879-1193) within the next two-three days (not early afternoon).  Even if you have spoken to someone else about helping, phone her. Couples needed Sundays and evenings.


Security has many facets:

(1) close attention on the part of the guides to visitors;

(2) fireproof safes and anti-acid filing cabinets (already purchased);

(3) plastic covering for windows to prevent deterioration from ultra-violet rays (under consideration);

(4) Fire prevention: the Park Board has carefully followed all requirements of the local fire department and also will install a special alarm system connected with the fire department;

(5) the Historical Society, through action of its Board, will probably have determined by the time you receive this that a burglar alarm system be installed as quickly as possible. (Special meeting about this project Tuesday P. M., May 27). The system that Walter Kauth is recommending will inform the police station of a break-in and will cost an initial $1000.00 plus a small continuing charge.  (As Walt plugs for this setup, he and Dave will likewise plug for a means of paying for it.  It's a crazy idea - cf. M(5) on Page 2); 

(6) Last, if you are the last to leave the Museum, be sure the door to the basement in the Lincoln Room is bolted and that the main door locks as you leave.


Expenditures we have.  Our estimates of initial opening expenses are rising somewhat but fortunately the Society has been accumulating a cash reserve for such a hoped-for contingency.


Moving and understructure of Batavia Bank of Coffin                      $1500.00

Fire-Resistant Safes (in use)                                                           650.00

Picture Frames (many already in use)                                               250.00

Wooden Work Tables (in use)                                                           70.00

Cleaning of Garments (Illinois Cleaners did flags free).                       100.00

Cataloguing of Books                                                                      100.00

Acid Resistant Cases                                                                       100.00

Shelving                                                                                        200.00

Window Protection                                                                          200.00

Burglary System                                                                           1000.00

*Fine Arts Insurance                                                                     1000.00

* Mr. Richard C. Lewis, artist, has offered to take pictures of our artifacts free of cost to us.  This will provide a pictorial record for inventory and insurance purposes.

Unless some handy craftsmen, carpenters especially, help Dan Holbrook with fixing up the caboose, it will be a long time a-fixing, in spite of his efficiency and dedication.


Money - we like -

 (1) Have you paid your dues? Please phone 879-3646 (Jean Conde) to discover your fiscal status.

(2) The cachet was really a money-maker, thanks to Dave Sawitoski, Ray Patzer, Phil Talbot, Arnold Gustafson and Mr. Arthur de la Cruz.  It brought in $384.65 for the treasury.

(3) Sale at museum concession on opening weekend  - $384.65.

(4) Generous gifts amounting to $165.00 contributed by non·-members, several of whom have never seen the Museum; Mary Russell’s brother, Carolyn Sibr’s mother, Amy Bell, Viola Peterson, a NIU instructor.

(5) The crazy idea? Do you know what you are going to do?  You are going to pay $2.00 to paint a fireplug - or sponsor someone to do it for you.  By the way, the project has the blessing of the Fire Department.  Moreover, the Bicentennial Committee has donated $30.00 for red, white and blue paint.  Swanson’s have donated six gallons of the same patriotic colors and the Jewel Store 2000 plastic containers.  Start thinking of how you would like to paint your plug and come to the Depot Museum Saturday, May 31, to register, pick out your favorite plug and splash away.  Have fun!  Imagine a crazier or more wonderful way to pay for a Museum burglary system?   NOTE:  Saturday, May 31, at the Museum.


E T C.


1. A few historical structure p1acques will be presented June 14.  Watch news stories and posters for further information for “placquing.”  You may call Jo Frydendall, 879-2099.


2. There will be a coffee hour in the near future to honor Museum assistants.


3. The Fox Hill Home has kindly loaned the Museum Mrs. Lincoln's dresser. We will do a necessary restoring only.


4. The honor ladies this month for service beyond the call of duty:  Jean Conde, Mildred Carlson, Ione Blair.


5. The Art Institute people were interested that they visited the Mary Todd Lincoln Room 100 years to the day that she came to Batavia.


6. You will enjoy the exhibits that have been newly placed - f1ag, Civil War stuff, Continental note, factory pictures, early school “visual aids.”


7. We are invited to visit Mooseheart Museum June 29 from 2:00 to 4:30 P.M.


Be seeing you at the Museum.