Volume Eighteen

No. 4

 

 

Batavia, IL

P.O. Box 15

December 11, 1977


Regular Open Meeting

 

Time: 

 Sunday, December 11, 1977 at 3:00 P.M.

Place:

 Bartholomew Civic Center

 

Program


                 

CHRISTMAS PAST AND PRESENT  -  BATAVIA'S CHURCHES

 

 Date Church   Contribution
     
 1835  The Congregational  Christmas Carol
 1836  United Methodist  Memorias -- The Messiah
 1836  First Baptist  Scripture, St. Luke II, 1-20
 1842  Calvary Episcopal  Scripture, St. Matt. II, 1-14
 1854  Holy Cross Catholic Lighting of Advent Candle by Santa Lucia 
 ?  Faith Church - Brethren  Christmas Carol
 1871  Evangelical Covenant  Old Time Church Christmases
 1872  Bethany Lutheran  Swedish Christmas Carol
 1882  Immanuel Lutheran  German Lullaby
 1951  Logan Street Baptist  Memories
 1955  Trinity Chapel  Go Tell It On the Mountain
 1970 ?  Baptist Chapel  Christmas Wish
 1972-75  Fox Valley Christian  Christmas Greetings

 

 

A MERRY CHRISTMAS


 

Dues are Due

 

Jean: “Only about half the membership have paid their dues. You tell them.”

 

Dave: “We're spending money like crazy. We have to get some in!”

 

Some expenditures are from committed funds not affected by membership fees.  Your society paid to the Batavia Park Board $970.00 for memorial trees planted in honor of various members.  There are beautiful plates designating specific trees.  Also memorial funds have been spent to buy a much needed bookcase and some books.  But as for operating expenses . . . . round figures:

 

Insurance on artifacts   .........................................................$196.00
Police protection system  .........................................................  200.00
Newsletters and mailing  .........................................................  100.00
Museum office supplies  .........................................................  100.00
Magazines and books  .........................................................    50.00
Booklets given to school libraries  .........................................................    75.00
Free materials about Batavia (this totals about 4000 pamphlets)  .........................................................  250.00
Acid-free files and boxes  .........................................................  200.00
Issuance of Old Batavia II  .........................................................  200.00 


Note

 

None of these expenses are covered by any tax levy. They add up to a lot of money. It represents our contribution to the pride and understanding of Batavia by Batavians and by a lot of non-Batavians. I guess we had better pay our dues:

 

 

Singles - $3.00,          

Tandem - $5.00;          

Life - $50.00;           

Donation - ?

 

We may pay at the next meeting, December 11 or mail to Batavia Historical Society, P.O. Box 15.  

 


Batavia Depot Museum News

 

Docents:

 

Jean Conde is doing a marvelous job in organizing docents for the Museum. It is they who are hosts and hostesses to the great number of visitors (250-350 a month) who enjoy our museum. Without them the museum could not operate. Volunteers all. Many of them retired women.

 

Now here is an edict:

 

Unless twelve couples, a man and a woman, offer to spend two hours any one Sunday at the museum from 3:00 to 5:00 P.M., the museum will not be open those Sundays for which there are no volunteers.  

 

Why?

 

Winter visitors may well be different in numbers and interests.  

 

Last year during the skating season an influx of visitors tended to arrive just before closing time. The new restaurant may well bring more guests, many more hopefully. At 5:00 P.M. the weather, if cold, darkness has set in, and the roads are often slippery.

 

We cannot expect women to "man" the museum alone under such circumstances -- we would feel guilty if anything "untoward" happened. And so, couples, please call either 879-3646 or 879-1212 for one Sunday.  

 

It is your responsibility to offer, not ours to beg.  

 

Incidentally, this is fun!

 


Old/New Clothes

 

The Batavia Historical Society owns quite an extensive collection of beautiful costumes now in the museum. You saw Mrs. Ethel Lewis Bartelt admiring her 67 year old wedding dress when she visited the museum the other day. (Chronicle picture) Shirley Lindgren Hoover, by the way, has offered to "do it up" so that it may again look bright and fresh. Two weeks ago we received a valuable collection of clothes when the Brogden house was emptied -- Mrs. Walter (furniture) Carlson’s beautiful dresses, velvet cloaks and her daughter's baby clothes and graduation gowns.

 

Then last week came another bonanza, without a doubt one the most valuable artifacts, namely, the wedding gown once belonging to Martha VanNortwick, daughter of John Smith VanNortwick. He was the brother of the VanNortwick who lived in he newer of the two stone houses on Batavia Avenue. He lived in the present Gustafson home from about 1873 to 1893.

 

It was brought to us by Mary Burton Chapman; her grandmother was Mary VanNortwick. 


 

Documentary Materials:  

We are blessed to have a rich store of original and very early documents.  When Ann Alexander was here she started to organize the mishmash of materials.  We have been complimented on the care that we are able to give our materials.  The Park Board has procured the services of Charles Ohlson to act as curator so that the materials may be readied for research.  He spoke to the Historical Society Board the other evening as to what he had accomplished and the process of establishing the Gustafson Library in the museum.  A new/old bookcase to hold materials has been purchased with money donated by the Class of 1947.  The Society has no right to accept important books and papers unless they are protected and yet made available for study.


 

Merry Christmas:  

Come visit the museum during the Christmas Season.  Under the leadership of Carla Hill little Brownies and Girl Scouts are really decorating it up!


 

Closed:

December 11 (meeting date) and Christmas Day. Special Open House Sunday, December 18.  


 

Historic Batavia

Well Deserved Commendations

 

The Batavia Chamber of Commerce is certainly to be congratulated on its current project of recreating Batavia Past with appropriate antiques and Christmas decorations.  The merchants are responding enthusiastically with beautiful windows.  As for Batavia Christmas of the Present, the prize goes to the Woodland Hills and 14th Colony guys and gals on their luminaria venture.  They expect to sell 12,000 this year, the profits to go to some worthy project.  The candles, sacks, and sand will be for sale at the Depot Museum on December 2, from 4:00 to 8:00 P.M. and from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. the next day, Saturday.  Give your home a facelift this Christmas.  By the way, if there should be any candles remaining, they will be for sale the following weekend.

 

Some of our fellow citizens have certainly “put it on the line” while the rest of us remain critical or just apathetic (which may be worse) as far as conservation of Old Batavia is concerned. The Downtowners are certainly to be admired in that they have “saved” two old limestones, which are now ready for occupancy. More recently, of course, Schielke, Beck, and Richter have purchased the range of four buildings on the south side of the island.

 

Most recently, Donali's is buying the old E. H. Gammon place (Johnson Funeral Home to you). They will all need renters. Do any of you have information or influence that can help? The havoc played on the old Newton Wagon Works (Batavia Body Company to you) is a lesson to all of us as to what is apt to happen under absentee landlordism. We feel the present aspect of the old Church School (McWayne School Annex) has been saved.  We're still trembling about the ultimate fate of the old Bellevue Place.

 

New Batavia residents are doing a fine job in restoring some of our beautiful older homes. Mr. and Mrs. Bennett are searching for old pictures of 345 N. Batavia Ave. so that they may properly restore that home. Can anyone help? The McIntyres face the herculean task of restoring the old Judge Isaac Wilson house on East Wilson and Prairie. Some renter-bandit tore out the beautiful old walnut staircase. They even hope to remove the old asbestos siding some day.  

 

The George Pierces from Lombard will soon call the old Pahnke house on Elm Street home. The present owners of the beautiful Italianate Frank E. George Hoag house on Prairie and the Gothic limestone Garson-DuFour-Peckworth house on Washington have undergone interior refurbishing.  

 

We understand that their ceilings are so high that even tall sons need paintbrushes attached to long handles in order to reach the corners. The old Frank K. George house on Lincoln, a very rare Federal type certainly needs to be-adopted by someone who will give it TLC.  The Paul Seamans on VanBuren are having to sell their Italianate (Nelson Burr house). They will sell it only to someone who will respect it. The McFeeleys are most happy in their "new" house, the old Spooner-Pinzini home on Main Street.  

 

We are grateful especially to the City Council and Public Structures for seeking viable uses for our old structures so that they may endure.  

 

To some of you this newsletter is almost the only contact you have with this town.  We appreciate your continuing interest and support.   And to all of you -- MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A GOOD NEW YEAR.

 

Lucile Gustafson


 

Be sure to attend Christmas Meeting, December 11.

Bring a newcomer.