Volume Twenty-Three

No. 2


Spring / 1982 




Date: Sunday, May 23, 1982

Time: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Place: The Depot Museum (downstairs)


Come take a “magical trip back to more elegant days, days when ladies and gentlemen appreciated the finer things in life and craftsmen took pride in the creation of the beautiful and unique.”*

Guest Speaker:           

Mr. Richard Haussmann, collector of Aurora Silver Plate We are very pleased that Mr. Haussmann is coming to Batavia and bringing some of his antique silver collection to share with us. Over the past 15 years, he has collected 200 pieces of holloware and 1,000 pieces of flatware.  The Aurora Silver Plate Manufacturing Company was originally located in Chicago. The company moved to Aurora in 1869 and remained in business until 1919.  


Mr. Haussmann's prize possession is a silver water tippler with matching goblets; his oldest piece is a child's cup, a first edition produced in 1869-70.  Other pieces include items no longer commonly used:  caster sets, pickle casters, marmalade jars, brides' baskets, berry spoons, shell-shaped sugar spoons, strawberry forks, glove boxes, calling card receivers, and celery vases. Mr. Haussmann believes silver should not be packed away.  "The only way to enjoy it is to have it out where you can use it."  How lucky we are that Mr. Haussmann follows his own advise!


PLEASE JOIN US ON MAY 23rd FOR A DELIGHTFUL VISIT TO THE PAST.   *from The Beacon-News "Family" section, a feature article on Richard Haussmann, March 7, 1982; Charlotte Bercaw (reporter).




President Leigh & Penny Tracy
(879-7429) Vice President Earle & Lillian Horton
(879-3907) Treasurer Elliot Lundberg
(879-3942) Secretaries Lydia Stafney – corresponding (879-3576) Roberta Campbell - recording
Trustees Jean Conde (879-3646) William Wood (879-1933) Ed LaMorte (879-2077) Walt & Georgene Kauth (879-5290) Historians John & Lucille Gustafson (879-1212) Jeffery Schielke (879-1424)   


Feel free to call any of us with your ideas or concerns.  We want to hear from you.  Also please take a minute to fill out the membership questionnaire on the last page of this newsletter, and mail it to P.O. Box 15 or bring it to our meeting. 




The Batavia Park District has decided to extend the weekend hours the museum is open during the months of June, July and August.  Beginning in June, the Depot will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.  This means that 2 shifts of Depot Volunteers (2 hours each) are needed through the summer.  Being a volunteer is a rewarding experience and one you can share with your child or grandchild (age 8 or older).  If you could give us two hours on either a Saturday or Sunday, please call Jean Conde (879-3646) or Penny Tracy (879-7429) as soon as possible.  The museum cannot operate without you and your help is greatly needed and appreciated.  



The Board of Directors have decided to offer 4 meetings this year with a workshop or field trip to accompany each calendar quarter.  Our winter meeting was held at The Holmstad (a precedent the Board would like to continue).  Our spring meeting will be May 23. In June, we are planning a "How To" workshop on dating your house, to promote the Historical Society's project of plaquing 100 year old Batavia buildings.  Our summer meeting will be held the middle of July with a guest collector of railroad memorabilia.  In August, we hope to sponsor a trip to the Mooseheart Museum, courtesy of our vice-president, Earle Horton.  In October, we will officially "Kick-Off" the coming Sesquicentennial celebration, and offer another architectural house-walk of favorite Batavia homes.  If time and spirits hold up, we may have some additional surprises.



Carla Hill has provided us with the following list of recent donations given to the Batavia Historical Society for storage at the Depot Museum.  We thank all these wonderful supporters of our efforts to preserve Batavia's past. From "Polly" Faeth: World War II nurses' uniforms.From Grace E. Markuson: Batavia Metal Products "E" Award Program and a miniature replica of an 8" shell made by this company. From Lucile Gustafson: A petticoat and chemise belonging to Miss Grace McWayne. From Lynn Clever: Two abstracts, dated 1841 and 1942. From Floyd Johnson (Geneva): A photograph of the waiting station on Batavia Avenue; high school commencement announcements dated 1931-1901-1907-1921-1932 and 1899; two 1910 postcards of the First National Bank. From Mr. & Mrs. Victor Rudolf: Papers, magazines and calendars from the 1930's and 1940's. From daughter Pauline O'Brien (St. Charles): Assorted carpenter's tools belonging to Elmer W. Olson. From John Gustafson: The spade he used to break ground for the Batavia Depot Museum. From great grandson David Abbey Chambers (Ft. Wayne, Indiana):  A $20 memorial for David Abbey, a Batavia resident from 1830-1865.



The following reminiscence is from Lucile Gustafson to all of you and is entitled:  OLD WATER STREET IN RETROSPECT"Neighborhoods are born, develop, change, are 'reborn.'  Old Water Street in the decade after the turn of the century had a distinct character.  To some, the keystone to the neighborhood was Miss Fannie Patridge's home, southwest corner of Water and Elm Streets.  She kept 'roomers' and 'boarders.'  One of her guests was a little old frail lady named Miss Abigail Towne, one-time art teacher at Batavia Institute, called Aunt Abie by some of the neighborhood's 'kids,' like Hazel Klingborg Bergeson.  Mrs. Bergeson, the next door neighbor, came to 'help' bringing Elaine Bergeson (Cannon) and Mary Bergeson (Williams).  West of the Bergesons lived Colonel Swain, who entered the Civil War as a private and rose to be highest ranking officer Batavia contributed to the Civil War.  Next to them lived Louise Andrews Roger, who wrote Though Time be Fleet.  


They were 'fringe' benefits.  On Water Street itself there were the Klingbergs, the Bensons, the Beckmans, the Hokonsons, the Gustafsons -- all of whom exist as families today.  What do they remember? Counting the cars in the Northwestern trains, boys sneaking swims in the old Barker quarry, apple trees, playing ‘house,' singing 'rough' boy-songs, being kids, having fun with the neighborhood kids.  Your first neighborhood still clings to you.  Apparently, neighborhood is children, even after they are 'grown-up' and then 'elderly'."



The following map of this area was drawn by Arvid Hokonson.



REMINDER -- 1982 DUES ARE DUE!              


MAIL TO:      The Batavia Historical Society P. O. Box 15 Batavia, Illinois 60510  I wish to (start) (continue) my yearning of curiosity in Batavia's past. My (our) membership dues for 1982 are enclosed. NAME ___________________________________________________________ ADDRESS ________________________________________________________ CITY ________________________  STATE __________  ZIP _____________  RATES: Single $3 --- Tandem $5 --- Sustaining $10 --- Life $50  * * * * * * * * * MEMBERSHIP QUESTIONNAIRE           NAME ___________________________________ PHONE # _________________________________  I would like to help with the following activities:

______  typing

______  mailing B.H.S. newsletter ______  volunteering at Depot ______ refreshments for meetings ______ recording/writing oral histories
______  telephoning ______  working w/B.H.S. artifacts ______  writing feature articles for our newsletter ______ other (describe)  
 Please describe your hobbies/collections/special skills that you might want to share at future Batavia Historical Society meetings: ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Do you have ideas for future Historical Society meetings, workshops or projects? ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________