Volume Twenty-Three

No. 3


Summer, 1982 





General Meeting        

DATE: Sunday, July 25 TIME: 7:30 p.m.

PLACE: The Depot Museum (downstairs)Guest Speaker: Steve Hyett, president of the Chicago, Aurora and Elgin Railroad Society


Do you remember the "Great Third Rail" and its train station in downtown Batavia? Steve Hyett, dressed in conductor regalia, will take you on an historic, nostalgic, slide-show trip on the famous Chicago, Aurora and Elgin Railroad.  He will punch your ticket, callout the stations, and see that you have a comfortable, relaxing ride on a real electric train from the past.  Mr. Hyett will also share with us some of his railroad artifacts which will be on display in our Depot as a special exhibit. A brief business meeting will precede Mr. Hyett's presentation and refreshments will follow.  Hope to see you all in the passengers' section.  We're adding extra cars!


Field Trip                               

DATE: Sunday, August 22TIME: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

PLACE: MooseheartSpecial host:  Mr. Earle Horton, former Public Relations Director for the Mooseheart Department of Civic Affairs. Directions: As you drive into Mooseheart from Rt. 31, you will see the Clock Tower building to your right.  Go to the Mooseheart Museum first (next door north - parking where designated) for a 45-minute presentation on the history of Mooseheart.  We will then visit the Church and Baby Village (plus other optional stops).  Our afternoon will end with a drive around the lake before leaving this wonderful city.


Elaine Cannon was one of Batavia's famous persons.  




If you missed knowing her and her world of miniatures, you can visit our Museum and learn about this fascinating artist and her creations from the permanent display of her work.  She is loved for her beautiful and imaginative miniature dolls: the tiny 1-1/4" Dome Dolls, the Peddler dolls, and the "Little Hickory" dolls.  The tiny Dome Dolls have painted, wheat seed faces, wire bodies carefully padded, ribbon skirts and lichen hats.  The dolls grew and so did their charm as Elaine Cannon created the Peddler Dolls (displaying their wares in such a convincing manner) and the Trunk Dolls (fondly recalling the saved letters, party dresses, miniature doeskin gloves, and beloved photographs).  The "Little Hickory" Dolls have heads made from hickory nuts, with the shape and texture perfect for that of little old people.  Her Victorian room settings are no less fascinating than the dolls and their accessories.  These dioramas recall the memory of a Batavia that was her childhood (like grandmother's parlor and the local dry goods store).  


Patricia Logan, who wrote about Elaine, said that "one of her greatest gifts is her special potential for recreating Victorian fact and fantasy."  Her workshop must have been a never-never land with an endless array of ribbons, buttons, silk threads, earring and bead fragments, old laces, fans, feathers to name just a few of her materials.  We are proud to own some of Elaine's miniatures.  A custom, lighted display case has been ordered for the Museum and will eventually house all of her treasures.  We thank the following people for making this display possible:Miriam Johnson Eunice Shumway Hazel Bergeson The Chicago Historical Society Howard and Mary Matteson Mrs. Agnes Larson Mrs. Ebba Mittelstaed Ruth Burnham In addition, the Historical Society has received memorial gifts from the following friends and relatives:


The Gustafsons

Mr. and Mrs. Norman Murray and Family Mr. and Mrs. Richard J. Kaiser Howard and Mary Matteson Eleanore Dunlap Paul W. and Ethyl Bergeson Mary E. Anderson Evelyn Benson Leona Berg Robert and·Virginia Kalina  
Hazel V. Bergeson Alice H. LeipoldEleanor Oleson Robert and Agnes Warner Eldora Hoover and William Wood Dorothy Bergeson Blanche K. Nelson Richard and Mary Ann Bergeson William and Ruth Skoglund Col. and Mrs. R.O. Bergeson  


It is our intention to keep Elaine Cannon's memory very much alive and to share her fantasies with scores of new admirers. 



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. 

In an early planning session, the Board of the Batavia Historical Society decided to try having one general meeting in the evening.  We picked July, when the weather is balmy and the evenings are long.  We hope you will be able to end your very busy Sunday with a visit to our Depot.




Mary Matteson, a long-time friend of our Society, has replaced Roberta Campbell as recording secretary.  Roberta finds her spare time in short supply, since covering all the news happening in Batavia.  We thank both Mary and Roberta for their service to us. The Board, on behalf of the membership, wished John and Lucile Gustafson "Happy July Birthdays" with two summer plants. The Depot Museum's summer weekend hours are not being extended at this time.  Volunteers are still needed, however, to staff the current hours the museum is open.




To date, the Batavia Historical Society is planning two special projects to coincide with the city-wide celebration of Batavia's l50th birthday.  The first project is the plaquing of Batavia's l00-year old buildings.  We will try to identify as many of these structures as possible and urge the current owners to apply for a plaque.  Upon approval, owners may purchase a bronze plaque from the Society.  To aid owners in dating their homes, the Society is planning a brochure which will itemize various steps in researching a home's history and age.  The second project is the restoration and relocation of a small, windowless building once known as The Coffin Bank.  Now in storage, this structure was the first private bank in Batavia.  Lucile Gustafson and Walter Kauth saved the bank from destruction, and the Society would like to give it a permanent home.




Since our last newsletter, the following donations have been given to the Historical Society:  From Mrs. G. A. "Ebba" Mittelstaed: An Elaine Cannon Dome. From Ed LaMorte: The Official Museum Directory (1981). From Mrs. Raymond Feldman in memory of Carl and Raymond Feldman: A Shell Case. From John E. Swanson: A Swedish Bible dated 1889. From Virginia Freedlund: A World War II uniform and accessories belonging to Norman David Freedlund. From Nathalie Wulff: Assorted antique clothing. We thank these people for their thoughtfulness and generosity. * * * * * * * *Earle Horton, our Historical Society Vice-President, has been associated with Mooseheart for 61 years.  When he offered to take our members on a guided tour of Mooseheart, the Board was delighted.  Reservations for the August tour are not required, but please circle August 22 on your calendars today!  Don't miss this rare opportunity to visit Mooseheart with someone who loves it dearly!