Preservation Month Celebrates Wheaton History

Each May, the City of Wheaton Historic Commission coordinates Wheaton’s Preservation Month to coincide with the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preservation Month. The commission coordinates the activities below for the community.

Pride in Preservation Signs

Dates: May 13-21
From May 13-21 the Historic Commission places “Pride in Preservation” purple lawn signs throughout Wheaton at sites designated Wheaton Historic Landmarks or listed on the Wheaton Register of Historic Places. For an online tour of some of these sites, go to www.wheaton.il.us/about/tour/default.aspx?id=940 and select “Wheaton’s Landmark Homes.”

Doughboy Scanning Project

Date: Saturday, May 6
Time: 1-4 p.m.
Location: Wheaton Public Library, 225 N. Cross St., Computer Services Department, first floor
Contact information: wheatonhistoriccommission@gmail.com
Help preserve the community’s memories of Wheaton during the Great War. If you have any photographs, letters, artifacts or memorabilia related to Wheaton in WWI, bring it to the Wheaton Public Library where it will be scanned or photographed. Arrangements will be made for delicate items that are inappropriate for a flatbed scanner. A digital archive will later be created for public access. Anyone who brings in items for historical recording will receive a free copy of the electronic archive Wheaton in WWI on DVD. All items must be related to Wheaton or its residents. Drop-ins are welcome but reservations are recommended. For information or to make a reservation, email wheatonhistoriccommission@gmail.com.

Cantigny Park - Free Parking Days

Dates: May 15-21
Location: Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road

During Preservation Month, from Monday, May 15 to Sunday, May 21, Cantigny Park is waiving the parking fee for Wheaton residents. For free entry, just show proof of Wheaton residency at the entrance. A valid driver’s license is preferred.

Cantigny Park, part of the Chicago-based Robert R. McCormick Foundations, is the 500-acre estate of Robert R. McCormick (1880-1955), longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The grounds feature gardens, the McCormick House, the First Division Museum and a 27-hole golf course. All are open to the public. McCormick House was listed on the Wheaton Register of Historic Places in 2011 by the City of Wheaton Historic Commission.

Honoring Wheaton’s WWI Heroes

Date: Thursday, May 18
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Location: Mary Lubko Center, Memorial Park, 208 W. Union St.
Contact information: wheatonhistoriccommission@gmail.com
Five hundred men from the Wheaton area enlisted to serve their country in World War I, 13 of whom died in service. On May 28, 1922, two bronze plaques with the names of all 500 soldiers and a cannon were installed at the Warren L. Wheaton home, and organizers created the “Wheaton Road of Remembrance” by planting 500 ash trees on Roosevelt Road. The bronze plaques were reinstalled on the Obelisk at Northside Park on Nov. 22, 1936.

Join us at the Mary Lubko Center for a lecture on Wheaton’s Heroes during WWI and a viewing of several of WWI propaganda silent films from 1915-1919. Light refreshments will be served.

DuPage County Historical Museum Architectural Walking Tour

Date: Saturday, May 20
Time: 10-11:30 a.m.
Location: DuPage County Historical Museum, 102 E. Wesley St.
Contact information: 630-510-4941, www.dupagemuseum.org
Small fee applies
Stroll through historic Downtown Wheaton while learning the history and architectural features of the county seat of DuPage. Learn about the people, businesses and important events that shaped our area. Discover the stories behind the railroad, the County Courthouse and more. Participants should wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. Approximately 1.5 miles are covered during the tour. All ages are welcome. To register or for additional information, call 630-510-4941 or visit www.dupagemuseum.org/ 

Home History Research Help

Date: Saturday, May 20, 1-4 p.m.; Monday, May 22, 6-8 p.m.
Location: Wheaton Public Library, 225 N. Cross St., first floor Genealogy Section
Contact information: Wheaton Public Library, 630-868-7520
Interested in learning more about your historic property? Whether your interest is a home’s construction date, past owners, or its architecture, drop by Wheaton Public Library to discover available resources, where to find them and what each reveals. Learn about the Wheaton Register of Historic Places and getting your house listed. City of Wheaton Historic Commission members and Wheaton Public Library staff will assist you. Drop-ins welcome but reservations are recommended by calling the Reference Desk at 630-868-7520.

Historic Bike Tour of Wheaton

Date: Saturday, May 20
Time: 2-4 p.m.
Location: Beginning from Adams Park fountain, near Main Street and Wesley Street
Contact information: wheatonhistoriccommission@gmail.com
Bring your bike and join the Wheaton Bicycle Committee and the City of Wheaton Historic Commission for a bicycle tour of the historic site markers of Wheaton. This moderately-paced 7.3-mile bike tour will provide a new way to experience the historic and cultural resources of our community. During the tour stops, the docents will explain the significance of historic points in Wheaton. All riders must provide their own bicycle and wear a bike helmet during the tour. A parent or guardian must sign the waiver for riders under 18 years of age. Children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult rider.

Brick by Brick: Tracing Your Home’s History

Date: Sunday, May 21
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Wheaton Public Library, 225 North Cross St.
Contact Information: Wheaton Public Library, 630-868-7520, www.wheatonlibrary.org
If walls could talk … Was your home moved, damaged by fire or enlarged to accommodate a growing family? Tina Beaird will provide strategies for researching the history of your home by using government records, newspapers, phone directories, maps and other resources. This event is sponsored by the Wheaton Historic Commission and Wheaton Public Library. Light refreshments will be served. 

Recreating World War I

Date: Wednesday, May 24
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Wheaton Public Library, 225 N. Cross St.
Contact Information: 630-868-7520, www.wheatonlibrary.org
Would you like to know more about a family member’s service in WWI? Many federal WWI personnel records were destroyed in a National Archives fire in the 1970s. Genealogist Tina Beaird offers ways to locate copies of peripheral federal military records and provides solutions for recreating some of the lost history in these “fire” records. This event is sponsored by the Wheaton Historic Commission and Wheaton Public Library. Light refreshments will be served.

Rags and Stubby Go to the Front

Date: Thursday, May 25
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Wheaton Public Library, 225 N. Cross St.
Contact information: www.wheatonlibrary.org
A talk for children and their families on animals that served their country during WWI will be presented at the Wheaton Public Library. Several famous WWI veteran animals will be featured including Cher Ami, a female passenger pigeon used to carry messages on the battlefield, and Rags, US 1st Infantry Division mascot dog, and Sergeant Stubby, the most decorated dog in WWI, all of whom served with the Allies against the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary. 

 

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