Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Family Holiday Pictures; the good, the bad, and the ugly

For most families, that holiday picture is a nightmare before Christmas!

Getting the kids to behave is a nightmare 

So, you decide to have a professional picture taken, only to find out it can not be reproduced without the photographer's consent.

Eventually you give up, and just do something like this.


Images by DavidKay and the Historical Museum can make that holiday photo so much easier and special. 

Bill Kruser and Cindy Kuffel will take your portraits and email them to you all for one flat fee. You can use the photos for your holiday cards or print it to hang on a wall. 

The backdrop of the historic Müller House's front parlor, decked with greenery and stockings, makes a unique and special holiday photo this year.

Families of four or less, sign up for one sitting, Families of more than four need to register for two consecutive sittings. Register one family member for your sitting, please note number of family members at time of registration.Go to ahmuseum.org/classes & programs to register for your sitting time. 

Our only request is that your family comes fully clothed.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Young girls playing in Arlington Heights, 1914

Old MacDonald Day at the Arlington Heights Historical Society Museum, 1993

Today is #TBT, but it’s not Throwback Thursday, it’s Throwback Toys!

Before we talk about the above pictures, we have a game! It should not be too hard, but see if you can figure out this quick history of toys.

The toys children have played with have varied greatly over time. From cornhusk dolls to EZBake Ovens, Tinker Toys to robot dogs, some things have prevailed to always be true in the world of children’s toys.

One thing that has always been true about children’s toys is that they use the latest technology available. In the 1940’s it was electric trains that were utilizing technology. In the 1970’s and 80’s developing technology gave way to the EZBake Oven. While we’re talking about technology, let’s not forget Barbie! She was created because of advancing technology, and cause there’s only so many things a paper doll can do. Since her debut in 1959, Barbie has had many careers in the technology field. She was an astronaut in 1965 and was most recently was an oncologist fighting cancer.

Another aspect that has stayed prevelant is the popularity of action figures and building toys. Today it is Transformers, in the 1960’s and 70’s, it was G.I. Joe. The popularity of these toys never seems to waiver. Also still popular are building toys like Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys that rose to popularity in the 1940’s. If we had to bet, we’d say that parents will forever be stepping on, and cursing, those little Legos.

Despite all the technology available to kids these days, simple toys still retain their magic. Yo-yos, kites, a baseball, and a doll can still bring a smile to a child’s face. Other toys that are still popular are “Cup & Ball”, Jacob’s Ladder, Cat’s Cradle string game, and puzzles. If you’re looking for stocking stuffers, or items to keep the children busy in the car, all of these are available at the Arlington Heights Historical Museum’s Heritage Shop. 


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Throwback Thursday

To celebrate this beautiful season when two of America’s favorite traditions are in full swing, we are featuring two Throwback Thursday pictures.

The first is of the Arlington High School Baseball team circa 1910.
Though they are not pictured, Arlington High School produced some very talented players.

Dick Bokelmann, born in 1926, was a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1951-1953.

Fritz Peterson played for the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, and the Texas Rangers from 1966-1976. His best year was in 1970 when he went 20-11 with the Yankees and pitched in the All-Star game.

Paul Splittorff, also a starting pitcher, played for the Kansas City Royals from 1970-1984. I bet he’d love to see their current play-off run.

George Vukovich was an outfielder who played for the Philadelphia Philllies and the Cleveland Indians from 1980-1985.

The second photo is of the Arlington High School football team from 1938. There a quite a few notable alumni from this program as well.

Doug Betters was a defense end for the Miami Dolphins from 1978-1987. This sixth round draft pick helped the Dolphins make it to the Super Bowl in 1983 & 1985. Unfortunately, they lost both times, but Betters was named the “NFL Defensive Player of the Year” in 1983.

George Bork is another notable graduate of the Arlington High School Football program. Though he never made it to the NFL, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame for 1963 season at Northern Illinois University when he became the first college quarterback, at any level, to throw for 3,000 yards in one season.

Photographs like this are great to share the strong heritage that is present in Arlington Heights. Reproductions of these photos, as well as many more, are available at the Museum’s Heritage Gallery store. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Throwback Thursday, Arlington Heights style!

This photo shows the Banta family sitting on their front porch in 1913 and the current view of that same spot, on the corner of Euclid and Vail, today.

Nathaniel Banta is center, his wife Minnie is on the right, and daughter Elizabeth is on the left.

Nathaniel Banta had the craftsman style bungalow built in 1908. Nathaniel bought the property from his wife’s father, Frederick W. Muller. Muller owned the house at the corner of Vail and Fremont, which is less than a block away. Today both houses currently sit on the Arlington Heights Historical Museum grounds. It was the first home in Arlington Heights to be designed by an architect, W.W. Abell and Son out of Elgin. The prairie and craftsman style exterior, especially the porch, reflects the popular styles of the time.

The front porch was a very popular area for families to gather for a good portion of the year. It was also a very social place. Remember they did not have televisions to gather around. Often times you would see neighbors walking to the market, commuters coming and leaving the train station, etc. Since Minnie’s parents lived so close, it is likely that they often accompanied them for an evening on the porch.

This view of the picture hasn’t changed much, but the area surrounding the Banta house has. Euclid and Vail now have cars zooming past all day. Also, looking across the street from the porch is a different scene. Today you see the the library when you look out. The Banta’s would have seen the houses of their neighbors and the people coming and going from there. Even though it was all houses across the street, the Banta family would have still seen the library, but that story is for another #tbt. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

New exhibit, new blog, how exciting!

Just a few of the many pieces of art featured at our new exhibit

We are so glad that you are taking the time to read the Arlington Heights Historical Museum's inaugural post! We hope to post a few times a week highlighting our programs, historical recipes, and interesting topics in Arlington Heights history, so be sure to come back!

Arlington Artists on Display
Our new exhibit opened to the public, so be sure to stop by and see the beautiful pieces of art on display. Once again, the Arlington Heights Historical Museum’s Heritage Gallery is transformed into an art gallery. 
Come enjoy the original works of more than 40 talented individuals who live, work, or enhance the arts within our very own community. 
Various types of media are presented in the 13th annual Arlington Artists on Display exhibition including: watercolor, oil, pastel, acrylic, mixed media, glass, paper, photographic based imagery, textiles , and wood. Opening on Saturday, October 4, Arlington Artists on Display can be viewed in the Heritage Gallery until January 25, 2015.

Upcoming Events
Pumpkin Fairy House: Oct. 21
Mail Order Homes in the Suburbs: Oct. 23
Paranormal Night at the Museum: Oct. 25
 Call 847-255-1225 for more information on any of our programs or exhibits.