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Hinsdale, Illinois |

Published Aug. 30, 2012                                         

Value of Hinsdale Historical Society rises as time goes by

   It’s been said that one’s path ahead is invariably informed by the path already traveled.
   The Hinsdale Historical Society’s aim is to be not only the repository of the village’s past but an interactive resource to help today’s residents appreciate and preserve that heritage even as time marches on.
   Over the past year, The Hinsdalean has endeavored to communicate the impact of the historical society on both the personal and communitywide level through our Making a Difference partnership.
   We shared with you the tireless volunteers that lead and lean into the organization. Without the benefit of an executive director, they and three part-time staff are able manage and maintain the Hinsdale History Museum, the R. Harold Zook Home and Studio and Immanuel Hall.
   We learned the Zook Home, relocated to its new home in KLM Park several years ago, has 14 different levels and a ladder extended from the entryway closet to the third floor.
   The museum houses a fascinating and carefully sorted archive chronicling the town through the years. We combed through files of poignant clippings and vignettes for a story on Hinsdale Christmas seasons gone by.
   Over at the Roger and Ruth Anderson Architecture Center, we were amazed to learn that most village residents can find some documentation related to the heritage of their homes or parcel. Take a stroll down the one-block Blaine Street for a frozen-in-time view of how a typical village block looked at the turn of the century.
   While architecture may be the most prominent vestige of the past, the historical society offers a diverse menu of programs highlighting different dimensions of the lives of foregoing generations.
   Village resident and fashion design instructor Efry Ayala conducted a three-part series on fashion history, and this past year children had the chance to construct miniature Lincoln-esque log cabins and make traditional holiday decorations.
   Not all citizens have an organization to safeguard their town’s legacy. Hinsdale does, and we have come to realize that is a treasure in itself. The fact that the historical society is privately funded and largely volunteer run makes it all the more noteworthy.
   We hope our effort to share the work of the Hinsdale Historical Society has been both a source of insight and inspiration for our readers. It has certainly been enlightening for us, and we trust the light it sheds on the village’s past will continue to help illumine the community’s way forward.


  Making a Difference is a yearlong partnership between
The Hinsdalean and the Hinsdale Historical Society, which works to collect, preserve and promote the village’s history and its architecture.




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