Published March 15, 2012
Residents invited to help fill
Historical society, Hinsdalean invite citizens to submit
items to be rediscovered in 50 years
By Pamela Lannom
Imagine life in Hinsdale in
Parking will no longer be an
issue, as flying cars will be stacked four high in
spaces along Washington Street.
A grande no-fat mocha latte at
Starbuck’s will cost $99.
The Fuller family will have
branched off into women’s clothing, children’s shoes and
And come July 4, village
dignitaries will open a time capsule created way back in
The first three obviously are
speculation, but the time capsule is a reality. The
Hinsdale Historical Society and The Hinsdalean are
inviting residents to contribute items that will be
preserved for the next 50 years.
Shannon Weinberger, historical
society board president, said she hopes the effort will
encourage people to take the time to document what life
is like in Hinsdale today.
“I think we live life very
fast right now, and so we forget to stop and take a look
at where we are and what we’re doing and how things are
designed and what they look like,” she said. “We don’t
see those things as special.”
Weinberger appreciates the
effort that was made to take photos of her home when it
was first built in 1889.
“In the photo there are three
tiny trees that look like they had just been planted and
now they’re huge,” she said. “We go back to those
pictures all the time as I am redoing our home.”
She and fellow historical
society board member Cindy Klima wonder how many people
are taking pictures of new homes built today — or posing
for formal family portraits.
“People didn’t just do a
photo. It was a formal painting,” Klima said.
Professional painting and even
photographs have given way to ones taken with cell
phones and digital cameras, and the pictures often sit
on a laptop or CD without ever being printed.
“I don’t think what we’re
doing is permanent, like a handwritten letter or a photo
that someone posed for,” Weinberger said. “I think we’ll
have big holes in our history because we’re so digital.
We’re not saving it.”
The time capsule is a small
step toward addressing that problem.
Because there is no way to
predict technological advances, everything preserved in
the capsule must be a physical object. Photographs must
be actual prints, and letters must be on pieces of paper
— handwritten, if possible.
Submissions will be collected
through June 16. Some of the objects that will go into
the capsule will be placed in a special July 4 exhibit
at Immanuel Hall. Others will be published in The
The accompanying sidebar
offers some prompts to encourage residents to put their
thoughts down in writing or to capture images on film.
The historical society and The Hinsdalean hope to
receive submissions from residents of all ages.
Weinberger imagines the
contents of the time capsule will provide some good
laughs when they are viewed half a century from now.
“I think we think we’re all
cutting edge right now. We’re at the top of technology,
we’re at the top of everything. In 50 years, we’ll open
it up and look back and think, ‘I can’t believe that
phone was so big,’ ” she said. “We’re living the olden
days, but we don’t know it until we open the time
capsule, and I think that’s fun.”
Filling the time capsule
“Perhaps history is just
— Graham Swift, “Waterland”
The most important component
of the time capsule the Hinsdale Historical Society and
The Hinsdalean are creating will be submissions from
residents sharing their stories in words and pictures.
The following prompts are
offered to encourage residents of all ages to pick up a
pen or a camera and tell a story about what it’s like to
live in Hinsdale today.
Essays must be printed out.
When possible, hand-written pieces would be appreciated.
Pictures must be prints and
should have the location, date and name of photographer
on the back.
Items may be dropped off
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays at The Hinsdalean, 7
W. First St., or from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays at the
Hinsdale History Museum, 15 S. Clay St., or the Anderson
Center, 302 S. Grant St. The deadline for submissions is
No materials will be returned
— at least not for 50 years.
What are your family’s
traditions in Hinsdale? (Fourth of July parade,
Christmas Walk, Uniquely Thursday, daily rituals, etc.)
What are your memories of
growing up in Hinsdale?
How would you spend an ideal
day off school?
What do you appreciate most
about your neighborhood?
Share the history of your
house and a current and/or historic photo of it.
If multiple generations of
your family have lived in town, share their stories and
include some photos. Which members of your family might
live here in 50 years?
What are your favorite places
in town? Write about them and/or take pictures of them
and the people who visit them.
What do you hope Hinsdale will
be like in 50 years?
What organizations in town
have made a difference in your life?
Making a Difference is a yearlong partnership
The Hinsdalean and the Hinsdale Historical Society,
which works to collect, preserve and promote the
village’s history and its architecture.