Ask anyone why they live in Hinsdale, and they’ll likely mention the hometown feel, lovely homes along tree-lined streets, and the historical character. Yet, preserving that history is something we often take for granted in the hustle and bustle of daily life. Fortunately, the Hinsdale Historical Society staff, volunteers, and its Women’s Board work tirelessly to ensure that our community’s rich legacy is preserved for generations to come.
And they need the community’s support.
That’s why the first annual Holly Jolly Trolley tour and museum visit, taking place on December 7 from 5 to 7 p.m., is a not-to-miss event for residents of all ages. “It’s a way to bridge the past to the future,” says Carrie Rozick, who joined the Women’s Board last year and is co-chair of the inaugural event. “Attendees will get a great overview of some homes decorated with holiday lights around town and have the opportunity to visit the museum.”
Located in a historic Victorian house on Clay Street, the museum will be decorated for the holidays “Victorian” style. It is home to many permanent displays, such as a timeline history of Hinsdale, as well as new exhibits like “Hinsdale’s Homefront: The 100th Anniversary of World War I,” which opened in early November and honors the men from Hinsdale who served and died in The Great War.
Organized by the Hinsdale Historical Society Women’s Board, “All money raised from the Holly Jolly Trolley holiday fundraiser will benefit the historical society’s important work to preserve Hinsdale’s history,” says Anne Kearns, also co-chair for the tour. “The museum is a beautiful house in downtown Hinsdale. Guests will have the opportunity to take the 20-minute trolley tour and come back to the museum for food, drink, children’s crafts, and a tour of the museum.”
Approximately 70 local women per year dedicate their time to serving on the Women’s Board, organizing and hosting events to raise money that goes toward the organization’s important work to collect and preserve archival material and artifacts for research and exhibition. As a nonprofit supported entirely by memberships, donations, and fundraising, the historical society maintains three historic properties (the Hinsdale History Museum, Immanuel Hall, and the R. Harold Zook Home and Studio), offers a variety of educational programs, and collaborates with the community to instill pride in Hinsdale’s heritage.
In the past year, the historical society, in partnership with Hinsdale’s Historic Preservation Commission, launched a free “tours” app.—HistoricalTourist: Hinsdale, which currently offers four Zook-related tours (with plans to add additional subject tours).
Other events throughout the year include Trivia Night in January, an annual Lunch with the Lincolns in February, Hinsdale Cooks! Kitchen Walk in the spring, a book club that meets every other month, and a Holiday Open House, which will take place on December 8 (the day after the Holly Jolly event) this year.
“We live in a small historic town, and it is important to embrace its historic nature and try and preserve what makes us special,” says Ruta Brigden, also co-chair for the Holly Jolly event. This is Brigden’s seventh year serving on the Women’s Board. “I joined because my husband Charlie and I bought a house built in late 1890s, and were interested in history and architecture. Charlie also serves as a trustee on the Historical Society board. I think it’s important to get involved, and it’s a great way to do it and embrace things that make Hinsdale unique.”
Help the Hinsdale Historical Society by attending upcoming events that support its mission—to bridge the past, present, and future by engaging the community with its architecture and history. Kearns adds: “The thing I love about this even is that we will be showing people our beautiful museum. If we don’t preserve it, it will go away.”
Tickets to the Holly Jolly Trolley are $25 per seat and include beverages, treats, and the tour. Tickets are limited and must be purchased for a specific time slot. Tours depart every half hour starting at 5 p.m. until the last tour concludes at 8 p.m. Holly Jolly Trolley tours begin and end at the Hinsdale History Museum, 15 S. Clay Street in Hinsdale. Parking is available in the lot next to the museum. Purchase tickets online at hinsdalehistory.org. For more information or questions contact the Holly Jolly Trolley co-chairs: Carrie Rozich, Ruta Brigden, or Anne Kearns at [email protected]
Save These Dates
Mark your calendar for 2019 events that support the Hinsdale Historical Society
• “Hinsdale’s Homefront: The 100th Anniversary of World War I” exhibit runs through 2019
• Holiday Open House at the Hinsdale History Museum—tour the museum—Saturday, December 8, noon to 4 p.m., free to public
• Book Club—read and discuss non-fiction historical books—meets the second Wednesday every other month at 7:30 p.m., at the Hinsdale History Museum
January 9, March 13, May 8
• HHS Trivia Night—popular third annual event with a variety of trivia categories—Saturday, January 12, 7 p.m., at the Community House
• Lunch with the Lincolns—kids enjoy lunch, crafts, and games with Mr. and Mrs. Abe Lincoln—Saturday, February 23, 11 a.m. to1 p.m., at Immanuel Hall
• Hinsdale Cooks! Kitchen Walk—tour beautiful Hinsdale kitchens on Friday, May 10, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.