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Museum Mystery Monday Reveal!
Thanks for joining us this summer to solve our Monday Mystery and learn a bit of local history! Our final reveal this summer is below. All items are in our permanent gallery and available for viewing during regular museum hours. We hope to see you!
Week of July 26 = An artifact belonging to area resident Alice Gray! These pottery pieces were put together after surviving a fire and subsequently buried underground for nearly 100 years. Alice Gray, a working woman living in the area was the owner of these and many other pieces discovered quite by accident! Stop into the museum to learn more about Alice and the fire that destroyed her home.
Week of July 19 = The Oswego Drag Raceway! Putting Oswego on the map as a destination for many, the drag raceway continues to hold a special place in the area’s history. Visit the gallery or the Gallery to Go section of the website to view a unique film highlighting the Raceway.
Week of July 12 = A cash register! This cash register has a very special history in the community spending time in the downtown grocery business of both Charles Shultz and Carl Bohn. On exhibit in the museum’s permanent gallery.
Week of July 5 = A block of chert! A hard, fine-grained sedimentary rock stone tool makers knapped into projectile points, knives, scrapers, and tools, this chert was mined from between layers of limestone in the cliff behind the current location of the Oswego Public Library.
Week of June 28 = A barber chair! A fixture in downtown Oswego over the years, this chair provided a seat for many haircuts, styles, and shaves! Hear from one of the community’s very own barbers in the museum’s Downtown Business film. Access the film at the museum or visit the Gallery to Go section of the website!
Week of June 21 = A camera! Many of the images of yesteryear were captured by local Oswego carpenter and avid photographer Irvin Haines. This camera from the 1800’s was used by Haines to take many of the images now part of the museum’s collection.
Week of June 14 = A family trunk! Handmade wooden trunks often carried the belongings a family brought with them on their journey to America. Learn more about this beautiful family trunk that accompanied the Schoger family on their unique journey to America. The trunk is on exhibit daily in the museum gallery
Week of June 7 = Oswego’s Home Grown Fossil = Tentaculites oswegoensis, a worm like marine animal was discovered in 1852 by an Oswego doctor. After review by several educational institutions, the fossil made its way to the Philadelphia Museum. There it was classified and named after the place where it was found. Can you find the word “oswego” in “oswegoensis”? These fossils can still be found today along the banks of the Waubonsie Creek.
Mother’s Day History!
Honoring and celebrating mothers dates back centuries; however the Mother’s Day celebrated in the U.S. dates to 1914. Discover more Mother’s Day History and for a special Mother’s Day project to share with any mother, use this starter guide to preserve history and Interview a Mom for Mother’s Day!
The Historic Tradition of May Day Baskets
Surprise someone with a handmade token of flowers, candies or a small gift! May Day traditions date back to the 19th Century. Historically May Day baskets were filled with flowers, candies or small tokens that were left for someone unknowingly.
One tradition says – if you were caught delivering a May Day basket you are supposed to get a kiss! Today you may leave a surprise or simply share this small gift as an act of kindness. Use a basket, pail, gift bag or make a paper cone to hold your gifts!
Earth Day & a Local Environmental Crusader
Earth Day, the birth of the environmental movement as we know it today, began April 22, 1970. Until that time, many environmental concerns and the impacts of pollution, contaminants, and inefficient manufacturing methods were rarely recognized, thought about, or addressed. Many efforts to make change started at the local level and the Oswego area was truly no exception. Area resident and teacher Jim Phillips took action as local legend “The Fox” bringing awareness to rampant pollution in the vicinity and beyond. Those actions assisted in the development of U.S. and state environmental protection agencies and helped to make the Fox River a cleaner body of water.
Discover More about Earth Day
A TASTE OF HISTORY – WINTER HOLIDAY COLLECTION
This past winter we delighted in specially curated recipes from the collections of the Little White School Museum. Try creating a sweet treat from the past, re-discover a family favorite or start a new tradition of tasting history! Throughout the season, we featured recipes from the compilation cookbook, Favorite Recipes Compiled by Oswego Schools Cafeteria Ladies, 1975.
Quick & Easy Brownies
Peppermint Delight Pie
Peanut Butter Fingers
Explore and Do
- Exhibit Scene Activities – Look and find, recreate, imagine a story, and more! Peek into the past with this exhibit scene and explore all the fun you can have with it!
- KidCitizen – Connect the past to the present through primary sources and engaging interactive activities for kids of all ages.
- Midewin At Home: #AllInIllinois Webinar Series – Gain information on natural resources & conservation topics with ties to the prairie.
- National Archives – Experience U.S. History through a variety of resources for research, learning or fun.
- Outdoor I Spy Heritage Park– Stroll through the park at the museum and try to see what you can spy with your detective eye!
- Smithsonian Digital Volunteer – Help transcribe historical documents and data while learning and making your mark in history!
- Smithsonian’s History Explorer – Dive into history from daily life to pop culture through through video, activities and more.
- Twisted Timeline – Untangle the historic events listed and match them with the correct year.
- Tour – Historic Downtown – Explore downtown Oswego virtually or by foot.
- Tour – Stonehouse Walking Tour – Discover local stonehouses virtually or by foot.
- U.S. Military Veteran photographs of Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
History from Home – Virtual Visits
- American Battlefield Trust
- Anne Frank House
- Google Arts & Culture
- History of Science Museum
- Little White School Museum Gallery Tour
- The Museum of Flight
- National Museum of African American History and Culture
- National Women’s History Museum
- Oswegoland Remembers Those Who Served
- The Olympic Museum
- Smithsonian Museum of American History
Fun First Facts!
- Do you know when the first traffic light was installed in Oswego? How about the telephone? First business? Discover fun facts and interesting info in our Oswego Firsts Brochure.
Local History Resources
- Kendall County GenWeb (excellent local history site)
- Kendall County Historical Society
- Oswego Public Library
- Aurora Historical Society
- Illinois Trails History and Genealogy
- Batavia Historical Society
- Geneva Historical Society
- Naper Settlement
- St. Charles Heritage Center
- Joliet Area Historical Museum
- History on the Fox