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North Shore March for the Poor, May 25, 1968. Marchers are carrying signs reading "Skokie Marching in Support of the Poor People's Campaign," "Read the Kerner Report," "We Share His Dream," etc. Green Bay Road, probably at Lake Avenue in Wilmette, Wilmette Historical Museum Collections Online

In 1946, shortly after the end of World War II, red swastikas were painted on the North Shore Congregation Israel synagogue in Glencoe. In response to this act of desecration, a group of residents organized the North Shore Citizens’ Committee, an interfaith, interracial group of about 500 North Shore families. The group, based in the Winnetka Community House, actively worked to promote integration on the North Shore. Among their projects were efforts to encourage area hospitals to open their doors to people of color, to lift membership restrictions in recreational facilities, and to end...


Lt. Franklin Barney Bellows, from the World War I Honor Roll. Wilmette Historical Museum Collections Online.

Once again, Memorial Day weekend has snuck up on us. As we take the time to remember and thank those who have served in the Armed Forces across the nation, let us also remember Wilmette’s local involvement and rich history through challenging times of war and crisis. Here at the Wilmette Historical Museum, there is a wealth of resources that detail what Wilmette and Gross Point were like during wartime, providing stories about the residents who pulled together to aid the war effort from home, as well as those who served and sacrificed their lives.

One invaluable treasure at the...


William H. Gage in a garden, 1914, Wilmette Historical Museum Collections Online. William Gage, son of Katherine and Stanley, lived at 932 Elmwood.

Wilmettians have long been proud of their beautiful gardens, but if you find yourself with an itch to grow your own food these days too, you are not alone.

Many of us hear the phrase "victory garden" and think of WWII, when patriotism was directly linked to growing one's own food.

Sow the Seeds of Victory! plant & raise your own vegetables… More from the Smithsonian on Victory Gardens can be browsed here.

Lately, "victory garden" has re-emerged and morphed into the "corona victory garden." While we certainly aren...


John Gage used this marbled cover notebook in our collection as a journal beginning on June 7, 1830. On the first page he explained his purpose quite clearly: "Bot this book this day. I paid 4/ for it calculating to use it for a private journal of what transpires from day to day."

John, his wife Portia, and their three sons were early land developers of Wilmette and helped build much of the early infrastructure, including the first post office and parceling residential lots. John Gage purchased a large piece of land, over 130 acres, north of Elmwood Avenue in 1857. It became known...


Police Fingerprinting Camera, 1921. See the full catalog record and more images of the camera here

In our collections we have a somewhat unusual device: a police fingerprinting camera used by the Wilmette Police Department. This highly specialized camera was manufactured by the Folmer & Schwing (Graflex) division of Kodak in 1921. The Wilmette Police Department used this camera, which takes closeup images of fingerprints, from approximately 1921 to at least 1937. 

We're not sure how often the camera was used or how effective it was in nabbing criminals, but we do have a few images it took. At the scene of a 1937 robbery in Wilmette, police used this camera to capture...


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