Click on links below to see more info about each event.

Upcoming Events:

Under the Buffalo Lecture Series, Winter 2021
The World of Juliette Kinzie: Chicago Before the Fire, March 23, 6:30 pm (CT)
Fortune and Faith in Old Chicago: A Dual Biography of Mayor Augustus Garrett and Seminary Founder Eliza Clark Garrett, April 13, 6:30 pm (CT)

Nevertheless Film Screening, March 7, 2:00 pm (CT)

Ongoing Events:

Evanston COVID-19 Pandemic Archive

45th Annual Mother’s Day House “Walk-By”

Under the Buffalo Lecture Series

Winter 2021

The World of Juliette Kinzie: Chicago Before the Fire
Ann Durkin Keating

A Virtual (Zoom) Presentation
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
6:30-7:30 pm (CST)
Admission: $10. EHC Members are free!
Click here to register for this event. Registration is required.
Admission can be paid online.
Consider joining EHC and attending this and other events for free.

Join us for a presentation by Ann Durkin Keating as she discusses her book, The World of Juliette Kinzie.

When Juliette Kinzie first visited Chicago in 1831, it was anything but a city. An outpost in the shadow of Fort Dearborn, it had no streets, no sidewalks, no schools, no river-spanning bridges. And with two hundred disconnected residents, it lacked any sense of community. In the decades that followed, not only did Juliette witness the city’s transition from Indian country to industrial center, but she was instrumental in its development.

Juliette is one of Chicago’s forgotten founders. Early Chicago is often presented as “a man’s city,” but women like Juliette worked to create an urban and urbane world, often within their own parlors. With The World of Juliette Kinzie, we finally get to experience the rise of Chicago from the view of one of its most important founding mothers.

Ann Durkin Keating, one of the foremost experts on nineteenth-century Chicago, offers a moving portrait of a trailblazing and complicated woman. Keating takes us to the corner of Cass and Michigan (now Wabash and Hubbard), Juliette’s home base. Through Juliette’s eyes, our understanding of early Chicago expands from a city of boosters and speculators to include the world that women created in and between households. We see the development of Chicago society, first inspired by cities in the East and later coming into its own midwestern ways. We also see the city become a community, as it developed its intertwined religious, social, educational, and cultural institutions. Keating draws on a wealth of sources, including hundreds of Juliette’s personal letters, allowing Juliette to tell much of her story in her own words.

Juliette’s death in 1870, just a year before the infamous fire, seemed almost prescient. She left her beloved Chicago right before the physical city as she knew it vanished in flames. But now her history lives on. The World of Juliette Kinzie offers a new perspective on Chicago’s past and is a fitting tribute to one of the first women historians in the United States.

Ann Durkin Keating is Dr. C. Frederick Toenniges Professor of History at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. She is coeditor of The Encyclopedia of Chicago, the editor of Chicago Neighborhoods and Suburbs: A Historical Guide, and the author of Rising Up from Indian Country: The Battle of Fort Dearborn and the Birth of Chicago, all published by the University of Chicago Press.

This presentation will take place virtually on Zoom.
Click here to register. Registration is required.

Support Evanston’s Independent Bookstore and purchase a copy of The World of Juliette Kinzie from Bookends & Beginnings

The event is presented in partnership with the Evanston Women’s History Project.

Fortune and Faith in Old Chicago: A Dual Biography of Mayor Augustus Garrett and Seminary Founder Eliza Clark Garrett
Charles H. Cosgrove

A Virtual (Zoom) Presentation
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
6:30-7:30 pm (CST)
Click here to register. Registration is required.
Admission: $10. EHC Members are free!
Admission can be paid online.
Consider joining EHC and attending this and other events for free.

Join us for a presentation by Charles H. Cosgrove as he discusses his engaging biography of Augustus Garrett and Eliza Clark Garrett. The book tells two equally compelling stories: an ambitious man’s struggle to succeed and the remarkable spiritual journey of a woman attempting to overcome tragedy. By contextualizing the couple’s lives within the rich social, political, business, and religious milieu of Chicago’s early urbanization, author Charles H. Cosgrove fills a gap in the history of the city in the mid-nineteenth century.

The Garretts moved from the Hudson River Valley to a nascent Chicago, where Augustus made his fortune in the land boom as an auctioneer and speculator. A mayor during the city’s formative period, Augustus was at the center of the first mayoral election scandal in Chicago. To save his honor, he resigned dramatically and found vindication in his reelection the following year. His story reveals much about the inner workings of Chicago politics and business in the antebellum era.

The couple had lost three young children to disease, and Eliza arrived in Chicago with deep emotional scars. Her journey exemplifies the struggles of sincere, pious women to come to terms with tragedy in an age when most people attributed unhappy events to divine punishment. Following Augustus’s premature death, Eliza developed plans to devote her estate to founding a women’s college and a school for ministerial training, and in 1853 she endowed a Methodist theological school, the Garrett Biblical Institute (now the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary), thereby becoming the first woman in North America to found an institution of higher learning.

In addition to illuminating our understanding of Chicago from the 1830s to the 1850s, Fortune and Faith in Old Chicago explores American religious history, particularly Presbyterianism and Methodism, and its attention to gender shows how men and women experienced the same era in vastly different ways. The result is a rare, fascinating glimpse into old Chicago through the eyes of two of its important early residents.

Charles H. Cosgrove is Professor of Early Christian Literature and Director of Ph.D. Program at the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois.

Support Evanston’s Independent Bookstore and purchase a copy of Fortune and Faith in Old Chicago from Bookends & Beginnings

This presentation will take place virtually on Zoom.
Click here to register. Registration is required.

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Nevertheless Film Screening

Virtual screening and discussion
Sunday, March 7, 2021
2-3:30 pm (CST)
Click here to register for this event
Admission: $2 to cover ticketing fees, consider a friendly donation
Admission is paid online

Celebrate International Women’s Day with the Evanston Women’s History Project and Piven Theater with a screening of the film Nevertheless followed by a Q&A discussion with Director, Sarah Moshman, EWHP Director Lori Osborne, and mother and daughter, Juliet and Lilly Bond, who are featured in the film. The screening and discussion will take place online on Sunday, March 7th, from 2-3:30 pm (CST).

Taking a look behind the headlines of #MeToo and Time’s Up, NEVERTHELESS follows the intimate stories of 7 individuals who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace or school context. From a writer’s assistant on a top TV show to a Tech CEO and 911 dispatcher, the film shines a light on the ways in which we can shift our culture and rebuild.

Director Sarah Moshman grew up in Evanston, and the story of Lily and Juliet Bond highlights an issue that took place at Haven Middle School in Evanston, giving this national story a local angle for exploration.

Registration and more information at this link.

Evanston History Center’s 45th Annual Mother’s Day House “Walk-By”

The Evanston History Center announces that its 45th annual Mother’s Day House Walk will take place in 2020! But in order to be safe, things will be a bit different this year.

Click here to purchase tickets!

This year, House Walk books will be delivered to ticket holders via email as a PDF, an easily downloadable file. EHC also plans to distribute physical books on or after May 10, 2020, in accordance with the current health safety guidelines.  

This year’s House Walk will be “Walk-By.” EHC invites people to (safely) walk, ride, or drive in order to take part in this year’s event. We invite ticket holders (following social distancing guidelines) to safely experience the House Walk-By beginning on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10, 2020, or on any day after (and as many times as you choose!) 

In honor of the centennial of the passage of the nineteenth amendment, giving American women the right to vote, this year, EHC highlights the homes of Evanston women who fought for suffrage and those who served their community through elected office.

This year, as in years past, House Walk tickets come in the form of a handsome book with scores of scholarly house histories and images that highlight the homes of the many women on this year’s tour. During the writing and publishing process, we did a lot of research on how to market a book and so we have a lot of exciting plans to promote this fantastic new piece of work. This year, we’ve expanded both the book’s content and the number of homes on the walk. The book will guide you as you stop at each location around Evanston. Visitors will not be allowed inside any homes, but will be able to view the houses’ exteriors while learning about the houses’ history, architecture, and the significance of the women who lived there.

Your House Walk ticket purchase this year is especially important: the annual House Walk is one of EHC’s most important fundraisers, supplying needed resources for EHC to continue to operate throughout the year. With EHC’s recent physical closure in March 2020, resources for regular operations are in question. Your ticket purchase and any additional donation (if possible) will ensure that the EHC can continue its mission to preserve and share Evanston’s history long into the future.

House Walk tickets may be purchased by calling EHC at 847-475-3410 or by clicking here!  

House Walk tickets are $30 each. EHC members receive a  $5 per ticket discount. Join EHC online or by phone and receive your discount! Children 12 and over require a ticket.

Tickets and discounted member tickets may be purchased online until 5 p.m. May 9, 2020. Tickets may be purchased online throughout the month of May for $35 each. Addresses are not available in advance. House Walk tickets are non-refundable. Visa, MC, and checks are accepted.

Thank you to our sponsors!

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Evanston Community History Project (ongoing)

Documenting the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Evanston History Center announces the launch of an archive and digital record dedicated to documenting the COVID-19 pandemic in Evanston and surrounding areas. Learn more about this project by listening to Jill Schacter’s interview with project organizer Jenny Thompson on the Evanston Public Library’s podcast, “The Checkout”:

We are now seeking digital contributions, from images to documents. We want to ensure that Evanston’s experiences are documented for future generations. You can read the submission guidelines here. You must be 18 years of age or older to submit to the archive.

What would you want people to know about this time 100 years from now?

How to Contribute:

  1. You can use this form to contribute a written document to the archive right now!
  2. You can submit photos or pdfs to EHC via email to Jenny Thompson:

Please make sure you identify your items by providing as much information as you are able. Name of creator, date created, place, etc.

What to contribute? It may be an idea, an observation, a reflection, a photo or scan of an Evanston scene or a sign on a shop, the record of your day, your feelings about Evanston’s particular response to the pandemic, etc. These contributions will constitute a community record of this time. We will house them in a new collection that will be available to researchers at the Evanston History Center at a later date.

Although we are not currently accepting physical donations to the archive, we hope that you will consider preserving items for future donation.

Please contact Jenny Thompson at with questions or to submit your contribution via email. Thank you for contributing your story!

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