A Shifting Shoreline: A Look at Evanston’s Beaches

Beaches today are widely viewed as sites of recreation, relaxing places where land meets sea. But the history of these sites is nothing if not natural. Evanston’s lakefront has undergone both physical and symbolic changes over the years, from being viewed as fraught with peril for ships and bathers alike to being seen as communal recreation areas for beach goers looking for some fun in the sun.

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Sesquicentennial of a Storied Evanston Block

One hundred fifty years ago, in 1868, platting of undeveloped land in Evanston reached the lake’s edge east of the town center and south of Northwestern University. Settlement had been occurring further west, along Ridge Avenue from Chicago into southern Evanston, near the railroad station at Davis Street, and close by the Northwestern campus. In … Read more

Tokens of the Shore

Tokens of the Shore Janet Messmer, Costume Curator, Evanston History Center As summer is drawing towards its close, you may be thinking about the fun in the sand you and your family have experienced using your Evanston Beach Tokens. These tokens began to be used in 1931,only on some of the beaches. There were free … Read more

Oral History Digitization Project at EHC Now Complete

Oral History Digitization Project at EHC Now Complete Lori Osborne, Director of Archives & Outreach, Evanston History Center The Evanston History Center (EHC) began collecting oral history interviews in the 1970s and all of the interviews were recorded on cassette tapes. Over the years these early interviews were added to and the collection now numbers … Read more

Eliza Wright West (1839-1933) Uncovering a Remarkable Life

Eliza Wright West (1839-1933) Uncovering a Remarkable Life Jenny Thompson, Director of Education, Evanston History Center In 1925, as Charles Dawes took office as U.S. Vice President, the American press’ longstanding interest in all the details of his life continued, often resulting in stories that unearthed fascinating connections between the Dawes family and the larger … Read more

Help Preserve Evanston History!

Eden Juron Pearlman is the Executive Director of the Evanston History Center. In her spare time she volunteers for Evanston Swims!, a partnership between YWCA Evanston/North Shore, McGaw YMCA, and District 65 to provide second-grade children in Evanston with free water safety instruction and swim lessons. The Evanston History Center is entering the 21st century … Read more

The Sudbury Connection

The Sudbury Connection Written by Jacob Slutsky, EHC Intern. “Thus from Sudbury stock descended one of America’s leading citizens, a man who has made his mark in the world, and who is striving strenuously for world peace.” – “U.S. Ambassador’s Visit to Ancestral Home Town,” East Anglia Daily Times, October 2, 1929. It’s no secret around … Read more

August 19, 1924: “Dawes Day” in Evanston

Tuesday, August 19, 1924 was “Dawes Day,” a day when Evanston became “the center of the United States for one evening.” On the grounds of the Dawes House at 225 Greenwood, 30,000 people gathered for the official “notification ceremonies” during which Charles Gates Dawes formally accepted the nomination for vice president by the Republican party … Read more