February 2013 Newsletter


Mission Statement

• To restore the Lyndon Area Historical Society to a viable community asset
• To convert the sanctuary for public use – celebrations and social events
• To create a media, technology, and genealogy center

Museum Restoration

Much more work has been done in the chapel. The walls have been cleared of display cabinets and shelving. Jim Boonstra and Corey Pruis have painted the ceiling tiles. Mary Ellen Rogers, Dale Ann Cook, Carol Crady, Alicia Wetzell, and Kris Bielema took on the task of painting the baseboards and cleaning the wall paneling. Through the efforts of Neil Johnson, Lindy Greenwood, and her son, Brady, the chapel was cleared for the installation of wall to wall carpeting by the Morrison Carpet House. Nicki (Poulter) Crady has agreed to enhance the alcove surrounding the altar with a new paint finish. Paul Engwall will be repairing the remaining six original pews. The Sunday School area of the museum now houses the displays. We are marketing the museum as a charming site for weddings, memorials, and other events. Please contact us if you are interested in hosting an event at the museum. Our own website is under construction and should be up and running Spring 2013. Google “The Lyndon Area Historical Society in Lyndon Illinois or contact us.


We sponsored two fundraisers in 2012. The 2nd Annual Come Home Again Reunion was held at Richmond Park on Saturday June 23, 2012. Gordon Zaagman supplied the pork chops. Todd Kullerstrand and Brian Wilson’s Trinity Praise Band provided the entertainment. $762.00 was raised that day. The 2nd Annual Trivia Night – “Don’t Put Your Costumes Away Just Yet” – was held at the museum on Saturday November 3, 2012. Neil Johnson created the trivia night questions again this year. Dressed as The Captain from the old TV show, “Gilligan’s Island”, Neil also acted as M/C with the help of his assistants, Gilligan and MaryAnn. The team entry fees, 50/50 drawings, a raffle of community donated items and the enthusiastic nature of all the participants earned us $1301.00


Generous donations from our members and the Prophetstown Main Street Love Light Program have provided much needed and greatly appreciated financial support for our sanctuary restoration project.

Special Thank You

We thank all the local businesses for their generous and continuous support of our efforts. Rod Copeland’s valued legal expertise has been most helpful as we navigate the challenges and opportunities of this non-for-profit organization.

Community Connections/Programs 2012

The museum was open during Lyndon Days (Crow Festival, Kids Day, and Car Show) the first weekend in June. We served as the first stop for the Golf Cart Poker Run through town. We also had an informational booth set up at the car show with free shuttle rides to the museum from either the Fireman’s Pancake Breakfast or the car show.

In July, Jim Boonstra- a lifelong employee of the Morrison Phone Company – gave a presentation on the company’s history and its impact on the surrounding communities. An extensive display of telephones and related telecommunication equipment was on exhibit at the museum through August. Donald Mulnix from the Whiteside County Genealogical Society, gave a presentation on the upcoming Whiteside County, Illinois Family History Book.

On October 7th, the Lyndon Area and the Prophetstown Historical Societies partnered to honor the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky. The two societies shared a program which included presentations by Fred South from Prophetstown and Bill Shaw from Grand Detour. Fred, a retired Prophetstown/Lyndon/Tampico junior high school social studies teacher has done extensive research on this oft- forgotten battle. Bill’s relative was part of the 75th Illinois Volunteer Infantry soldiered by young men mustered from Lee, Ogle, and Whiteside counties. This battle was a critical turning point in the Civil War whose eventual outcome saved the Union. Company B of the 75th was known as The Lyndon Rangers with men from Lyndon, Prophetstown Erie, Garden Plain, Newton, and Fenton. Private Benjamin Chamberlin , Corporal Orson K. Hubbard, and Private Oscar M. King – all from Lyndon – died in that battle. Listed in our museum memorabilia, is an excellent reproduction of the original Civil War poster listing the 75th Regiment Company B Lyndon Rangers. Two sizes are available for purchase. Currently, the museum has exhibits honoring all of our veterans.

The museum was open on Halloween. Goodie bags were given out to Trick or Treaters , both young and old.On November 17th, the historical society again entered a float in the Prophetstown’s Annual Holiday Parade. Our theme was Christmas – past and present. A special “Thank You” to both John and Carol Crady for their extensive and time-consuming work on this project.

A Holiday Open House was held on Sunday, December 16, 2012. The museum was beautifully decorated and showcased in The Echo. Jeff Wirth, from Erie, was Santa and Brady Nance was his elf assistant. Both of them arrived on Santa’s special fire truck, thanks to Thad Bramm and the Lyndon Fire Department! Snowman soup” and “reindeer food” were given out to the kids. Christmas cookies and hot cocoa were served. Many of you may remember
visiting Santa at the Lyndon Fire Station when you were growing up in Lyndon. It is our hope to create new traditions and bring back old ones as we host annual events like Halloween Night and the Holiday Open House for the kids growing up in Lyndon today!

The To-Do List 2013 and Beyond…
We are working to bring wireless internet services into the museum, enabling the facility to be open to the public for study and research. The museum will be in need of a new roof within the next year or two. We have exterior painting and repairs planned along with additional landscaping, outside benches, and a 2nd restroom. We are still in need of more pews. If a donation is made for the purchase of a pew, upon your approval, a plaque with your name engraved on it will be placed on that pew.

Need Your Help
We are looking for the following Lyndon yearbooks and school photos. If you can help us out, contact Mary Ellen (Hunt) Rogers. Lyndon HS yearbooks – any prior to 1948, 1953, 1956, 1958, 1959 through 1964, 1966. Lyndon HS graduation group photos – 1921 through 1925, 1940, 1944, 1955 through 1969. Lyndon 8th grade graduation group photos – 1921 through 1923, 1925 through 1932, 1934, 1936, 1938, 1940, 1942 through 1945, 1948, 1950 through 1969.

Museum Memorabilia
Mouse pads, coasters, beverage insulators, postcards, Lyndon history books- compiled by the late Gene Harrington, hand-painted ornaments of both the museum and Lyndon bridge, pen and ink drawings of the museum by Bud Thompson, and excellent reproductions of an original Civil War poster of the 75th Regiment Company B Lyndon Rangers are all available for purchase at both the museum and the Lyndon Village Hall. You can also contact Mary Ellen Rogers, and she can get items sent to you.

Programs/Events/Fundraisers 2013 (listings are preliminary and subject to additions and/or changes)

  • February 24 – IHSA Music Competition Recital
  • April 28– Presentation – Lincoln’s River Connections
  • May 18– museum open during the city-wide garage sale
  • June 1 – Museum Open House during Lyndon Days
  • September 22 -Fall Open House
  • October 20 -Presentation - Bloody Draw:  The Battle of Perryvile
  • October 31– Trick or Treating at the museum
  • November 9 – 3rd Annual Trivia Night
  • November –participation in the Prophetstown Holiday Parade(exact date TBA)
  • December 8 – Holiday Open House

We will keep you posted on our upcoming website and our facebook page. We are also in the process of being included in the Blackhawk Waterways CVB www.bwcvb.com. We are generally showcased in the following: The Echo, The Whiteside Sentinel, The Erie Review, The Fulton Journal, The Prairie Advocate, and thecity1.com.

We wish to thank our faithful members, donors and volunteers for their invaluable contributions. The Lyndon Area Historical Society sustains itself on generosity, ingenuity, elbow-grease and optimism. Annual membership dues and donations are essential to our operation. Support Lyndon’s historic treasures! Please renew your membership for 2013 soon!!


Carol (Richmond) Crady –president and genealogical chairperson
Alicia (Attig) Wetzell – vice president
Mary Ellen (Hunt) Rogers – treasurer
Kris Bielema – secretary
Board Members: Jim Boonstra, Dale Ann (Stump) Cook, John Crady, Neil Johnson, Kodi Wright
Faithful Volunteers: Lindy Greenwood and Brady Nance

Contact: Mary Ellen (Hunt) Rogers 815-778-4962 or Kris Bielema at 815-778-4801

Museum Hours: by appointment

Meetings: 7:00 pm last Wednesday of each month at the museum located at 405 W. 4th Street in Lyndon.
No regular meetings in December and January

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