26 February, 2008

Evanston Postcard History Book

There seems to be an Arcadia Publishing book available for every Town, District, and Hamlet across America. I love these books--sometimes they're the only regional history book you'll find for an area--and now there is one coming out for Evanston: Evanston by Mimi Peterson is part of Arcadia's postcard history series.

I'm sure the book will show the Francis Willard home (below), but will it also feature Samantha Baker's residence from Sixteen Candles, which was filmed, in part, in northwest Evanston? When the weather warms, and when I buy a new bike, I'm going to take my new bike on down to see the "Molly Ringwald" house for myself. I loved that movie, and I'll still watch it if I catch a glimpse of it while channel surfing.

Home of Francis Willard (1839-1898), American educator, suffragist, and president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union. This image is from the 1920s; I think the house is being decorated for the Fourth of July.

From the promo literature for Evanston:

Book Description
Enjoy a trip through historic Evanston. See how Davis Street and Sherman and Orrington Avenues appeared around the beginning of the 20th century. Learn how Fountain Square has evolved and how the Merrick Rose Garden is connected. See Northwestern University as it was founded, along with early Evanston’s lakefront, city hall, library, and post office. Many of the buildings shown in this book are still standing, while others have been demolished. In some postcard views the stately elm trees of later decades are seen as saplings. The Library Plaza Hotel, North Shore Hotel, and Georgian Hotel are here as well, along with the historic schools, churches, train depots, and, of course, Grosse Point Lighthouse, which all helped shape the city in its formative years.

About the Author
Mimi Peterson is a longtime Evanston resident and community activist. She is cofounder of To Rescue Evanston Elms (TREE), the organization that spawned preservation of the city’s historic elm population. Peterson creates a visual essay using nearly 200 vintage postcards to share a unique snapshot of Evanston in the early 1900s.


Marilyn said...

Joanne - this sounds wonderful. My parents' wedding was at the North Shore Hotel (I believe it's now a retirement home?) and of course I, too, am still waiting for Jake to pull up with a red car & a cake.

mom2three said...

Hi Joanne -
Wasn't Mimi Rogers an actress?

My name is Mimi Peterson, the author of the Evanston postcard book. Great photo of Frances' house!

I am also a board member of the Frances Willard Historical Association. Please come and visit! The Frances Willard House is open for regular tours the first and third Sundays of every month from 1 to 4 pm (last tour at 3 pm). Special tours can also be arranged. Call (847) 328-7500 or email info@franceswillardhouse.org for more information or to schedule special tours.

The postcard book was fun and challenging! I was limited to the postcards that I felt could help to tell the story of Evanston. With the exception of five cards (provided by the Evanston History Center), are all from my personal collection. The “Molly Ringwald” house is unfortunately, not included. However, there are many lovely old photos of the lakefront and some residential streets. I do have a few of northwest Evanston, but for lack of context, were not included in the book.

Hope you will have the chance to attend an upcoming book signing: Borders Bookstore; 1700 Maple Avenue, April 8, 2008, 7-9pm; Antique Maps & Prints; April 16, 2008, 1937 Central Street, 6-8pm; Barnes & Noble Booksellers: 1630 Sherman Avenue, April 24, 2008, 7-9pm. Plans are in the works to do a signing at the North Shore Retirement Home and once final, I will post the information here.

Look forward to meeting you then!

Joanne said...

Yikes, Mimi. That was embarrassing. I made the correction to the text. (At least I had it right the second time.)

I found the photo of Frances' house at the Library of Congress, I think. I can e-mail it to you at the franceswillardhouse.org address if you don't already have it.

I'll definitely be attending one of your book signings. When you get the final schedule, e-mail me at blog(a)compassrose.com and I'll create a new post announcing it as well.