Presented by Tina Beaird
The St. Charles History Museum’s Fall temporary exhibit, entitled, “Homefront: Echoes of the Great War” will highlight the reality of World War I and recognize the St. Charles residents who contributed to the war effort.
Many federal WWI personnel records were destroyed in a National Archives fire in the 1970s. Tina offers ways to locate copies of peripheral federal military records and provides solutions for recreating some of the lost history in these “fire” records by using local government documents, newspapers and base records and more.
The Museum is privileged to include many World War I uniforms from our collection, as well as letters, postcards, and other artifacts of that unique and tumultuous time in American history. All of these aid the exhibit in portraying these individuals as multi-faceted people and not just names in a roster. Over three hundred St. Charles residents served in the war, and many of their families remain in St. Charles to this day. The soldiers were celebrated and honored at the time of their homecoming, but their great sacrifice was soon overshadowed by the horrors of the wars to follow.
After one hundred years of obscurity, this exhibit aims not only to highlight the bravery of the fighting men but also to portray the grim reality of life at the front as well as the daily struggles of those at home. The exhibit will include uniforms, photographs, letters, personal items and will run through the first week of January, 2019.
The Belgian Community in St. Charles
When the Moline Malleable Iron Co. factory burned down at their original location in Moline, Illinois, in 1895, the factory relocated to the west side of St. Charles. Along with the move of the factory came the move of the workers who had emigrated from Belgium. These workers settled near the factory on Dean Street, which came to be known as Belgium Town. In Belgium Town you would not only find Belgian food and other goods, but you would also find residents playing fun sports like Rolle Bolle and Pigeon Racing.
Join us as local resident and historian Jon Morgan looks back at the lives of our Belgian immigrants from the 1890’s until now. Learn more about the Belgium community, their civic responsibilities, contributions to local business, and daily lives. Many descendants of the original inhabitants still live in Belgium Town and as part of the evening’s program, their stories will be shared.
The Curious Fox Gift Shop Likes to Shop Uniquely
Searching High and Low to bring local products to St. Charles
Here at The Curious Fox Gift Shop, we pride ourselves on being the only place to purchase St. Charles merchandise along with 90% of what we sell is made in the Tri-Cities or in the United States. In the last few weeks, we have been meeting with new artisans to offer new items such as handmade scrapbooks, greeting cards, jewelry, candles, salsas, preserves, and more.
“Everything that we sell has been personally tested and picked out by myself and my staff to ensure great products. We’re very proud and feel it is very important to support local companies both big and small.” according to Executive Director Alison Costanzo.
In addition to the new items, the museum shop has offered a myriad of St. Charles-branded merchandise for many years, such as mugs, blankets, books, postcards, ornaments and more. All proceeds from purchases support the Museum and its mission to preserve and present St. Charles’ rich history.
The St. Charles History Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
For more information, Museum staff may be reached at 630-584-6967 or via e-mail at info@STCmuseum.org