Tag Archives: Lynette Werdin

Calendar puts Kaneville’s rich history on display

“Remember When” Kaneville 2013 Calendar
Available at the Kaneville Library, Hill’s Country Store, by calling Lynette Werdin
at (630) 557-2202 or online at www.createphotocalendars.com

KANEVILLE—At last, there is a calendar to commemorate and depict the history of Kaneville.

The “Remember When” 2013 calendar marries each month of the year to a piece of Kaneville history. Photos of the steam train and electric trolley on Harter Road adorn the January portion of the calendar, while snapshots of the Needham Blacksmith Shop are displayed in the April section.

If the month of May brings to mind Kaneville’s Decoration (Memorial) Day ceremony and parade circa 1903, this is the calendar for you.

“We’ve sold the calendar for two or three weeks now, and we’ve sold about 10 so far,” said Pat Hill, owner of Hill’s Country Store in Kaneville. “We’ve had people coming up from the area, and even Batavia, to get the calendar.”

“Remember When” was put together last summer by Kaneville resident Jeanette Wampach. She said the project was delegated to her by Kaneville resident Lynette Werdin and the Kaneville Historical Society.

Werdin even gave Wampach access to the historical society’s photo library.

“Since I was recently retired, I was able to devote time and my skills to the project,” Wampach said. “I wanted to be very careful and make sure that everything I put in there was accurate.That took a lot of time. I worked quite heavily on the overall project for about two months. The hard part was deciding which pictures would be included; the fun part was actually putting them into the calendar.”

Wampach said the public response to the “Remember When” calendar has been very positive, especially from people who lived in Kaneville but don’t reside there any longer. They’re able to see the pictures and reflect back on their time spent in Kaneville.

“I think it looks awesome. I think Jeannete did a great job on it,” Hill said. “She took hours and hours scanning pictures and finnagling it and putting it together. She probably put over 200 hours into the calendar.”

In addition to nostalgic photographs, the calendar also features great trivia and facts related to Kaneville. A glance at the February portion of the calendar reveals that Kaneville had boys and girls basketball teams in the 1920s. Spatial constraints forced the teams to play on an L-shaped court.

Several other fascinating nuggets of knowledge line the bottom of each page. The July page reveals that tug of war was once a “competitive community sport, and Kaneville’s team drew very large crowds while competing at Kaneville Days.” They were even named Northern Illinois Champs in 1932.

The calendar isn’t all fun facts and glitz, however. It contains a complete listing of village meetings, and the back page features Kaneville Township Historical Society information, community organization contacts and a weekly events summary.

So, can the public expect a “Remember When” Calendar for 2014?

“I think that’s contingent upon the response we see in actual sales, but we’re leaning in that direction,” Wampach said. “We’d like to see this become an ongoing project.”

The calendars are $20 each, and can be purchased from the Kaneville Library, Hill’s Country Store, 2S133 Harter Road in Kaneville, or by calling Werdin at (630) 557-2202.
The calendars are also available online at www.createphotocalendars.com.

Wampach said she will gladly speak with any Elburn, Sugar Grove or Maple Park residents who want to make a “Remember When”-type calendar for their village. Those interested should email Wampach at jewam@aol.com.

Apron exhibit at 1840 Farley House

Christmas in Kaneville
The apron display is part of Christmas in Kaneville, also 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., which features a cookie walk at KUMC & KCCC raffle, crafters at the community center and crafts and music at the library. Santa will be at the firebarn and there’ll be customer appreciation at the Old Second Bank and Hill’s Country Store. Horse-drawn wagon rides will be available around town during the event.

by Sandy Kaczmarski
KANEVILLE—Not long ago, aprons were an everyday part of a woman’s apparel as she worked in the kitchen. It’s main purpose was to protect the dress she wore, since she didn’t have too many, and it was easier to wash.

An apron had a variety of uses: as a potholder for hot pans; for wiping off children’s faces; for carrying eggs, vegetables, baby chicks and wood for the stove. It was used as a quick dusting cloth and to be waved in the wind to flag down the men when it was suppertime.

The Kaneville Township Historical Society will exhibit a variety of aprons on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the 1840 Farley House on Lovell Street, just across from the fire barn.

“We found several articles in magazines talking about aprons, and it was something to do that’s different,” Lynette Werdin of the Historical Society said of the exhibit.

She said an apron display seemed appropriate for this time of year with the cooking associated with the holidays.

“We decided with cooking and Christmas, we would do an apron display because we knew that some of us had a fancy apron or two lying around from our grandmother,” Werdin said.

She expects to have about 75 or more aprons on display, including “some really old ones and some fancy things you wouldn’t wear for any reason.”

Werdin said she has some aprons that were only worn in the garden.

“That’s where you’d put your tools and seeds, in the pockets of the apron,” she said.

The event is free and there will be small gifts for children. For more information, call (630) 557-2202.

Letter: Help add some history to Christmas in Kaneville

Aprons, in the past, have been a very important part of work in a kitchen. The Kaneville Township Historical Soceity will spotlight the history of this important part of life in the past at its Farley Open House during the Christmas in Kaneville event on Saturday, Dec. 3.

A display of old and newer aprons and kitchen utensils will emphasize the importance of special food during the winter holidays. Whether from recycled feed sacks or treasured handwork, aprons will bring back memories to everyone.

If you have a Kaneville apron or utensil that you would like to loan for the day, please call (630) 557-2202. Men’s work aprons are welcome also. The display will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Lovell Street at the 1840 Farley House by the firebarn in Kaneville.

Lynette Werdin
Kaneville Historical Society

Kaneville talks priorities

Draft of village plan addresses top concerns: Prairie Parkway, encroaching growth
by Susan O’Neill
KANEVILLE—The Prairie Parkway, a proposed and partially funded highway intended to connect Interstates 80 and 88, and the growth of the neighboring villages remain two of the biggest concerns Kaneville residents have about the village’s future.

During an open house last Thursday set up for residents to view the Kaneville comprehensive draft plan, a number of the approximately 40 people who attended ranked what happens with the Prairie Parkway as their highest priority for the future.

Lynette Werdin said she feels it is vital that the Prairie Parkway does not cut the village off from other destinations, such as Aurora and other nearby towns. She thought the plan addressed her concerns, in that it included overpasses to keep access open.

She said she realizes that plans for the Prairie Parkway will not be based on Kaneville’s feedback alone, but now that it is an incorporated village, its officials at least have a seat at the table.

She and her husband Dave live outside of the village limits but within Kaneville’s planning area. Werdin said she thought the plan commissioners who worked on the plan did a good job of representing the desires of the residents for slow and planned change.

“They know we like things the way they are,” she said.

She said she was somewhat surprised by the commissioners’ attention to detail in the plan, including a plan to upgrade the sidewalks.

“I roller-skated those sidewalks when I was a girl,” she said. “And they were bumpy then.”

Plan Commissioner Joe White said he and the other commissioners tried to address as many of the issues that people had raised as possible. The two-year process has involved a number of meetings with local landowners and a survey of the residents to ask for their input.

Among the 15 areas included in the plan are land use, natural resources, transportation, economic development, housing, historic preservation and community facilities.

Residents were asked to place stickers on six items, to identify their top six priorities.

White said Julie Ann Fuchs, a Kaneland School District official and Kaneville resident, asked where a school site might be located. He said that Kaneland Superintendent Charlie McCormick told him that 600 homes would be needed before a school would be built in town.

With only approximately 435 residents within the village, that would be a number of years down the road, he said.

Jody Springsteen, who lives near the corner of Dauberman and Harter roads, said that one of her biggest concerns was that village officials keep residents informed of what their neighboring communities, such as Elburn and Sugar Grove, are doing.

The village has tentatively scheduled a public hearing for Thursday, Sept. 24, which will be the time for formal feedback on the plan. White said he does not anticipate any major changes in the text. The plan will then come before the Village Board for approval, likely on Thursday, Oct. 15.

Once the plan has been approved, one of the next priorities will be to engage in boundary agreements with officials from neighboring villages, such as Elburn, Sugar Grove, Maple Park and Big Rock. The current maps show some overlap in the villages’ planning areas that will have to be addressed.

Werdins share World War II memories of Kaneville

by Susan O’Neill
On Sunday afternoon, Dec. 7, 1941, Kaneville resident Lynette Werdin was helping with lunch dishes and listening to music on the radio.

“The music stopped and said that Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor,” she said. “Where’s Pearl Harbor, we wondered.”

Werdin and her husband Dave told the audience gathered for the Memorial Day services at the Community Center on Monday what it was like to live in Kaneville during World War II.

“It was all really scary,” she said. “We had been feeling secure with the Atlantic Ocean between us and the war. We didn’t feel threatened until Dec. 7.”

When the bombing of Pearl Harbor took place in 1941, Hawaii was not yet a state. For all four years of the war, Werdin said she was a teenager in high school. She was about to get a geography lesson every day as a result of the war.

Werdin’s grandmother lived with them, and she would listen to news of the war on the radio every night. In the morning, she would show the rest of the family all the places on the map where the war had taken place the night before.

There were places Werdin had never heard of before, such as the Solomon Islands, the Coral Sea and Midway, Okinawa and New Guinea. Werdin still has the maps, with all the arrows and other markings on them.

“There was such rotten news every day,” Werdin said.

She recalled when rationing began in Kaneville, with items such as dairy products and cheese, meat, coffee, sugar and chocolate. She said her mother used to save little bits of sugar to make birthday cakes for her and her siblings. They were only allowed one pair of leather shoes a year.

Gasoline and tires were the worst things, she said. There were ration cards and stamps. They were limited to just a few gallons a week. As a teenager, she was disappointed when they didn’t have enough gas to get to Sandwich to go roller skating.

With four years during which no tires were made, she said they would often see people on the side of the road fixing flat tires.

Women came out of the kitchens, put on their hard hats and went to work in the war plants. At 16 years old, Lynette went to work on Saturdays and Sundays at Burgess-Norton Manufacturing Company in Geneva. She made 35 cents an hour, $3 for an eight-hour day.

Kaneville residents who were not working would go to Troxel every day and watch for airplanes. They were the air patrol, and protected Chicago from air strikes.

Werdin said that for all four years, no one knew if the United States would win the war. The rumor was that if Japan and Germany won, they would split the U.S. down the middle at the Mississippi River. Japan would take one side and Germany the other.

“We were so relieved when we got word that the war was over,” she said.

Dave Werdin’s job started with the end of the war. Dave spent a year in Japan after the war, helping to rebuild the cities that had been destroyed there.

“Everyone was so sick of killing and destroying,” he said. “World War I taught us a lesson. It bred hatred and this gave us Hitler. The troops weren’t done when the war was over. There was a peace to win.”

PHOTO: A World War II cannon with replica shells was decorated with flowers for the Memorial Service at the Kanevile Cementery on Monday in honor of the day’s events. Photo by Susan O’Neill