A wood extravaganza or: how to make a wood exhibit exciting

The new temporary wood exhibit is open for viewing!  Now, I know you’re probably thinking, “Hm. Wood. That sounds boring.”  However, I am pleased to report that the exhibit is far, far from dull (even if my description doesn’t do it justice). It tells the story of how Buffalo Grove’s inhabitants have used trees and how wood’s role has changed from utilitarian uses to ornamental designs.

Exhibit highlights include:

  • Work by the Chicago Woodturners Association including a castle and merry-go-round
  • A walk-through giant Lincoln Log cabin and building one of your own at the Lincoln Log station.
  • Seeing winning pinewood derby cars and racing Hot Wheels cars on a track
  • Finding out what trail trees are and how the Potawatomi used them
  • Discovering some of the tools that built the first homes in Buffalo Grove
  • Learning about invasive tree species and ecology

Don’t delay your visit, the exhibit will be up through mid-April and dismantled for two weeks to accommodate a special museum theater presentation (more info on that soon). After that, it will stay up until the end of May.

As always, admission is free!

New museum adventures

Do you enjoy adventures and history?  So does the museum. We are pleased to offer not one, but two new geocaching hunts starting this spring.

Now, you might be wondering, “well, what is geocaching?”  Basically, it’s hide and seek treasure hunting using your GPS enabled device. People hide containers called geocaches outside anywhere in the world and post the GPS coordinates of the geocaches for others to find.  Part of the fun is that a geocache can be any size or type of waterproof container in a hidden location at the coordinates.
The museum’s first adventure explores a series of historic sites around Buffalo Grove and the surrounding communities.  While there are no physical geocaches to find for this one, a “travel bug” and limited edition souvenir “geocoins” will be available at the museum to mark participation in the adventure. The second search will take hunters through the parks in Buffalo Grove to find geocaches that reveal the location of a special museum lawn gnome.  The museum’s geocache coordinates will be posted on the website and on Facebook in early April.

If you are interested in geocaching but not sure how to get started, the museum will soon offer a short class. We are also developing a Boy Scouts geocaching badge program. More details on these to come. Stay tuned.

Collection favorite:artifact spotlight # 5

Thought I would quickly share one of my favorite photographs in the museum’s permanent collection. The image is of Ann Ackerman, (sister of Josephine Hoenner Welter) seated between two of her colleagues. She worked as a secretary for a plumbing union in Chicago in the early 1910s, presumably when this photo was taken.  I love the coy expression on her face and her splendid hat!