Collections 102, Part 3: how do I store…textiles

So you’ve inherited the family textile heirlooms, now what? Textiles include clothing, rugs, blankets, lace or other fabrics. Bottomless quote generator, Ben Franklin noted: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It certainly applies to textile care; small measures now ensure good long term preservation. Let’s get started.

The quick version:

  • Don’t store in a basement, attic or garage (really, you’ll regret it)
  • Remove dry cleaning bags and wire hangers
  • If a textile is sturdy, hang it up
  • If it is heavy (like a quilt), box it up
  • If it is fragile, roll it up

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Collections 101: part 2

This post answers the question of what happens to stuff when you donate it to a museum. If you missed Collections 101: part 1, quick check it out before you continue with this one. Don’t worry, I’ll wait… Caught up? Okay. The next step in the process is to cart the item downstairs to storage for glamour shots and wrapping. Continue reading

A Tankful of History

Note – This article is about the almost completed, brand new Service Station Exhibit in the Town Square. One important piece is missing though – a gas station served trucks!  The Museum needs your help to #BringHomeTheTruck – keep reading to discover how one lonely gas station changed the face of Buffalo Grove.

As long as there have been cars, there have been gas stations, and in the early 1930s, Buffalo Grove got a station all its own.


Located on what would one day be [exact address of Boston Market on 83], the Welter Service station was the only commercial stop for miles in any direction. The building itself was originally a part of St. Mary’s rectory, but was detached and sent down the road when the rectory was remodeled. Surrounding it was farmland, open fields, and not a lot else – Buffalo Grove was known back then as the dairy supply for Chicago.


Meet Frank Welter, b. 1887, and his wife Josephine Hoenner, b. 1893. They opened this lonely gas station in the early 1930s, and would have served the cars and gas-powered farming equipment of the entire county. In their shop, patrons could by a few things, cigarettes, cans of oil, the occasional toy, but for the most part would have to make the additional trip to the Weidner General Store for supplies. Unlike today’s busy shopping malls and commercial buildings lining Route 83, fueling the truck or purchasing train tickets would have been quite the event.


As you can see from this GoogleMap image, Buffalo Grove has grown a bit. Like many suburbs and cities across the country, gas stations have sprung up on one (if not all four) corners of many major intersections. They fit into our daily commutes and schedules without much thought – driving longer than 10 minutes to fuel the old pickup is today’s ‘inconvenient trip.’

One fill’er’up in a county may seem inconvenient today, but Frank Welter’s station was a critical step in the development of Buffalo Grove. The eight years that the Welter station operated saw a plethora of changes in its time: this lonely little station paved the way for more domestic settlements, made travelling downtown for work and fun more feasible, and allowed for greater variety of consumer goods; now supply trucks could make the trip out from the major supply routes, refill and be on their way again. Big impact from a little station!

After Frank and Josephine closed the station, the building once again changed professions. Having gone from rectory to homestead gas station, it then became the home of the Welters’ youngest daughter Gladys and local barber Ed Gerschefske. After they married in June of 1943, they moved into the old service station and operated a barbershop together.


blog cover truck


Help #fuelthetruck with #TruckBucks! Donate to the Friends of the Park HERE (Designate to the Raupp Museum!) and complete the exhibit – Let’s bring the truck home!

Today, gas stations have cropped up at most major intersections, and fit into our daily travel paths and schedules without much thought – but this way of life was only possible after the first stations paved the way. Help us preserve this important piece of Buffalo Grove’s History!

your museum needs you blog

Family Game Night: Nostalgia Edition

Board games, involving chance, skill, small tokens and big families, have followed humans throughout history wherever they’ve settled, and Buffalo Grove is no exception. From the familiar games of your childhood to the earliest piece in our collection, family game night has been a staple in our community for as long as we’ve been Buffalo Grove!

Let’s step back in time and remember all those wonderful (if not always harmonious) hours spent with family and friends.

1970s – Tiddily Turtles

Tiddily Turtles board game, Raupp Museum Permanent Collection

Tiddily Turtles board game, Raupp Museum Permanent Collection

Produced by Amsco Industries, Inc., Tiddily Turtles is a variation on the popular Tiddily Winks games. The turtles could be pressed and made to flip themselves forwards – but not always where you wanted!

1960s – Hi-Ho! Cherry-O

Hi-Ho! Cherry-O Board Game, Raupp Museum Permanent Collection

Hi-Ho! Cherry-O Board Game, Raupp Museum Permanent Collection

Always a favorite, Hi-Ho! Cherry-O was produced by Western Publishing Company. A simple game involving a spinning arrow, some buckets and some plastic cherries, the objective was to have the best harvest – and the best time.

1930s – 5-in1 Transogram Board

5-In-1 Transogram Board, Raupp Museum Permanent Collection

5-In-1 Transogram Board, Raupp Museum Permanent Collection

This colorful board made in 1938 by Transogram Company, Inc. really was entertainment for hours – with two sides for double the fun! It included Dog Race, Fish Pond, and several other dice-based games. Talk about a multitasker!

1920s-30s – Mahjong Set

Mahjong Set, Raupp Museum Permanent Collection

Mahjong Set, Raupp Museum Permanent Collection

For those who aren’t initiated, Mahjong is an intellectual game involving matching cards and luck of the dice. This set is the oldest board game in our collection, and is made of bamboo tiles, bone chips and bone dice.

In some cases, the games have changed drastically over the years – and in others, they’re just as they’ve always been. The boards may be updated, but no matter where we go, one thing’s for certain: with a game or two along, you’ll never be bored.

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Author: Casey Faist

Science museum field trip: or how I learned to stop worrying and love germs

Tornado demonstration

Slightly blurry tornado demonstration

As an adult working in a museum, I’m an annoying museum visitor. I just can’t relax and enjoy the big picture experience. I over-analyze content choices and evaluate the effectiveness of text fonts, lighting, and collection care elements. Then, there’s my germ phobia…

It’s been many, many years since my last visit to the Museum of Science and Industry and the museum has updated significantly. My ten-year-old self remembered it as being kind of lame, noisy, and full of interactive stations covered in germs. However, I enjoyed this most recent trip (even with all the kid germs). The museum could still do with some hand sanitizer stations.

The museum has tons of impressive hands-on activities in each exhibit area. Sometimes that means only children interact with them. However, these were so engaging and sophisticated, many activities were being used solely by adults. I sat at an interactive table with five other adults and we played two rounds of a game about consumer habits. Somewhere, there’s a room of cheering exhibit designers happy about engaging both kids and adults with the same interactive components. The museum’s hands-on activities definitely enhance the experience to make science appealing and accessible.

Image courtesy Museum of Science and Industry

Image courtesy Museum of Science and Industry

The highlight of my museum visit was the Treasures of the Walt Disney Vault temporary exhibit. As someone who grew up on a steady diet of Disney, it worth the extra $10 entrance fee for the nostalgia factor alone. You don’t need to be a kid or Disney geek to enjoy the exhibit, though. It focused on Walt Disney’s groundbreaking technical achievements in animation and featured some very neat props and costumes from a variety of movies. Sure, there was one giant panel devoted (or pandering, depending on your perspective) to Frozen, but it showcased the technical aspects of animating the film.


Do you want to draw a snowman?

The Disney Academy drawing session that ran every twenty minutes was surprisingly fun, too. The benches were filled by an equal number of adults without children and children with their adults learning to draw Olaf the Snowman.

So if you haven’t been to the Museum of Science and Industry lately, I heartily recommend a visit. All of the exhibits seemed to strike the right balance to engage both kids and adults. The Disney exhibit only runs through January 4.

New Town Square Crossroads exhibit

After a permit mishap delayed construction back in October, the museum can proudly announce installation of the new town square exhibit is nearly done! The official opening celebration is scheduled for Saturday, March 8 from 1 to 4 PM. We have refreshments, activities and giveaways planned for the event. No need to RSVP, just come over!

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Re-acquainting with the Buffalo Grove Prairie

Have you found Buffalo Grove’s ‘Lost’ Prairie? In the early 1970s, teenage Steve Apfelbaum did just that, and began a quest to conserve the Buffalo Grove Prairie, a ten-acre area located between Deerfield and Lake Cook Roads. Remarkably, thirty years later, this prairie is still thriving, maintained and protected by a group of tenacious guardians. This small patch of land that Apfelbaum discovered, is unique for a myriad of reasons, but what has stuck us most is the passion that volunteers have for caring for this small strip of land and the creatures and plants that inhabit the area.

No one has more passion for conservation than ecologist, Steve Apfelbaum. Below is an excerpt from his essay,Reacquainting With an Old Friend,” whom we were pleased to host for a presentation tonight. He had an opportunity to revisit the Buffalo Grove Prairie where his career began many years ago, and shared with us some of his ruminations:

The sun rose over the elevated railroad grade that served as the backdrop for the prairie then and now…. On one my last visits, during spring of 1979, I witnessed a sunrise over this same landscape from where I now stood. The memories of that morning marked my life and still to this day have left an indelible impression by its beauty, colors, and ebullient life. Even after 40 years of seeking out the wildest places on earth, even passing thoughts of that morning, take me to a place of solace and peace, and awe.


Thousands of lavender shooting star plants were blooming as were dew covered hoary puccoons, glowing like little pieces of the sun fallen to the ground.  The gloaming lit up the prairie with its brilliant golden color from west to east. As the sun bathed the land, a cacophony of frogs and toads started jittering and trilling. With every step, yellow star grass, bird’s foot violets and blue eyed grass focused me to look down at the ground.  After walking on that cloud for several hundred feet, I entered a seep full of tussock sedges and Canada blue joint grass, and as I looked ahead to ensure I wasn’t entering deeper water, growing before me were hundreds of small white lady slipper orchids in full bloom. This alone was the largest population I have seen in my life.

But, the real surprise that morning would reveal itself a few steps beyond the sedge meadow. As my excitement overpowered the icy cold water seeping into my boots, I moved further into the wet domain, and the deafening calls of spring peeper, western chorus frogs and American toad s grew silent. As the silence spread wider and wider around my path, I started again looking up, over the larger landscape.


Looking over the sedge tussocks, to the fresh lime green leafs emerging from last year’s buckskin sheaves, a few scattered white lady slipper orchids grew amongst meandering patterns of golden marsh marigold plants that traced the pattern of a rivulet from the seep. Beyond this was a slight rise, covered with scarlet Red Indian Paint brush plants. Before me were hundreds of red and also yellow Indian paint brush plants, dew covered like the puccoons. An early morning breeze began to gently move over the prairie, and the paint brush droplets sparkled in the rising sun. This was to be my place to sit that morning. Squinting, it wasn’t difficult to envision the rest of Northern Illinois clothed with such diversity. With such profound beauty…


As the sun continued to rise, the rest of the landscape warmed and the breeze burned off the dew. The prairie became alive with hundreds of bumble bees, Painted lady, and Spring azures and Pearly crescent butterfly’s. An occasional tiger swallow tail butterfly leisurely floated within view, dipping every here and there to the ground, landing on a flower and foraging. The sound of bee’s flying between Shooting stars, paint brush, marsh marigold, and the violets and puccoons, vigorously probing each flower, drowned out sounds of overhead airplanes and the hum of the Commonwealth Edison power lines hundreds of feet back to the east…

Want to read more? Read the entire essay, Reacquainting With an Old Friend, here.