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Carol Stream

Historical society seeks photo, document submissions for book about Carol Stream

The Carol Stream Historical Society is seeking photographs depicting life in the village, such as this one from 1958, for a book chronicling its history.
The Carol Stream Historical Society is seeking photographs depicting life in the village, such as this one from 1958, for a book chronicling its history.

CAROL STREAM – There’s an old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

The Carol Stream Historical Society is demonstrating its faith in this time-tested idiom with a community-wide history gathering event, at which it will scan residents’ photos and written memory submissions for use in a book documenting the village’s history.

The event will take place between 7 and 9 p.m., Sept. 30 at the Bielawski Municipal Center, 500 N. Gary Ave.

The book project began more than a year ago, when the historical society was approached by Arcadia Publishing, which chronicles the history of small towns across the country. The book’s completion is estimated to take more than a year.

Historical society board member Barbara O’Rahilly believes that now that the village is more than 50 years old, it is the right time to chronicle the community’s history for publication.

“It’s time,” said O’Rahilly.

However, she said writing the book is a big project.

Board member Laura Schmidt has assisted with the undertaking.

“She is a great archivist,” said O’Rahilly.

According to board member Carole Ellermeier, the reason for the history gathering event is twofold.

“We have gaps we need to fill in before things are gone,” said Ellermeier.

Collecting new information and organizing the photos, documents and artifacts that have already been collected will also allow for easier access to the village’s history.

“We’ve gathered a lot of information and catalogued it – we have a good base,” said O’Rahilly. “But it’s always a good idea to add to it for future generations.”

A great deal of village history can be found in books such as “Build Your Own Town” and “The Carol Stream Story,” both of which were written by journalist, author and historian Jean Moore, who died in 2010.

Moore, a village resident since 1959, served as president of the Carol Stream Historical Society for many years and historical society members were a great asset to her when she was conducting research for her books.

“Pete did a lot to help her with ‘Build Your Own Town,’” said O’Rahilly, of her late husband.

Currently, the historical society is hoping to host more history gatherings at the Bielawski Municipal Center.

“It will be a nice opportunity for people to talk with others in Carol Stream,” said Ellermeier.

For additional information about the Sept. 30 event or historical society membership, contact O’Rahilly at 630-665-0686 or Ellermeier at 630-217-1868 or visit

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