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Clean up underway at Glen Ellyn Historical Society

Glen Ellyn Woman's Club Co-President Rocki DeVoyand (center) and Treasurer Suzanne Carty (left) present Glen Ellyn Historical Society Executive Director Karen Hall with a $1,725 donation from the club during the June 1 Glen Ellyn Vintage Auto Show. The donation will help pay for restoration of the historical society's building, which sustained damage earlier this year when a pipe burst. Photo provided
Glen Ellyn Woman's Club Co-President Rocki DeVoyand (center) and Treasurer Suzanne Carty (left) present Glen Ellyn Historical Society Executive Director Karen Hall with a $1,725 donation from the club during the June 1 Glen Ellyn Vintage Auto Show. The donation will help pay for restoration of the historical society's building, which sustained damage earlier this year when a pipe burst. Photo provided

GLEN ELLYN - The Glen Ellyn Historical Society is well into the process of cleaning up from a flood caused by a broken water pipe in March.

It’s been a slow process at 800 N. Main Street, said executive director Karen Hall, but one that’s been helped greatly with donations from organizations and individuals.

“We are really appreciative of the community,” Hall said Monday.

At the vintage auto show on June 1, the historical society received a donation of $1,725 from the Glen Ellyn Woman’s Club. “That’s wonderful,” Hall said.

The DuPage Foundation has also donated. Individuals have, too.

The Reliquarian Organization of Glen Ellyn, “a group very interested in history … they often meet at the history center,” donated $1,500 in April.

The historical society hopes to re-open the multi-purpose room and gift shop by September.

“The other departments will be reopened later in the fall,” Hall said.

Society members and volunteers “are still in the process of doing the renovations of the building and repairing the damage," she said.

There’s no cost estimate yet on repairs, but “the basement had up to eight feet of water and there were three inches of water and mud on the main floor,” Hall said.

She said the village of Glen Ellyn, which owns the building, “has been wonderful to work with” in the cleanup.

All the dry wall had to be removed from the building, along with the flooring. The basement was gutted.

No key historical items were ruined, but “our collections were all moved from the building, artifacts and archives,” she said. A caravan of volunteers helped with that and can be expected again when items are moved back in.

“Everyone has been very supportive and we are very grateful," Hall said. "Other local historical groups have sent volunteers out to help and we are really grateful for that, too."

Thankfully, the Glen Ellyn Historical Society did not store any historical items in the basement of the history center, so the flood damage there wasn’t as bad as it could have been when a four-inch pipe in the fire suppression system burst in March.

Water from the pipe eventually triggered the security alarm and the Glen Ellyn Police discovered the flooding. They notified the Glen Ellyn Volunteer Fire Company, which came and started pumping water out of the building.

In March, Hall said the basement is more for holiday decorations as well as books sold in the gift shop and items used at special events.

“We’ve lost a lot but we did not lose any historical artifacts. We were very lucky there,” Hall said then.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the cleanup can send an e-mail to info@gehs.org.

Contribution to the cleanup and recovery efforts may be made through PayPal or by mailing a check to GEHS, 800 N. Main St. Glen Ellyn, IL 60137.