Alaska, Japan, Sweden, Mexico, France and Iraq are not necessarily places you would describe as having a strong connection to Sycamore. However, in the Sycamore History Museum’s new exhibit “Adventures To and From Sycamore” these faraway lands are connected to local people with amazing stories.
The exhibit has four main themes: immigration, education, military and expeditions. Within these themes two local people are highlighted. For example, in immigration, Gustaf Carlson came from Sweden when he was a little boy in the 1880s and just under one-hundred years later Kristina Garcia’s family arrived from Mexico. Both have different stories, yet both families became very involved in their new community. Expeditions to Alaska by Preston Jones and to Japan and Singapore by Georgia Townsend Yates provide exciting tales of journeys preserved in family letters written in the 1890s. In honor of the 100th anniversary of the United States entering World War I, William Hemenway a Sycamore boy who fought in France in 1918 is told, while the display also explores the story of a more recent veteran, Michael Emmer. He served our country for twenty years. His last tour was in Iraq during 2005 while the country voted on a new constitution.
The exhibit will also include interactives. There is a map where you can discover brief stories about local residents that have “Adventures To and From Sycamore.” Younger children can play in the “Invention Lab” and create something that could be sold nationally or internationally. During nice weather, visitors can also “pan” for gold like Preston Jones did during his Alaskan trip.
Cut and paste this link for the on-line exhibit: http://adventurestoandfromsycamore.com
Don’t forget to check out the Kid Historian video below:
Ever wonder what dailly life was like on the homefront during 1918? If you don’t know much about World War I, this is your chance to experience this fascinating time in American history. Ellie Carlson’s interactive program will engage guests while she shares stories along with music, food, and amazing images connected to the homefront 100 years ago. Ellie becomes Anita Willets Burnham, and comes to Sycamore in a time machine. This Blue Star Mother presents “100 Years Ago on the Homefront” as a living time capsule.
To help you step back into the days of World War I, here is a quote taken from the Oracle, the Sycamore High School yearbook, 1918.