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Adventures To and From Sycamore

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. Brief stories of residents (past and present) are included in this section, such as: Bob Hill, SHS alumni who wrote several books including Double Jeopardy, and Pat Brady the nationally syndicated cartoonist of “A Rose is a Rose.” Artifacts from Sycamore that have traveled around the world and beyond can also be seen.  The Stripmaster made by IDEAL that has been part of numerous NASA space missions is on display along with a Turner Brass firepot similar to the one used during Admiral Byrd’s 1933 expedition to the South Pole. People are encouraged to share their own adventures on a world map. 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.

Here is the link to the on-line exhibit: