As Tinley Park’s Vacation Happenings stored Oak Park Avenue bustling over the weekend, Ed and Pat Siemsen had a busy time of their very own only a couple blocks down 174th Avenue.
Along with the Vacation Happenings, the Tinley Park Historical Society supplied excursions, movies, refreshments and leisure Saturday and Sunday. The chapel and schoolhouse buildings maintained by the society had been open to guests, as horse and carriage rides handed by the entrance door.
Customer Susan Wille Pasquarella, of Tinley Park, stopped by for what proved to be a visit down reminiscence lane. A former trainer at Fulton Elementary College, she used to come back to the museum commonly on area journeys together with her second graders.
“They appreciated sitting within the church, and so they appreciated the desks,” Pasquarella recalled. “They simply laughed at lots of the issues.”
Pasquarella and her sister, Lynne Wille Beeler, flipped by books of historic photos within the museum Sunday afternoon. They hoped to trace down an image of their mom earlier than they left.
On the opposite facet of the primary museum room, Nikki Durrant, of Tinley Park, and her son Lucas listened as volunteer and board member Bruce Haffner recounted the historical past of specific artifacts. Durrant mentioned they wish to ask the volunteers from the society about sure locations round city — constructing foundations particularly — once they go to.
“We love this museum,” she mentioned. “We dwell close by and love to come back and see the entire artifacts.”
Haffner enjoys exhibiting off these artifacts and speaking historical past with friends. A navy historical past buff, Haffner has lived in Tinley Park since 1990, which makes him one of many “new individuals.” He received concerned with the society after he retired and helped with a navy room they put collectively just a few years in the past. He additionally helped stock the museum’s assortment on a spreadsheet, so volunteers can seek for artifacts when wanted.
Ed and Pat Siemsen, retirees who’ve spent most of their lives in Tinley Park, have been operating the society for shut to twenty years. Ed is president, whereas Pat is secretary of the society’s board of administrators.
“We simply benefit from the historical past,” Pat Siemsen defined. “We grew up in Tinley Park. We all know nearly all people on the town, particularly the old-timers.”
Only a few years into their tenure with the society, they began providing excursions of the chapel at 6727 174th St. that homes Tinley Park’s historical past, together with the neighboring schoolhouse. These excursions began with native college area journeys however expanded to occasions resembling this previous weekend’s, throughout which Ed was personally greeting guests on the door.
“It really works out properly,” Pat mentioned. “There’s lots to see right here. It’s simpler if in case you have a tour. In any other case, you stroll by and also you don’t get the entire gist of every part.”
She emphasised the constructing is a marriage chapel, not a church, regardless of the stained glass home windows and Christmas decorations. It nonetheless hosts “fairly just a few” weddings all year long, she added.
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“It’s a fantastic little chapel,” she mentioned. “It truly is.”
All through the weekend, the society performed a video in regards to the historical past of Tinley Park that was created by a late former member. Additionally they confirmed “Little Rascals” to combine issues up. Mr. D’s Magic & Phantasm Present was introduced on Saturday. And Sunday supplied musical leisure with Glennsvibes, a primary for the society.
Pat Siemsen mentioned they adore it when occasions like this appeal to new individuals to the museum.
“We’ve had so many individuals are available and say, ‘I’ve lived right here for 20 years and by no means knew this was right here,’” she mentioned. “We hear that on a regular basis.”
Volunteers from Andrew Excessive College helped hold issues going. And youngsters additionally had a chance to go away the occasion with free books supplied to the historic society by Half-Value Books.
The society additionally sends packages to members of the armed forces. Guests to the museum may assist put these packages collectively, signal a letter and write their very own messages to these serving the nation.
Invoice Jones is a contract reporter for the Each day Southtown.
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