• V.T.H.S.

MEMBERSHIP: Membership renewal is from January to March 1st. Please encourage your friends to join. We are always happy to have new members. Our bylaws have been changed to reflect an increase in membership dues as follows:

Individual Member: $15

Life Member: $150

NEW MEMBERS: We are happy to welcome Jim & Ellen Daniels.


· Barber tools belonging to Chester Macniak – donor Christine Donnelly

· Thornton carnival cane – donor Christine Donnelly

· Various photos and information – donor Owen Dejanovich

· Various items from the Stonerock family


The museum is open the First and Third Saturdays January-April from 1:00pm to 3:00m or by appointment. Call 708-877-6569.


November 12: 6:00p.m. – Heritage Dinner at St. Paul Church, 508 Chicago Road. The Society furnishes turkey and members bring a dish to share

December 5: 2:00 - 4:00p.m. – Holiday Open House at the museum. Santa, sing-along and lots of Goodies! Aways an enjoyable time. If you could provide some cookies, candy, etc. please call Marge at 708-877-6569. This year we will be having a bazaar where you can purchase unique items such as Thornton Coverlets, T-shirts, Quarry books, notecards and much more. They make great Christmas gifts!

DONORS: Our sincere thanks to the following people and businesses have made donations to the Historical Society this year: Andy Howell, Joyce Becker, Anna Blank, Boz Hot Dogs, DelMar Builders, Washington Memorial Gardens, Debbie Lamoureux, Kathy Madden, Joe & Ruth Mokry, Beverly Mueller, Debbie Paris, Jeff Perry, Quarry Restaurant, Richard Schickel, Marti Thompson, Thornton Distilling Co., Thornton Lions Club, Phyllis Van Prooyen, Bea Yavenue

NEWS: Please check our Historical Society website for news, www.thorntonilhistory.com. Questions, comments or photos please email thorntonilhs@gmail.com. For those of you on Facebook, the Historical Society has a page and there are also many old photos posted on a page called The Real Thornton, Illinois on Facebook.


Get in the holiday spirit and enter our raffle to win either a $50 gift card for “The Well” at the Distillery or a bottle of their Dead Drop American Pecan Whiskey. Both make great Christmas gifts. Many thanks to Andy from the Thornton Distillery for donating these items. Tickets are $1 each or 6/$5. Proceeds benefit the Thornton Historical Society.



· January 11 - 9:30 a.m. Historical Societies’ Round Table Meeting

· January 20 - 6:00 p.m. Board Meeting

· February 28 - 7:00 p.m. General Meeting – Illinois Trivia Party with Elaine Egdorf

· March 28 - 7:00 p.m. General Meeting – Program: “Watseka” by George Pat Godfrey

· April 14 - 6:00 p.m. Board Meeting

· April 25 - 7:00 p.m. General Meeting – “Foods of our Forefathers” by Peg Kapustiak

· May 7 - 1-3 p.m. Museum open every Saturday through October

· May 9 - 5:30 p.m. Annual Dinner Meeting

· May 10 - 9:30 a.m. Historical Societies’ Round Table Meeting

· May 19 - 6:00 p.m. Special Board Meeting

· June 3 - 4:00 p.m. Set up for Quarry Tour

· June 4 - 8:30 a.m. Spring Quarry Tour

· July 21 - 6:00 p.m. Board Meeting

· August 22 - 7:00 p.m. General Meeting – Program: “Pullman” by Ken Schoon

· September 13 - 9:30 a.m. Historical Societies Round Table Meeting

· September 26 - 7:00 p.m. General Meeting – Program: “Catch the Twain” by Warren Brown

· September 30 - 4:00 p.m. Set up for Quarry Tour

· October 1 - 8:30 a.m. Fall Quarry Tour

· October 20 - 6:00 p.m. Board Meeting

· October 24 - 7:00 p.m. General Meeting – Program: “Truth Behind Chicago Folklore - Legends & Haunts” by Ray Johnson

It's hard to believe the 1970s were 50 years ago! Visit the Thornton Historical Society's latest exhibit "Life in the Seventies" on loan from Marty Pratscher. From Billy Beer and 8-tracks to Svengoolie and Nixon, this exhibit will bring you back to a time before technology took over. Our museum is located on Hunter Street and open every Saturday in summer from 1-3pm. Peace!

  • V.T.H.S.

Updated: May 18


The new president of the Thornton Historical Society is Jim Wind. Jim has lived in Thornton for 33 years and has been a member of the Society for approximately 8 years. He served as Vice President for 3 years, and is the chairman of the Building & Grounds committee as well as the Program chairman. He was Instrumental in getting the handicap lift installed, and always willing to lend a hand wherever needed. Jim also has the distinction of being the first male president since the 1970s!


The museum is Open May through October every Saturday, 1PM - 3PM. We are still in need of docents May thru October. If you can spare two hours on a Saturday please let Marge Loitz know at 877-6310 . If you are not able to make your assigned docent date it is your responsibility to find a replacement. Please be sure to wear a mask. No one is to enter the building without a mask on.

UPCOMING MEETING DATES & PROGRAMS: Once again, many of our programs depend on the status of Covid-19. We will update you as we get further into the year. Please remember to wear a mask to meetings!

June 28 @ 6:00PM. Annual Dinner Meeting – Tuscan Gardens, Glenwood, IL.

August 23 @ 7:00PM. General Meeting – Program: “Art Concepts” by Lea Goldman

September 27 @ 7:00PM. General Meeting – Program: “The 70’s: Bellbottoms, Disco & Nixon” by

Jim Gibbons

October 25 @ 7:00PM. General Meeting – Program: “Railroads & Music” by Steve Justman

November 12 @ 6:00PM. Heritage Dinner – St. Paul Church

December 5 @ 2:00PM -4:00PM. Holiday Open House – Museum


This year’s annual dinner/board installation will be on Monday, June 28 at Tuscan Gardens, 601 W. Holbrook Rd. (the old Busy Bee Nursery) Glenwood, IL. Dinner will be served at 6:00 p.m. The cost is $15 per person with a reservation deadline of June 19, 2021. Please fill out the form and return with your payment to: Thornton Historical Society, PO Box 34, Thornton IL 60476. The following buffet dinner will be served: Salad, Bread & Butter, Roasted Chicken, Roasted Pork, Fettuccine Alfredo, Vegetable, Roasted Potatoes, Coffee & Tea. Cash Bar for all Other Beverages.


Due to Covid-19, we will not be able to hold our June Quarry Tour, but hopefully it will be safe enough for the October trip. We are looking for ways in which to raise some badly needed funding for the museum. Once again, your ideas are welcome.


Village of Thornton – Large map of Thornton circa 1980


Our gift shop has many unique items for sale, including Thornton coverlets, t-shirts, Quarry & Brewery booklets, DVDs and more.


On Palm Sunday of 1904, a tornado blew through Thornton, destroying several buildings. St. Paul Lutheran Church on Hunter Street, which had recently undergone costly repairs, was completely destroyed. The brewery and depot were also damaged.

The remains of St. Paul Lutheran Church after the tornado hit on Palm Sunday, March 27, 1904. On the original photo Templin’s Place tavern (Joe’s in our time) on the corner of William & Margaret can be seen in the background.

Brewery damage after the tornado. Pictured are: Top – John Bielfeldt (Tacky), Fred Zimmerman (brewer), Fred Bielfeldt & Donny Maxwell. Bottom – Constable Henry Blank, Walter, Ed & Raymond Bielfeldt.