• 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.

  • V.T.H.S.


The Lincoln Letters Exhibit is running now through October. You should have received a schedule of your days to work as a docent, but a reminder postcard will be mailed soon. Currently we are open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays but beginning in September it will be Saturdays only. We also have a special raffle with a prize of a framed Lincoln portrait. Tickets are $5 or 5 for $20. Tickets may be purchased at the museum on the days we are open. Be sure to check our Facebook page and learn some interesting Lincoln facts from Connie Simon. Special thanks to Debbie Tudor and the Thornton Library for advertising our event at their locations.


1895 Thornton Township Newspaper

Matchbook from R. Peters Shell Super Service Gas Station

Brown Derby matchbook

Joe’s Thornridge Inn matchbook

Ben’s & Jane/Alex matchbooks

Original Thornton Public School class photos


This year’s annual Installation Dinner was held at St. Paul Church due to social distancing. Twenty-nine were in attendance and catering was by Glenwood Oaks.


August 24 @ 7:00PM. General Meeting – Program: “Women in History” by Martina Mathesin

September 8 @ 8:30AM. Historical Societies’ Round Table Meeting

September 28 @ 7:00PM. General Meeting ¬- Program: “Chicago’s Bygone Department Stores” by Leslie Goddard

October 2 @ 4:00PM. Quarry Set-up - Canceled due to Covid-19

October 3 @ 8:30AM. Quarry Tour - Canceled due to Covid-19

October 15 @ 6:00PM. Board Meeting

October 26 @ 7:00PM. General Meeting – Program: “Hysteria in Salem” by Terry Lynch

November 13 @ 6:00PM. Harvest Dinner - Canceled due to Covid-19

December 6 @ 2:00PM - 4:00PM. Holiday Happenings-Canceled due to Covid-19.

The Village of Thornton Historical Society proudly presents the Presidential Papers Collection from the Illinois State Historical Society. This exhibit will include original Abraham Lincoln documents, portraits and letters of 12 Presidents, and more!

Everyone is welcome to join us for the Opening Ceremony at the Thornton Historical Society museum on June 27th, 2020 at 1:00PM. We hope to see you there!