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  • Writer's pictureV.T.H.S.

MUSEUM GRAND REOPENING/HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE:  We had a fantastic turnout for this event and everyone had a great time.  Many thanks to the St. Paul Singers who got everyone into the Christmas spirit!  The goodies and hot chocolate were delicious.  Many items were sold at the Gift Bazaar and this year’s raffle sold more tickets than ever!   It was a wonderful day of camaraderie and community. The raffle winners were:

1st PRIZE:  $100 Visa Gift Card – Donna Pinkus

2nd PRIZE: Thornton Distilling Gift Package – Elaine Egdorf

3rd PRIZE:  2 tickets for the next Thornton Quarry Tour & Book (value $80) – Camille Barton

4th PRIZE:  Hot Toddy Basket featuring Thornton Distilling Rum – Pat Rupcich

5th PRIZE:  JJ Kelley’s Gift Card – Kimberly Carlson

6th PRIZE:  JJ Kelley’s Gift Card – Jonathan Swetlik

Congratulations!  Many thanks to all who participated, and thanks to our generous prize donors. We appreciate you. 

MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL:  Just a reminder that membership renewals are due by March 1.  Please print out our enclosed application and mail it along with a check to:  Thornton Historical  Society, P.O. Box 34, Thornton, IL 60476. Make checks payable to the Society. Feel free to encourage your friends to join.  We're always excited to welcome new members!

NOTE:  If you joined in the “ber” months of September, October, November or December, your 2024 membership is included.  There is no need to renew.  .


MEMBER NEWS:  Please welcome  Kevin Barron, Maribel Bledzycki, Mack Budzowski, Kimberly Carlson, Carmen Centeno, Vicki Diers, Betty Hoeffner, Amy House, Andrew Howell, Max Kraus, Jamie Mosher, Carol Mudryk, Beverly Mueller, Jayla Muse and Barbara O’Donnell to our group.  Happy to have you with us!  We have some exciting projects in the works.


OFFICER ELECTION:  It’s time once again to elect (or re-elect) board members and a president.  You will be receiving a call from one of the membership committee as to whether or not you would like to run for a position.  Nominations will also be taken from the floor at our next general meeting.


MUSEUM UPDATE:  Thanks to the efforts of our hard-working members, and spearheaded by Sue Hanson and Kim Atkinson, our museum restoration has been completed. Existing exhibits were updated and new exhibits were added.  Everything was cleaned and the walls were painted.


The museum will be open the first and third Saturdays of the month from 1:00 to 3:00pm beginning now through the end of April.  Starting in May, we will be open every Saturday from 1:00 to 3:00pm through October.  If you are available to be a docent please contact Pat Rupcich at 708-927-4522.  A docent provides a welcoming greeting and assists museum visitors to the best of their ability.


TIN CEILING TILES:  The beautiful tin tiles that were removed from our ceiling are for sale.  The cost is  $20 per 2x4 foot section  and $10 for a 2x2 foot section. Tiles are from 1904 St. Paul Lutheran Church making them 120 years old.  Please spread the word; contractors welcome.


ACQUISITIONS:  During our museum renovations we received numerous donations to add to our displays.

·      Thornton State Bank metal savings bank circa 1931; Bride’s Bowl circa 1880-1905;  Jane-Alex Tavern matchbook cover, Famous Thornton Lager Beer matchbook cover, letterhead/envelope White Bear Brewing Co.; White Bear Amberlite Pilsner beer labels for bottles; Old Fashioned Lager Beer Bottle Caps (2); Various photo postcards of Thornton Public School/children early 1900s. – donor Debbie Lamoureux

·      Beer Sign – donor Fred Walker

·      Wedding Dress of Vernelle Ellis circa 1947 – donor daughter Paulette Ellis Pearson

·      Bridal Bag – donor Kim Atkinson

·      Coat Rack from Nick’s Place tavern and Nick Rupcich’s walking cane – donor grandson Jim Rupcich


UPCOMING PROGRAMS & EVENTS:  See the enclosed calendar for 2024.  Please check our webpage, for special events and trips.  Historical Society members will be notified of trips before the general public, so if we don’t have your email address, be sure to send it to us at

  • Writer's pictureV.T.H.S.

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

MUSEUM UPDATE: Currently, our back hall remains open for programs and events. Please use side door. Our damaged museum ceiling has been fixed and the walls have received a coat of paint. We still need lots of help in putting the museum back together in time for our Open House in December. Work days are every Tuesday at 10am and every other Saturday (October 14 & 28, November 11 and December 4) at 10am. Please join us! We could use your help.

Unfortunately, during renovations, it was found that our tin ceiling tiles could not be put back. However, there are still some tiles on the sides of the walls. The tiles that were removed will be for sale during the holiday season for $30 per 2x4 foot sections of tin ceiling tiles. Tiles are from 1904 St. Paul Lutheran Church.

MERCHANDISE: We have added new Tee-shirts designed with our logo and “Thornton Quarry Rocks” on them. Prices are $20 for M, L & XL, and $25 for XXL and XXXL. We have hats with the same design for $35. Updated Quarry books are also for sale for $5.00. Think ahead - all make wonderful Christmas gifts. Mail order is not available.


October 23 at 7:00 PM: General Meeting – Program: “The Underground Railroad

in our Region” by Larry McClellan

November 10 at 6:00 PM: Heritage Dinner at St. Paul Church, 508 Chicago Road.

This event is free for Historical Society Members ONLY but you must register so we know how many people to expect. The Society furnishes the turkey and gravy and members are asked to bring a dish, preferably homemade, to share with everyone. See Marti Thompson for a sign-up sheet. Non-members are welcome but must register, pay $15 and must bring a dish to share.

If you wish to join the Society, your $15 new membership will be good for the remainder of 2023 and all of 2024.

December 10 from 2:00PM to 5:00 PM: Holiday Open House/Grand Reopening of Museum

114 N. Hunter St. – Santa and lots of Goodies! Always an enjoyable time. The museum will be decorated and the St. Paul Singers will entertain us from the choir loft. If you could provide some homemade cookies, candy, etc. please email Marti Thompson at This year we will have a bazaar where you can purchase unique items such as Thornton Coverlets, our new Tee-shirts, hats, Quarry history books, Thornton Christmas cards, notecards and much more. They make great Christmas gifts!

MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL: Membership renewal is from January to March 1st. You need not live in Thornton to become a member so please encourage your friends to join. Choose a one-time life membership to avoid yearly renewal. New members who join in the “ber” months of September, October, November or December of 2023 will receive membership for the rest of ’23 and all of ’24.

Individual Member $15 Life Member $150


Get in the holiday spirit and enter our holiday raffle to win:

1ST PRIZE: $100 Visa Gift Card

2nd PRIZE: 2 tickets for the next Thornton Quarry Tour (value $80)

2ND PRIZE: Hot Toddy Basket featuring a bottle of Thornton Distilling’s Dead Drop Rum.


If you would like to help sell tickets or wish to purchase tickets, they will be available at our October 23 general meeting, the Harvest Dinner and our Christmas Open House. Drawing will take place December 10, 2023. Winner need not be present. Email us at for info or if you need tickets to buy or sell. Tickets are $1 each or 6/$5. Proceeds benefit the Thornton Historical Society.

  • Writer's pictureV.T.H.S.


It’s Membership renewal time, due Feb. 1! Please encourage your friends to join. We are always happy to have new members. Dues are as follows: Individual Member $15, Life Member $150, Youth (18/under) $5, Organization $45. Make checks payable to Village of Thornton Historical Society and mail with name, address, phone and email address to: PO Box 34, Thornton, IL 60476.


The Historical Society would like to take part in the Thornton Parade this year if the village has one. We would like someone to be the head of the Parade Committee. This would involve filling out the paperwork with the Village, securing a suitable vehicle and decorating, and getting members to ride in it and throw candy.

We have the position of Vice President open if anyone is interested in taking on a more active role in the Society. Pat Rupcich of our nominating committee will get in touch with you soon. The election will be held at our April meeting.


Although our museum is closed for renovations until further notice, our back hall remains open for programs and events. Please use side door. Look for our displays at the Thornton Library!


February 27 at 7:00 p.m. General Meeting – “Rachel Carson, Silent Spring & Birth

of Modern Ecology” by Leslie Goddard

March 27 at 7:00 p.m. General Meeting – "Snoopy, Sparky, & Peanuts: The

Life of Charles M. Schulz" by Jim Gibbons

April 24 at 7:00 p.m. General Meeting – Program: "Cleopatra, the Last

Pharaoh of Egypt" by Martina Mathisen

May 8 at 6:00 p.m. Annual Dinner Meeting, location TBD


Our Quarry tours are sold out for 2023 and spring of 2024. Tours of the Thornton Quarry take place on the first Saturday of June and October. All guests must be 18 years old. We will have an updated Quarry booklet for sale as well as new designs for T-shirts.


Coming up in the Fall: Field Trip to Starved Rock State Park. More Info later.

DIGGING INTO THORNTON’S PAST When the Gypsies Came Through

Parents long ago would warn their children not to go near the Gypsies when they came through Thornton each year. This Chicago Tribune newspaper article, dated 1906, is a good indication why:


Jim Rupcich, President VACANT, Vice President Kim Atkinson, Treasurer Sue Hanson, Secretary


Neringa Aleksonis Tom Ellis Debbie Lamoureux Paulette Pearson (Board President) Pat Rupcich Marti Thompson Fred Walker

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