"Sing And Shout"
by Hudson Crossing

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Welcome to the Aurora Historical Society!

Giving the past a future! In continuous operation since 1906, the Aurora Historical Society is one of the oldest institutions in the Chicagoland area. Come tour the 1857 Tanner House, visit our changing exhibits at the David L. Pierce Art and History Center or make an appointment to do research at our History Center. Enjoy our special events such as lectures, cocktail parties for exhibit openings, July 4th Ringing of the Bells and December Holiday Celebration. Shop in our gift shop. Enjoy history. We’ll be happy to see you.


Old Fashioned 4th of July Event!

July 4, 11-2pm
Tanner House Museum, Corner of Oak and Cedar Streets

Traditions are a beloved part of every holiday, and ringing the historic bells at the Tanner House Museum at 1pm on Independence Day is certainly an Aurora tradition. "President Kennedy instituted this tradition of a nationally-coordinated celebration of bell-ringing in 1963," according to John Jaros, Executive Director of the Aurora Historical Society. "The historical society adopted the practice just a few years later, so this is something very special to us."

On this one day of the year, clappers are hung in two large bells on the museum grounds, and children are invited to pull together on the ropes for two minutes of the joyful cacophony called for by Kennedy when he said "Let's ring freedom bells!" One bell is from Center School, which served the East side of Aurora from 1866 until its demolition in 1959, and the other, usually called the Liberty Bell, was cast by the Love Brothers Foundry in Aurora to commemorate the end of World War I, and stood in front of the GAR Hall for many years.

This year the Roosevelt-Aurora American Legion Post 84 will formally present the historical society with a new flag to be used at the Pierce Art and History Center in downtown Aurora. The presentation will take place just before the bell-ringing which is precisely timed to coincide with other bells across the nation.

The museum grounds will be buzzing with activity from 11am to 2pm. The Windy City Wizard magician will bring old-fashioned flim-flammery, and the high-energy bluegrass/folk band Hudson Crossing will entertain. A petting zoo and children's activities will entertain the young ones. The Tanner House Museum will be open for touring and will feature a display of the artifacts unearthed in last year's privy dig. An old-fashioned pie-eating contest will end the day. Picnic fare will be available for purchase. The event is free, thanks to the sponsorship of Alderman-At-Large Bob O'Connor, 6th Ward Alderman Mike Saville and 2nd Ward Alderman Juany Garza.

Help us bring a WWII Veterans Exhibit to Phillips Park!

The Aurora Historical Society has secured a matching grand to help fund this project - $2 for every $1 we raise. Help us get this exhibit off the ground! Any amount will help us meet our goal. If you have any questions, please call 630-906-0650.

WPA Art in Aurora opens May 29th!

David L. Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Place

The Aurora Public Art Commission with open its newest show on May 29th with a special exhibit opening from 5-7:30pm.

Included in the exhibit will be LIVE demonstations by Art Conservator Scott Sherwood as he restores a portion of the 1937 West High Mural as well as several popular, as well as little seen, items from the Aurora Historical Society Collection, all noted in the WPA files as culturally signifigant.