Aurora Historical Society calendars and membership sale

The cover of the 2020 calendar showing the “Mexican Chapel” which served the legendary boxcar camp adjacent to the Burlington Railroad’s Eola Reclamation plant.  c. 1930

The Vintage Aurora Calendar for 2020, produced by the Aurora Historical Society, is a look back at 12 of the ethnic and cultural groups that helped to build the city following the arrival of the first white settlers in 1834. 

Executive Director John Jaros selected the photos for the insight they provide not just into the groups themselves, but into the development of a city that over 183 years has become a true melting pot of American heritage.

The nationalities represented are Irish, Luxembourger, Greek, Puerto Rican, German, Mexican, Italian, Indian and Romanian.   The cultures represented are African American and Jewish.

“We call these our *heritage nations*, said society board president Mary Clark Ormond.  “Although Aurora has been home to many other ethnicities over the years, these are the groups that built the fabric of the city, including churches, schools, butcher shops, bakeries, grocery stores, taverns, social clubs and even cemeteries.”

The calendar is $14.95 plus tax.  Historical society members receive a 10% discount.  It is available online at www.aurorahistory.net or at the Gift Shop in the Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Pl., 60505.  Gift shop hours are Wednesdays-Saturdays from Noon-4pm (closed Christmas and New Years Days). 

The German tavern at the corner of New York and Broadway, c. 1900.  The name Seven Swabians refers to a popular folktale about 7 foolhardy adventurers. 

New memberships in the Aurora Historical Society remain half-price until December 31, and would entitle shoppers to an immediate discount.  At the sale price, memberships range from $12.50 for individual seniors and students to $17.50 for individuals and $25 for families.  Donor and patron levels are also half price at $75 and $125.    Renewals and lifetime memberships ($1000) are not included in the sale.   Membership includes 12 months of discounts and reduced rates, invitations to private events, and the quarterly newsletter.   Memberships can be taken out online or at the gift shop.