Who Knew? Hidden Stories in the Willard Archives (Chicago Open Archives)

  • 28 Oct 2017
  • 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  • 1730 Chicago Avenue (Rear building) Evanston, IL 60201

On Saturday, October 28, top off your Archives Month experience by exploring the hidden stories of the mild-mannered yet reform-minded members of the 19th century’s largest woman’s group.

The Willard Archives—even the building is almost hidden, tucked away behind the beautifully restored Frances Willard House Museum in Evanston. But hiding our treasures is definitely not our plan! We hope you will visit the Archives to help these stories see the light of day.

Who knew?

• A Burnham and Root office building in Chicago’s Loop, built by the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in 1892?
• A drinking fountain in Chicago, paid for by pennies from children around the world, stolen in 1956 and re-created in Lincoln Park a few years ago?
• A petition signed by 7.5 million people around the world asking their governments to protect families by banning addictive substances?
• A letter from Lizzie Borden thanking the WCTU for its support?
• Enough details about the thousands of women involved in the WCTU to make a genealogist’s head spin?

The story of the WCTU--headquartered in Chicago and Evanston for over 100 years--is a Chicago story, and it is an international story as well. The story involves conflict and compromise, empowerment, change over time, success and failure documented in letters, reports, photographs, scrapbooks, and artifacts, which will be on display in the Archives. 

No registration needed


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