Annual Meeting and Report
May 19, 2021
This past year has been historic not only for Long Grove, but across the globe as the world has adjusted and endured throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Our Historical Society has persevered, holding meetings and events outdoors during the summer months. Virtual Zoom meetings were held over the winter months as virus cases spiked. Today, we are grateful to be once again meeting face to face as most of our board members have now been vaccinated. Despite the challenges, we have enjoyed a successful, if somewhat unusual and more low-key year.
Installation of new officers was held virtually on May 1, 2020 over Zoom. Later in June the Book Discussion group met in person, socially distanced, at a local park. Under the direction of Tina Mall, they selected the titles to be read for the coming year. The group continued to meet outside at Heron Creek Forest Preserve until winter set in and Zoom gatherings took over. The pandemic has had little effect on our intrepid book enthusiasts!
Spring and summer once again saw maintenance work on the herb garden near Village Hall, and to our flower beds at our Farmhouse property. Many thanks go to Tina and Diane Trickey for keeping these areas tidy and pleasant. Maintenance director Chris Campbell spent the early summer doing some “spruce-up” work at Archer School and Ruth Barn. Boards and latches were replaced on the barn, and the front of the schoolhouse was scraped and painted. Chris bought a replacement wooden door, which he primed and painted in addition to the trim. Later in the summer, the sump pump was replaced at the schoolhouse. A big thank you goes to Chris and all that he does to keep our buildings repaired and looking good.
Our farmhouse outdoor patio was used in both June and July for outdoor board meetings in the fresh air. Several committees also met on the patio as well this year. It gave us a chance to really enjoy and admire Tina & Diane’s flowers! Under the direction of Jane Primack, we held our annual Penny Carnival on August 2nd. Everyone wore masks, hand sanitizer was available at each station, games were spread out and distanced on the lawn, in keeping with the rules for Covid-19 safety. We had a smaller crowd than usual but those who attended were grateful that we were doing this for the kids, as they had so little organized activities this summer. The Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association also appreciated our efforts supporting the Vintage Days weekend.
On July 15th, our Historical Society presented a check to Village President Bill Jacob from the Covered Bridge Fund, in the amount of $53,496.98. Many members of our Society gathered in a tent behind Buffalo Creek Brewery for the check presentation, and we received some great publicity in the local media. This was the culmination of three years of fundraising and was a true community effort. We gathered again on August 14th for a champagne toast as the fully renovated and restored covered bridge was opened once again to fanfare. Unfortunately, the very next day the bridge was hit by an oversized school bus and has sustained 13 hits since then. The bridge was rebuilt with steel reinforcements under the wooden covering, so it is withstanding all the abuse from the idiot drivers. Aaron and Angie Underwood organized a group of concerned citizens, merchants, and neighbors dubbed the “Bridge Protection League.” The group brainstormed a series of possible solutions that were given to the Long Grove Village Board, in hopes that implementing some of the ideas would help lessen the bridge strikes. Several changes have been put into place, with the greatest chance of success being those that cause the GPS navigation systems to stop routing vehicles over the bridge if not local traffic.
In September and October, a committee of Tina, Jane and Angie met weekly at the farmhouse to lend a hand to curator Meghan Potempa (who was otherwise occupied with newborn Ozzie and big sister Olive!) Several boxes of photos and other documents had been recently donated by local families and needed to be organized and sorted. Additionally, Angie and Jane met several times to identify revisions to the By-Laws, which were voted on and accepted in November.
October was the kick-off of our 2020-2021 Membership drive headed up by Membership director Pam Brown. With assistance from committee members Diane, Marie Roth and Aaron, our board raised nearly $8,000. in membership donations this year. We feel this was a particular success considering all the challenges the pandemic has brought to not only our organization but to our community members as well.
Due to the circumstances and health guidelines, it was not possible to hold our annual Ghost Walk event this year. Instead, we teamed up with the HDLGBA organization and crafted several “scary scenes” that we manned in costume during the Trick-or-Treat hours. Doug Primack put his electrical skills to ghastly-good use making coffins open and corpses come alive. Amy Gayton organized the creepy crew consisting of: Moanna Mower, John Kopecky, Jane, Marie, Angie & Aaron, and even the Ghost of Cuba Road, who made an appearance. Or should I say “apparition?”
The winter months of 2021 were quiet for our Society as we all stayed indoors during the second wave of the pandemic. Zoom meetings were held in November, January and March, to keep the momentum going. New officers were elected and new ideas were hatched, such as our upcoming Dog Mayor fundraiser, which is already in the works with a committee headed up by Diane. Chris has been busy getting the farmhouse ready for a recent fire inspection, and Aaron has been keeping up authoring his series of history articles for Long Grove Living.
It has been a year like no other, and one that I will never forget. Thank you for the pleasure and honor of serving as your President these last four years. All of our Historical Society accomplishments have truly been a team effort, and I know we can look forward to many more in the coming year with our new President Jane Primack at the helm.
Long Grove Historical Society President
2017 through 2021