Steve Beeaker

Christmas Walk 2015


Steve Beeaker, Treasurer of the Clarendon Hills Historical Society, passed away at age 89 on May 20, 2016. He was born April 9, 1927. May he rest in peace.


Steve was a WWII veteran of the U.S. Navy. He and his charming wife Arlene lived in the village since 1966. They have two children and four grandchildren.  Steve worked for Nicor Gas in their Accounting Dept. Besides keeping a sharp eye on the books, Steve enjoyed collecting and listening to Big Band and Jazz music.


Steve was always upbeat and full of positive energy. He brought a lot to our organization, his knowledge of music and Big Bands was extensive and we all loved talking to him about this music.  He offered to burn CD’s for anyone who expressed an interest in a particular artist. Besides his duties as treasurer, he was always available to volunteer. He will be missed.


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Clarendon Hills Historical Society Discusses Future: Post Fire and Park Board Decision

Last night, the Clarendon Hills Park Board decided not to go ahead with a request from

the Clarendon Hills Historical Society to place a referendum question on the ballot for a

museum tax that would help the Society finish Heritage Hall within the next two years.

Heritage Hall is to be a museum, archives and office for the Society, as well as a meeting

space for 30-40 people available for community groups and the park district use. The

museum tax would have raised about $45,000 dollars a year and allow the renovations to

be completed within a two year time period. The tax would equate to about $25 dollars a

year for most residents.
Diane Hiller, President of the Society and former village president, Chuck Brand, Director

of Heritage Hall and John Steeves, Former Park Board President made a presentation and

request to the board over two consecutive meetings. In the presentations, the Society

stressed that the location of 50 Sheridan is a suitable location that the Society has resided

at since 2005. This site is preferred due to available parking and less congestion. The

Society already has in place a 99- year lease on the building with the Village of Clarendon

Hiller called this another setback for the Society, which just experienced an arson fire at

Heritage Hall. The Society held insurance on the contents of the building, as per the lease,

but the Village of Clarendon Hills who owns and insures the building structure, as per the

lease, raised their deductible for the village buildings from $2500 to $25,000 dollars.

Because of this, they have asked the Society to pay half the cost of their insurance

deductible or half the cost of the work. “We are disappointed by their decision because it

means we would have to take the money we raised for improvements we so desperately

need, to pay for the village’s deductible.” She said. The estimates to clean the structure

came in at $25,000 dollars. The Society would have to pay half of that figure and hopes to

try and get that amount lower.
Diane Hiller said, “For years, the Society has worked out of library shelves, back rooms,

borrowed rooms and people’s basements. We can’t move forward without a completed

space to house ourselves, our records, archives and artifacts, it’s as simple as that. We

wanted to at least be allowed to ask the question to the community. The Society and its

volunteers work many, many hours for the community to be able to preserve, exhibit and

present the history of this wonderful town.”

“The community, I believe does care. I talk with people all the time who are really excited

about what we are trying to do with Heritage Hall. We have grown our memberships to

over 150 families.”

“I feel that the boards, on the other hand don’t believe we have enough support in the

community and don’t see the vision of a completed up and running museum and meeting

space. We are looking for a community wide rallying of support to get this space finished

soon or we risk losing the progress we made and probably the volunteers.” Hiller noted.
When asked what is next for the Society, Hiller said “It looks like we are back to private

fundraising; our goals have not changed, to complete the space for the benefit of the

community within two years.


To help contact: Diane Hiller


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Heritage Hall Fire Update

Heritage Hall Update


First and foremost we at the Clarendon Hills Historical Society wish to thank all of the people who expressed their sympathies and heartfelt offer of help to our organization after hearing the news of the arson fire at Heritage Hall.

It is a slow process forward as we assess the damage, and try and get back as soon as possible to where we were before the fire took place.

While we work to restore the damage to what we have already done in Heritage Hall, we will continue our efforts of fundraising to complete the space into a museum and meeting place for the community.  If you would like to donate, a GoFundMe account is set up, see the link below.

The Daisy Raffle drawing that was scheduled for September 5th at Heritage Hall has been cancelled and rescheduled for Saturday, September 19th at 6:00 pm at the Family Fun Fest at Prospect Park. Tickets are $10 dollars each and still available at downtown stores, by contacting us at, or at the Family Fun Fest from 3:30 pm-6:30 pm. Just look for our table.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your generosity and concern!


The Clarendon Hills Historical Society

Picture: Packing up items to be cleaned off site

Heritage Hall Fire Clean Up 002

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Cause of Fire at Heritage Hall- Arson

August 21, 2015
It is with great sadness that I must report a fire took place at Heritage Hall, 50 Sheridan Avenue, which was discovered Tuesday morning, August 18th. Our board member was the first to arrive for a meeting and unlocked the door to the scene. Luckily no one was hurt, but there is considerable damage to the building and some of the contents.


The Fire and Police Department have determined the cause to be arson and they have an ongoing investigation and a strong lead.


Although we are still appraising the damages, initial estimates could reach $100,000 dollars.

August 28, 2015

It has been a very busy week for the Historical Society, as we sort through what needs to be done after the fire. We thankfully have insurance, which will hopefully help us get back on our feet. Unfortunately, a lot of our efforts will be focused on restoration and repair and our fundraising goals for the renovation of the building into a museum and offices of the Clarendon Hills Historical Society, will have to take a back seat.

A completed up and running facility will be a great deterrent to crime and vandalism and will better serve the surrounding community.

Many of you have asked how you can help us get back on our feet, so that we can continue our preservation, programs and outreach into the community.

A contribution to our fund will help us transform our building into Heritage Hall so that we can continue our work of preserving the past so that future generations may benefit.
Click the link below to donate

Heritage Hall Transformation Fund

Thank you for for your caring and support.


Diane Hiller, Annette & Harry Hillman, Steve Beeaker, Barb Nolan, Chuck Brand, Berry Di Simone, John Horton, Helen Justus, Chris Helms.
Clarendon Hills Historical Society
CHHS Website

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July 23 Program “Domestic Servants in the Nineteenth Century”

Domestic Servants in the Nineteenth CenturyDomestic Servant in the nineteenth century

The Clarendon Hills Historical Society is presenting an interesting program this month Thursday, July 23 at 7 pm at Village Hall,  Domestic Servants in the Nineteenth Century, made possible  by the Illinois Humanities Council’s Roads Scholars Program.  Below is a synopsis provided by the presenter.


Domestic Servants in the Nineteenth Century, presenter Erika Holst is part of the Illinois Humanities Council Roads Scholar Program.

“Having live-in domestic servants seems like the height of luxury today, but in the nineteenth century, “hired girls” were common in middle-class households in Illinois.

In a society without electricity and running water, household chores were onerous, and in the nineteenth century, a wave of immigrants made labor cheap and plentiful. The result was a society that grew increasingly stratified as the century wore on and the social hierarchy became more entrenched. In domestic servant situations, working-class men and women lived and worked side-by-side with their employers yet were considered second-class citizens, often leading to tense relationships.

Who were these individuals?

What were their duties?

What was their experience like within the household?

What were their employers’ experiences living and working intimately with a cross-section of society that they might never have encountered otherwise?

How did the nature of domestic service evolve as the century progressed?

This presentation will address these questions and more. The audience will be invited to handle period artifacts associated with domestic service.”

When: Thursday, July 23 at 7 pm

Where: Village Hall, 1 No. Prospect Avenue, Clarendon Hills, IL 60514

Admission: Free to the public


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