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Glancer Magazine

WAY BACK WHEN | Fox River Valley


This recurring monthly feature highlights the beauty of Kane County's historical people, places and things. Share your unique historical photos, facts and features with us at

“IN OTHER WORDS… A HISTORY OF COMMUNICATION IN GENEVA” GENEVA–Words can be written, spoken, printed, recorded or captured in a picture. Come explore an earlier time in Geneva and discover the historical background behind familiar concepts of communication. Engage with videos including stories from a former telephone operator. Visit the activity wall to dial a rotary telephone, send morse code and push the keys of an old typewriter. Admission is $3/Person, $2/Children ages 3-10 and includes a souvenir postcard and admission to the Main Gallery, Geneva’s Story.

A COLLECTION RICH IN HISTORY  Did you know that The St. Charles History Museum Collection features over 10,000 photos and 15,000 artifacts? It’s amazing. The museum strives to present to visitors a wide and changing selection of the many unique and interesting artifacts in its collection. Visit today to see unique items such as a vintage brochure from Arcada Theatre and a map of St. Charles on the back of the menu at the Coffee Shop at Hotel Baker. 215 Main Street, Downtown St. Charles.

HISTORICAL HOTEL BAKER The vision of Colonel Edward Baker is alive and well at the grand Hotel Baker in historic downtown St. Charles. Steeped in history, Hotel Baker was built in 1928 on the site of old Haines Mill and celebrated its opening with a grand dinner for more than 300 people. The hotel began as a dream of Edward J. Baker, a native of St.Charles, who earned the honorary title of “Colonel” thanks to his excellent luck in horse racing. In 1918, at the age of 50, Baker inherited nearly $20 million from his sister, Dellora Baker Gates, heiress to the Texaco Oil Company. Using only the interest income from his inheritance, Baker commissioned local architects and craftsmen to construct his vision of an elegant, 55-room resort. He spared no expense to build and furnish the most luxurious small hotel in the country. Final construction costs totaled more than $1 million, and the hotel boasted the most modern conveniences of the day when it opened June 2, 1928. Over the years, the colorful Rainbow Room has featured many famous entertainers, such as Tommy Dorsey, Guy Lombardo, Louis Armstrong and Lawrence Welk. The Hotel Baker has also welcomed guests such as John F. Kennedy, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, Gerald Ford, Illinois Governors Adlai Stevensonand Jim Thompson, and Senators Charles Percy,Everett Dirksen, and Edmund Muskie, as well as entertainers Jeanette MacDonald, Mary Martin, Eddie Arnold, Edgar Bergen and evangelist Billy Graham. Hotel Baker has recently been restored, creating an ambience reminiscent of its formal splendor. And due to its architectural and historical significance, Hotel Baker is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A tradition of excellence awaits you at historic Hotel Baker in downtown St. Charles.

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