Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Lovely Afternoon on the Scary Prairie

The author event at Centuries and Sleuths Bookstore in Forest Park was great fun on Sunday! Kate paired up with Norm Cowie for a Scary Prairie afternoon for young people.

Norm's latest book is "Fang Face" about a girl vampire who grouses "as if being a teenager doesn't suck enough!" To celebrate his book launch, Norm wore a cape and fangs and supplied a punchbowl of "blood" for visitors, providing the "Scary" part of the event.

Kate donned her pioneer woman's costume one more time to illustrate the "Prairie" part, adding orange and black cookies to the refreshment table.

While the previous week's weather was suitably gloomy for a Halloween party, Sunday was gloriously sunny and hardly fitting for scary prairie book readings. In fact Kate and Norm couldn't resist standing outside in the sunshine to talk with book fans. And we thought vampires couldn't stand daylight!

Many, many thanks to Augie Aleksy and the rest of the Centuries and Sleuth's staff for a great afternoon! If you are interested in history or mystery, this shop is a must-visit destination. The cozy decor, grinning gargoyles and Sherlock Holmes pipes are the perfect accompaniment to shelves of awesome books. Find out more at their website www.CenturiesAndSleuths.com.

An Evening with President and Mrs. Lincoln

Tonight President and Mrs. Lincoln will be welcoming Chicago History Museum members to a special viewing of a new exhibit called "Abraham Lincoln Transformed." At least, that's what the invitation said!

One of several Lincoln exhibits during this bicentennial year, "Abraham Lincoln Transformed" illustrates how Lincoln changed his mind about slavery from the moderate viewpoint of his early legal career to issuing the Emancipation Proclamation.

As a Chicago History Museum member, Kate is looking forward to rubbing elbows with President Lincoln!

Learn more about "Abraham Lincoln Transformed" at www.ChicagoHistory.org.

Make Your Own Thaumatrope!

In the 1820's, Peter Mark Roget used a thaumatrope in London to demonstrate the persistence of vision to the Royal Academy of Physicians.

A thaumtrope starts with two separate pictures. For instance, one picture is of a peaceful graveyard and the other picture is of a rising ghost. Rapidly alternating between the two pictures, it looks like the ghost is appearing in the sky above the cemetery!

During the Victorian age, thaumatropes were popular toys that children could make for themselves at home in the parlor with a bit of string and paper.

Kate created her own "Ghost in the Graveyard" thaumatrope for children to make during Sunday's "Scary Prairie" event. If you didn't have a chance to make one then, you can print the pictures and directions from Kate's Haunted by History website.

Where History Is Happening

Links to some upcoming events:

All Hallow's Eve at Naper Settlement

October 23 - 24
6:30 - 10 pm

Each night, this living history museum is more like an "undead' history museum. Ghouls and monsters wander the grounds and spooky tales unfold in the historic buildings.

All Hallows' Eve at Midway Village Museum

October 24
2:00 - 8:00 pm

Village buildings are decorated for trick-or-treaters and the Haunted Woods offers frightening fun for those brave enough to stroll there.

Klein Creek Farm

Open Thursdays through Mondays

Farmers still have work to do during these late fall days. See what's happening on this 1890's farm, including blacksmith demonstrations.

Also at the Chicago History Museum

Current Exhibits
Benito Juárez and the Making of Modern Mexico
October 10, 2009 through April 12, 2010

Bertha Honoré Palmer
May 23, 2009 through January 4, 2010

Lincoln Park Block by Block
July 4, 2009 through May 16, 2010

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Congratulations to Pioneer Fest Winners!

We were blessed with some wonderful weather during the Autumn Pioneer Festival in Belvidere and met a lot of nice people during the three days we hung out at our "Bring History Home" display.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by to say "hello" and put their name in our basket. Congratulations to our winners: Laura, Sue, Vickie, Carol and Jeniffer! We hope you and your families enjoy your visit to the Naper Settlement living history museum.

"Six Degrees of Lincoln" Presentation Winners, too!

While in Belvidere for the Autumn Pioneer Festival, Kate gave a presentation at the Keen Age Center on Friday afternoon. Audience members went on a a virtual tour of northern Illinois during the "Six Degrees of Abraham Lincoln" to find local connections to our sixteenth President.

A drawing was held at that event as well. Congratulations to Margaret and Bill, our winners!

"Scary Prairie" Author Event Happens in Forest Park

Kate will be co-hosting a Halloween Author Event in Forest Park on Sunday, October 18 at 2:00 pm. Norm Cowie is launching his latest book "Fang Face," a humorous tale of a teen-aged vampire while Kate talks about her ghost story book "Haunted by History; Spectres in a Small Town."

"Haunted by History" looks at historic buildings in the mid-western town of Naperville, Illinois, and the people who used to live in them. Written for kids ten and older, this collection of short stories delivers facts about local history disguised as ghost stories.

After much careful research, Kate imagines ghostly situations and crafts a chilling tale out of the actual facts to foster an enthusiasm for history in younger readers. As she likes to say to parents and teachers: "They'll learn so much history, it's scary!"

In addition to discussing their books, Kate, dressed in pioneer calico, and Norm, in a black cape, will be offering snacks, crafts and prizes. Kate and Norm encourage kids to attend in their Halloween costumes so the authors won't be the only ones who look odd.

The fun will take place at Centuries and Sleuths Bookstore, a favorite hang-out for readers of mystery and history. For more information, see the store's website or go to Kate's site at www.KateGingold.com.

You can learn more about "Haunted by History" at the book's website, www.HauntedByHistory.com and read a few preview pages there as well.
Bring the kids or grandkids out for this "Scary Prairie" event. We look forward to seeing you!

Where History Is Happening

Links to some upcoming events:

St. Charles Scarecrow Fest

October 9 - 11

View the hotel and home Mary Todd Lincoln reportedly visited while attending this free downtown event. Hundreds of hand-crafted scarecrows, carnival rides, musical entertainment, and more.

Grave Reminders Cemetery Walk

October 10

Learn about some of the interesting characters from St. Charles' past as you visit their final resting places at the North Cemetery .

St. Charles Historic Ghost Tours

October 10 &11

Begins at the Arcada Theatre, a Vaudeville Theatre built in 1926.

Author Event and Book Signing

October 18
2:00 pm

Author Kate Gingold will be at Centuries and Sleuths Bookstore, 7419 W. Madison Street in Forest Park with author Norm Cowie for a Halloween-themed book event.