Popular event part of agency's history

Hinsdale Antiques Show a successful fundraiser for The Community House for 50 years

Series: Hinsdale 150 | Story 41

Over half a century, a three-day event called the Hinsdale Antiques Show grew from humble beginnings to become the largest annual fundraiser for The Community House.

"The first show in 1945 - held just four years after The Community House was incorporated as a nonprofit organization - was much different from the one people are accustomed to today," a Sept. 11, 2008, article in The Hinsdalean stated. "A group of women hosted a show at The Community House, then located at First and Garfield streets, to raise $300 for a small church in Virginia. In exchange, they agreed to donate the remaining profits to The Community House in appreciation for the agency's assistance."

Leaders of The Community House asked the women to bring the event back, and they did. It was suspended temporarily while the agency's new building was constructed at Eighth and Madison streets.

From the early years, the show featured more than antiques, according to a Sept. 18, 1947, article in The Hinsdale Doings. The National ABC men's 1946 bowling champion was scheduled to bowl one game at the alleys in the basement of The Community House. Champions in table tennis and archery also would be present.

And yes, there were antiques as well, with more 40 exhibitors in attendance. Among the items for sale were an 1863 sword worth $5,000 and mementos from the 1893 World's Fair.

Some 2,000 visitors attended the third annual show, down from the record of 5,000, according to a photo caption in the Sept. 30, 1948, issue.

The event grew considerably over the years, with organizers adding a catered preview party on Thursday night, a special luncheon on Friday and a dinner that evening. Speakers and special guests were added as well.

By 2006, the show had raised $125,000, a good news item in The Doings indicates, with more than 3,000 in attendance.

The Hinsdalean dedicated a full page of coverage to the show's 50th year in 2008. More than 100 volunteers were involved in the event.

"You extrapolate that over 50 years, and it's a lot of women who have rolled up their sleeves and worked hard," co-chair Carole Quick told The Hinsdalean.

A revamped version of the show named The Market took place in 2009. Organizers ran a thank you ad in The Oct. 1 issue of The Hinsdalean that year.

"Thanks to the tremendous support of all our volunteers who worked the show and the community at large," it read. "We are very proud to announce that The Market has upheld the tradition created by 50 years of the Hinsdale Antiques Show and remains the largest single fundraising event for The Community House."