Bidding farewell to 2023, sesquicentennial coverage

In our first January issue last year, we kicked off a new weekly series designed to celebrate Hinsdale’s 150th anniversary. Last week we ran the final installment.

We learned a lot about our favorite village’s history over the past year — and not just from the weekly series. We also dedicated our summer series, “Quintessential Hinsdale,” to the places and events that make Hinsdale the special place it is. And, of course, we can’t forget the 120-page special section we published Sept. 28 honoring the sesquicentennial.

But back to our Page 7 series! We covered dozens of topics, from the town’s early history, including the train line, village elections and how Hinsdale got its name.

Some stories reminded longtime residents of events from the past, like the Hoops for Life tournaments to raise money for The American Cancer Society and the Antiques Show fundraiser at The Community House.

“Then and now” photos compared historic pics of buildings in town with modern-day shots taken by our own Jim Slonoff. What fun to try to figure out how the old gas station was transformed into The Fruit Store!

Several stories informed residents about upcoming events related to the 150th anniversary celebration. We wrote articles about the logo design, the “Hinsdale in Lights” exhibit at the Hinsdale Historical Society, the Hinsdale Village Board’s anniversary proclamation and reception and the “Hinsdale History — Illuminated” 20-minute light show that brought village history to life on the facade of the Memorial Building one Thursday night in August.

And some were just fun, like the “Then and now” feature that showed Bob Barber after wining the 100-yard freestyle race in 1991 as a member of the Red Devils swim team next to a photo of him jumping in the pool to celebrate the team he coached winning the state title at the FMC Natatorium in Westmont in 2023. And the story about the retro badges Hinsdale police and firefighter/paramedics wore last year in honor of the anniversary, which included the history of badge protocol in the fire department, thanks to research done by firefighter/paramedic Nick McDonough.

We also enjoyed taking a peek inside “the vault” at village hall, where we saw the first minutes ever documented of a Hinsdale Village Board meeting.

Mostly the series gave us — and we hope our readers — a chance to appreciate all the people, places and events that have gone into making Hinsdale the wonderful place it is today.

Or, a Cicero so eloquently put it more than 2,000 years ago:

“History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illumines reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity.” — Cicero