Treasures and Chronicles at Naper Settlement

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Naper Settlement’s Director of Innovation and Experience Lance Tawzer says, “Each object has a story.”

That’s the inspiration for the Treasures and Chronicles exhibit on display at the settlement until May 19. The 50th anniversary of the Naperville Heritage Society gave the museum the chance to show off some of their favorite artifacts.

Objects from Days of Old…

“Those tried and true Napervillians are going to enjoy seeing the Joe Naper daguerreotype,” said Tawzer. “We don’t put that out on display very often at all. It’s light sensitive. I really love the multimixer from the Cock Robin restaurant. It reminds me of that restaurant. It reminds me of that sort of 1950s Americana.”

…And New

Some more contemporary additions are also on display in the collection. That includes items that fall under the organization’s recent emphasis on Naperville’s growing Asian community.

“Turning 50 is actually a really exciting opportunity to tell the breadth of the Naperville Heritage Society story,” said Donna Sack, vice president of community engagement and audience for the heritage society.

Objects Tell the Stories

An old rice cooker may seem like a piece of junk, but it’s the story behind the object that makes it special.

“Bill Liu came over from China and his mother insisted on him taking this rice cooker with him to America because she was afraid her son was going to starve or something like that,” said Tawzer. “It was a brand new rice cooker – he had to carry it on the plane. And he came to one of our committee meetings and told this story and we said, ‘we have to have that’ and his wife was really anxious to give it to us, too.”

It’s those seemingly innocuous household objects that Tawzer said the settlement has special interest in.

“Think about the materials that you have and think about the stories that are connected to those. And then think about Naper Settlement because we actually are genuinely interested in objects like a rice cooker or something that has a story connected to you. It’s not just the stuff, it’s the story that goes with it,” said Tawzer.

Telling Naperville’s stories – from the 19th century to 2019 and even beyond.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.