Friday, November 25, 2022

1st Presidential Visit to Aurora, IL 1903

 Back in June 1903, Aurora had its first visit by a presiding U.S. President. 


Clipping from the Aurora Daily Beacon
from the Aurora Public Library
Emma and Robert Wegman History Room


Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States (Oct 27, 1858-Jan 6, 1919) was traveling around the United States and visiting different towns. He was visiting Aurora before heading off to Joliet, IL. 

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Sock it to Me???

Before he was President but after he was Vice President...

Another famous visitor to Aurora!

Yes, Tricky Dicky! 



A huge thanks to Dick Elliot, an awesome Facebook friend who has a wonderful memory of a lot of Aurora events. He had brought up in one of the Aurora history groups on Facebook that Richard Nixon had come to Aurora in October of 1964. So, obviously, I took on the challenge to go through the microfiche at the Aurora Public Library to see what I could find. Yes, I love doing "old school" research and go through all of the old newspapers there. 


Former Vice President Richard Nixon with Mrs. Eleanor Bentson, president of the
Aurora Republican Women's Club and Charles H. Percy, candidate for Illinois Governor
October 1964
Aurora, IL

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Sky Club in Color!!

 I've been holding on to a few photos that I had acquired of the Sky Club for a while. Why? Not sure. Mostly because I wanted to make sure that if anyone saw these photos, they knew it was from me. Selfish? Maybe. I'd like to think that with my love of history and especially the history of Leland Hotel and the Sky Club, the general public would know how dear these photos are to me. They take you back to a different time in Aurora, IL. A place in time when people took their time and were patient with things. A time when you could just.... relax. No stress, no deadlines, no constant working. Just work and you made sure you had time for fun. 

These days (in my perspective..) it's workworkwork.

So, come with me and let's go back in time for a moment. Let's have some drinks and some appetizers. Listen to the band. Maybe even dance a bit since the drinks are flowing.

I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I do.


February 1928 - Opening Day of Leland Hotel 

Entrance to Sky Club on the 20th Floor
Opening Day 1928 Leland Hotel


The Sky Club Ballroom 
Opening Day 1928
Leland Hotel




1940s Leland Hotel Sky Club Parties



Monday, July 25, 2022

When a Bond Girl Arrived at the Sky Club!

 When a Bond Girl arrived at the Sky Club!

Back on May 1, 1941, defense bonds went on the market. After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the name was changed to war bonds. These bonds were available in denominations of $25.00 through $1,000 and were designed to be affordable for everyone. For 10 cents, people could purchase stamps, which were placed in special War Bond Stamp Books. 

1942 Defense Bond for WWII

Bonds helped to reduce inflation by redirecting demand away from consumer goods, most of which were in short supply due to the shift to wartime production and the decreased availability of certain strategic raw materials. The bonds decreased the likelihood of civil unrest by making the government a debtor to as many people as possible. But... you're not here to learn about bonds... you're here to see who the Bond Gal was! 

Sorry... it wasn't Plenty O'Toole... 
Granted Mr. Bond begs to differ.. 

Some of the famous Hollywood actors took it upon themselves to fight the good fight, such as Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart and Jackie Cooper.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

The Wright Brothers Visit to Aurora, IL 1910 4th of July Weekend


The Wright Brothers in Aurora!

Back in 1910, William Howard Taft was our 27th U.S. President, the "Fight of the Century" between Jack Johnson and James J. Jeffries was happening in Reno, Nevada (Jack Johnson won by TKO), and locally, the Sherer Building and the Fox Theater Building were opening. Also, the new concrete bridges were built and about to open.


"Aurora's New Bridges to be Dedicated Next Monday"
Beacon News July 2, 1910
"This view is taken from the upper story of the
Grand Army Memorial Hall on the island and is looking
East, showing the new bridge spanning the channel of the East
branch of the Fox. The bridge over the west channel, just
completed is an exact duplicate"

1910 Aurora, IL
RPPC Tracy Duran Collection


What else was going on in Aurora? Well, let's go back to the first week of July 1910. Many folks from all around visited Aurora to see the downtown decorated with flags and patriotic bunting. Along with this beautiful sight of patriotism for the 4th of July, people from all around came to the Aurora Driving Park, located where the Riddle Highlands subdivision is now off of Lake Street and Illinois Ave.