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History Museum / Learn More

Welcome to the Village of Bartlett Museums; the Bartlett History Museum and the Bartlett Depot Museum. Both museums are operated and funded by the Village of Bartlett, Illinois and are committed to the exhibition and education of our community's rich history.

We invite you to visit our museums and participate in the many events each offers. Please click on the links to learn more about each.


Depot Museum / Learn More

Artifact of the Month -- October 2014

scary masks donated to Bartlett History Museum by the estate of Harvey and Elvina BrandtHalloween has been celebrated throughout Bartlett's history. A 1924 newspaper article stated, "The [Bartlett] high school, first and second year, enjoyed a Hallowe'en party at the home of Loretta Fenz recently. The rooms were decorated in Hallowe'en colors and various stunts and games were played."

Bartlett School's Cook County Achievement Club's October meeting that year also had frightful festivities. Students from first grade to high school sang seasonal songs, such as "That Good Old Pumpkin Pie," and read out loud, "I'm Not Afraid of Goblins." Dances and drills were also performed with music by the Bartlett orchestra.

Some Halloween costumes would not be complete without a scary mask. These masks date to the 1930s and were donated to the museums from the estate of lifelong resident Harvey Brandt and his wife Elvina. The masks are made from gauze fabric which has been stiffened and molded to form facial features. The gauze was then hand-painted with eyebrows, cheeks, lips, etc. The mask on the right has hair attached to it. An elastic band worn around the back of the head kept the mask in place and the wearer's identity a secret.

Elvina Brandt was a teacher at Bartlett School from 1926 to 1947. She was in charge of the plays the school and P.T.A. performed. Perhaps these masks were worn during some of these productions or at the school's Halloween parties.


Museum Donations

picture of potato race ribbon from 1914

Ever wonder how the Bartlett History Museum acquires all of the artifacts, images, textiles and more for its collection? These items come from past and present residents, family descendants, and generous individuals who donate them. The Museum is always seeking objects and photos that capture a moment in Bartlett's rich past. The archives contains hundreds of items, ranging in size from a button off the first Bartlett Girl Scout uniform to a six-foot nail bin from the old Schultz Hardware. Do you have Bartlett items you would like to donate to the Museum's archives? Please contact Pam Rohleder, Director, at 630-837-0800.


The museums are members of the American Association of Museums, Association of State and Local History, Illinois Association of Museums, and the Kane-DuPage Regional Museum Association.

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