August 15, 2014

New Home For Prairie Path’s Archives

More than fifty years of documented history is now being preserved here in Naperville.

The Illinois Prairie Path’s archives have a new home at North Central College’s Oesterle Library where documents will be available for public use.

Although the Prairie Path doesn’t run through Naperville, Founder May Watts, lived near the college and many of the first volunteers were Naperville residents.

“A lot of Naperville citizens and people connected with the college had a lot to do with the founding of the trail, so that’s the reason why we actually got the collection and pursued it,” said Kim Butler, Archivist at North Central College.

“The path is kind of a sacred space because it took so many people so many years to overcome so many challenges to get that piece of land,” said Mary Jo Malach, Board of Directors.

Showcased were newspaper articles, books, maps of the prairie path route and even a pair of boots worn in the construction of the trail.

Some of those first volunteers were also in attendance and shared their stories.

Last year, the Illinois Prairie Path celebrated fifty years.

To check it out, you can drop in or set up an appointment with the college’s archivist, Kim Butler.


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