History Crawl is Here Again!

Mount Prospect Historical Society Combines Old and New at Third Annual Downtown “History Crawl” along Prospect Avenue

The Mount Prospect Historical Society will hold its third annual “History Crawl” on Friday, August 10, from 5 to 10 p.m. Pre-sale tickets can now be reserved through the Society’s website at www.mtphist.org or by visiting the Society at 101 S. Maple Street. This year, the event will feature select businesses along Prospect Avenue, which will allow the event to be more concise and allow for more entertainment: “We felt that focusing on one area of the downtown would make the event more manageable and easier to walk for attendees than in years past. We will further be able to increase the presence of live entertainment. There is also an additional element of safety with less crosswalks and stops to navigate. What better place to start than along what was once known as ‘Railroad Avenue’? It was for many years the principal location for commerce in the Village,” stated Greg Peerbolte, the Society’s executive director.

Shopper's Center on Prospect Avenue, circa 1950

Mount Prospect “Shopper’s Center” on Prospect Avenue, circa 1950.

As in years past, the Crawl will showcase local businesses from the past and present, as well as discuss some of the area’s hidden history through the use of some colorful “characters” from Mount Prospect’s past. Some of these local stories may sound like the stuff of a Hollywood blockbuster: “Expect to hear stories ranging from a buried gold cache, reputed Mafia ties, haunted buildings, prohibition-era bootlegging and bank robberies,” Peerbolte said.

Social media is playing a more visible role in the event this year. The History Crawl is partnering with Facebook and Foursquare to give the event a tech savvy flair. “We’re excited to embrace new technology to promote this year’s History Crawl. With the use of Quick Response or ‘QR’ codes, tickets to the event can be purchased anywhere an event poster is hung using a smartphone. The event also has its own Facebook page in which updates and additions to the event can be easily announced. Additionally, Foursquare’s ‘check-in’ feature will allow attendees to show their Facebook friends where they are at the event in real time,” Peerbolte continued.

History Crawlers at Mrs. Pea and Me

A group of “crawlers” enjoy food, drink and a round of “Mount Prospect Trivia” at Mrs. P & Me at the 2011 Mount Prospect Historical Society’s Downtown History Crawl.

Crawl participants will also have an opportunity to wear Mount Prospect history home: “We are offering limited-edition, vintage style ‘Mother’s Pinball’ event t-shirts to participants for $12 with the purchase of an event ticket. Mother’s is one of Mount Prospect’s beloved institutions, housed in the general store building that is now home to Capannari’s Ice Cream,” Peerbolte commented.

All proceeds from the History Crawl will benefit the Society’s operating fund. The Crawl’s heretofore success has the Historical Society hoping that it will be a long-standing event: “The event’s immediate popularity was somewhat surprising,” remarked Peerbolte. “We drew over 100 attendees in our first year. At least three other historical agencies have contacted me for information on developing similar events in their respective communities. We really feel this event has the potential to become a mainstay both for the Historical Society as well as the community of Mount Prospect.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Peerbolte at the Mount Prospect Historical Society at 847/392-9006 or e-mail him at gtpeerbolte@mtphistory.org.

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