Community Invited to 75th Celebration for the Lake Ellyn Boathouse Sunday
The Lake Ellyn Boathouse opened for use on Nov. 12, 1937. The Glen Ellyn Park District is hosting a celebration Sunday.
Residents who visit the Lake Ellyn Boathouse this weekend will be reliving some nostalgia from the 1930s during an open house celebration recognizing its 75th anniversary.
The boathouse was first opened for use on Nov. 12, 1937 and to celebrate the occasion, the Glen Ellyn Park District will be holding an event for the community Sunday.
The open house will include a live performance of a Dick Tracy radio program, and screening of the 1937 film Make Way for Tomorrow, which will help provide a sense of what life was like when the building first opened in Glen Ellyn.
A celebration for the boathouse has never been held before, said Kathleen Talenco, marketing and communications supervisor for the park district.
In addition to some of the entertainment at the open house, a presentation will be ongoing during the event, which will share the newly created Glen Ellyn Park District archival website with the public, Talenco said.
“We are looking forward to this,” Talenco said. “The park district has just started trying to archive things we feel are historically significant and the boathouse is historically significant, not only for the park district, but it’s important to many residents.”
The Lake Ellyn Boathouse was designed by Frederick G. Walker, but it was a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project and was built as part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal economic program, according to the park district. “The Recreation House” opened its doors 75 years ago as a warming house for ice skaters. Today the boathouse continues its role as a warming house, but has also expanded to offer residents a place to celebrate a number of events and milestones.
The park district has partnered with the Glen Ellyn Historical Society for the event and members will be on hand during the open house, she said.
Posters featuring local buildings constructed as WPA project will be on display and remain permanently displayed in the boathouse, Talenco said.
The open house is taking place after the Veterans Day ceremony at Lake Ellyn Park and everyone is welcome to attend. Light refreshments and snacks will be served. A commemorative magnet with a photo of the boathouse will be handed out until they are gone; the park district has a limited supply.
The Lake Ellyn Boathouse 75th anniversary celebration will be held from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at the boathouse. The event is free and open to the community.