Kane County History: Enjoy Holiday Traditions at the Geneva History Museum

Kane County History: Enjoy Holiday Traditions at the Geneva History Museum

  • Editor’s Note: This article is part of a weekly series on Kane County’s amazing history. Today’s article was contributed by Terry Emma, director of the Geneva History Museum. All photos are courtesy of the History Museum.

Neapolitan crèche during 2018 Christmas Walk.

Every year, the Geneva History Museum hosts Geneva Giving Trees for local nonprofit organizations to decorate Christmas trees to reflect their mission.

This year, the museum will have 19 trees decorated by the following: Altrusa International of the Fox Valley, Always Room 4 More Paws, American Legion Post #75, CASA Kane County, Cub Scout Pack 111, Geneva Chamber of Commerce, Geneva Community Chest, Geneva Library Foundation, Geneva Rotary, Greater Geneva Art Guild, Hoofbeats & Heartbeats, Intermission Therapies, Lazarus House, Markland, Northern Illinois Food Bank, Salvation Army St Charles Tri City Corps, Sewing for Smiles, Suicide Prevention Services, and Try City Family Services.

The community is invited to vote for their favorite trees with their dollars at the museum and at GenevaHistoryMuseum.org. The organization that receives the most votes for their tree takes home all of their winnings. The other organizations share their votes 50/50 with the Geneva History Museum.

Neapolitan crèche at The Little Traveler.

Another popular tradition of the Geneva holiday season is the viewing of the crèche, or manger scene, at the Geneva History Museum. The 18th century Neapolitan Crèche is displayed in the same 17th century French provincial corner bed in which it was displayed at The Little Traveler as early as 1930.

Kate Raftery, originator of The Little Traveler, acquired the collection of figures constructed of terra-cotta, wood, wire and fiber, while traveling Europe and created a holiday tradition for Geneva’s community centered around the display. Discover hidden meanings and symbolisms in this rare and magnificent display.

The museum also offers an opportunity to pose in an antique sleigh for your holiday photo — starting on Geneva’s Christmas Walk until 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7.

The Geneva History Museum is located at 113 South Third Street with free admission during the holiday displays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, Nov. 26 through Dec. 21.

Feature Photo Caption

Two visitors having their photo taken during the 2018 Christmas Walk. (CREDIT: Geneva History Museum)

Read The Kane County History Series!