Tag Archives: Naperville Heritage Society

Recent Visit to Naper Settlement a Reminder that Time Travel is Possible

by Stuart Meyer

Naper Settlement_Schoolhouse_FINAL

The interior of the Copenhagen Schoolhouse at Naper Settlement as it appeared in 1870. While it’s a historically accurate replica, many of the materials used are from the original schoolhouse.

Being both a filmmaker and owner of a Naperville-based production company about to move its operation into Downtown Naperville, every time I visit the grounds of Naper Settlement I continue to construct the storyline for a film which uses the Settlement as the setting.  From a production standpoint, the interiors of each building are nearly film-ready in terms of production design down to the fine details.  With just a bit of Hollywood-style magic, we could transform exteriors to a place which takes us far from the hustle and bustle of Downtown Naperville.  One day I predict we will shoot that film.

For now, anyone who doesn’t believe time travel is possible certainly hasn’t visited Naper Settlement.  Sure, you may have driven by and seen the buildings, but if you haven’t stepped foot into these magical historically-preserved spaces you are truly missing out.  The community, Naperville Heritage Society, the Museum Board and team over at the Settlement continues to do a terrific job preserving these treasures of our past bringing history to life year-round.

To the many of you who have embraced this community treasure over the years, there are many additional ways you can ensure this Naperville Legacy lives long into the future, such as (click on links):

Make a Donation for Become a Sponsor

Become a Member

Other ways to support Naper Settlement

SM

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Loss of Naper Days Festival a Deep Loss for Our Naperville Community

As many of you may know, the Naper Days Festival has welcomed the summer festival season to Naperville for the past six years.  Having only missed one year at Naper Days, I’ve always looked forward to the event not only for the Taste of Naperville and live music, but as a deliberate chance to spend some time on the grounds experiencing the Naper Settlement, our community’s historical crown jewel.

Despite the challenges of staging this large festival on Father’s Day Weekend, I always liked to stand back at Naper Days seeing it not only as a celebration of summer, but as a glimpse into the history, heart and soul of our community as we gathered together in a way that cannot be achieved via Ribfest or even Last Fling.

It is with these thoughts that I was very saddened to learn upon visiting the Naper Days site a few minutes ago to gather this year’s dates that the festival has been “retired” citing “declining revenues combined with the current economic environment“.

I realize this event was a means to financially benefit the Naper Settlement and the Naperville Heritage Society; however, it’s sad to see how quickly we give up at a time when our community needs more than ever to come together, to be together, to celebrate Naperville in a way that is lost in the mix of other local festivals.

I’ve always believed that money is a measure of survival, not of purpose.  In my mind, the scope of this festival has a broader reach as there is no better platform offered throughout the year for the Naper Settlement to share its purpose with the community than Naper Days.  In the process of fund raising, we must never overlook the significant importance of friend raising and bringing the community and families together.  SM