Learn about the history of 'Fun in Elgin' April 11

  • During the Great Depressions, kids in Elgin will build motorless cars, called pushmobiles, for racing.

    During the Great Depressions, kids in Elgin will build motorless cars, called pushmobiles, for racing. Courtesy of Elgin History Museum

Updated 4/6/2022 11:24 PM

Championship baseball games, circus elephants, and car races were all part of fun summers in Elgin.

Historian Linda Rock will talk about these and other special summer activities of the past during "Fun in Elgin" at 7 p.m. Monday, April 11, in the Elgin Room at Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove Ave. in downtown Elgin. It also will be offered via Zoom.


Baseball has been a popular Elgin spectator sport since the 1870s.

According to Rock, the first semipro championship game in Illinois was played at Tournament Park in Elgin in 1938. Satchel Page, Cool Papa Bell and Oscar Charleston, all Hall of Famers, played the Elgin Semi-Pros.

Elginites looked forward to the circus coming to town in the summer as early as the 1860s.

Elephants would be paraded down Douglas Avenue to advertise the circus.

In the 1930s, pushmobile races where boys would build motorless cars and race them would draw more than 3,000 spectators.

Rock will enhance her presentation with Elgin memorabilia and images from the Elgin History Museum.

Rock previously taught at Elgin Academy, Elgin Area School District U-46, and Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54. She has been part of the Elgin History Museum for more than 30 years, assisting with exhibits as well as organizing artifacts and archival material. She also served as co-chair of the Elgin Cemetery Walk from 2000 to 2007 and performed in the event.

The program will be offered in person at the main library and virtually via Zoom. To register, please go to gailborden.info/register, call (847) 429-4597 or register at any library location.

Go to comments: 0 posted

Get articles sent to your inbox.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.