History's No Longer Standing Still Elgin Museum Reopens after 2-Month Hiatus

By Anderson, Paul M. | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 7, 1998 | Go to article overview

History's No Longer Standing Still Elgin Museum Reopens after 2-Month Hiatus


Anderson, Paul M., Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Paul M. Anderson Daily Herald Correspondent

Drawn by a $10,000 grand prize, racecar drivers from all over once flocked to Elgin for a competition that attracted up to 50,000 fans - and national attention.

In the summer of 1910, Ralph Mulford won the inaugural eight-mile, 36-lap race that started at McLean Boulevard and followed a path thatwound through Highland Avenue, Randall Road and U.S. 20. Of course, these were all dirt roads at the time. That meant treacherous driving conditions for racecar drivers hitting speeds up to 65 mph.

Elginites can learn more about the Elgin National road races at the Elgin Area Historical Museum, 360 Park St., Elgin. The museum came out of a two-month semihibernation Wednesday. The facility has been closed for remodeling. The Elgin National road race exhibit is one of the museum displays that was enhanced during the remodeling.

"We have never-seen-before artifacts found when we were sorting through the collection," said Elizabeth Marston, the museum's director.

Museum leaders are working on retrieving a large trophy from the races that currently is at an Ohio museum, Marston said.

"We don't know why it's there, but it was here once before - about 15 years ago," Marston said. "We'll see if we can get it back."

The Elgin National exhibit will really come to life from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. March 15, when antique car buffs Morris Dillow and Morey Dyer explain the history of the races, which ended in 1933. …

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