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    Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary ArtLizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art Elmhurst, Illinois
    Joseph Lizzadro came here from Italy with his family in the early 1900s and learned his father's trade of shoe cobbler, going to school and becoming a US citizen. He began working with Meade Electric Company as a laborer in 1916 and started a career in electrical contracting, that would see him rise to the position of Chairman of the Board of Meade Electric, marrying Mary Sandretto in 1932, and raising six children between them. They would take trips to the Keweenaw Peninsula where Mary was from and Joe began to collect rocks, mostly thomsomite, datolite and agate, and then cut and polish the stones for jewelry for the family and friends. He was soon hooked and began collecting stones and gems, but mostly jade, at first thinking of buying it in cheap jewelry so he could cut it and make his own since jade wasn't easy to come by in those days. He realized the amount of work and talent went into making those cheap jade pieces and couldn't bring himself to cut them, so he started his collection that would eventually involve purchasing other rocks like coral, ivory, amber and gemstones, and as the collection grew, he wanted to share them with other folks that appreciated the beautiful stones and their possibilities to become other objects once cut and carved. In 1962, the Lizzadro Museum opened and his dream came true. Lapidary is the unique art of cutting and polishing stone, passed down from prehistory, since the early humans used stones to make tools and weapons, they had to learn the craft, and has become a passion and hobby around the world. The museum exhibits over 200 pieces of jade and other hard stone carvings that have come here from across the globe, with numerous famous pieces. There is a fabulous nephrite jade imperial altar set that had been carved during the Ming Dynasty that occurred in 1368 to 1644 and a beautiful cinnabar screen encrusted with carved gemstones, that had been a birthday gift to the Chinese emperor, Qianlong in 1791. There are many magnificent examples of these stones and carvings that are sure to please you on your visit here.

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    Elmhurst Historical MuseumElmhurst Historical Museum Elmhurst, Illinois
    this excellent museum contains all the history of Elmhurst, Illinois, that has been preserved in the Elmhurst Historical Museum that houses a permanent exhibit that looks at the city as a model of urbanization, with many outstanding temporary displays that have been developed from their collections and a number of traveling exhibits from outside sources make this museum more than the usual. Their permanent collection contains over 15,000 three-dimensional relics, archives the contains letters, over 10,000 historical photographs and manuscripts, microfilm copies of Elmhurst newspapers, Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, over 300 linear feet of city records, business and personal records and censuses and a library of over 500 volumes. They offer numerous resources for students, authors, residents and authors that include a generous educational curriculum that includes gallery tours, symposia, craft demonstrations, lectures, classroom visits, holiday programs and walking tours of the city's neighborhoods. Permanent exhibits include Visions of Home that describes the beginning of the city's history to the present or from 1834 to today; and From Mansion to Museum that traces the evolution of the Glos mansion, from private home to public institution, with drawings and furnishings from various time periods. Another outstanding example is the Churchville Schoolhouse that had been constructed in 1846 and is an added bonus to the magnificent collections already housed there.

April 19, 2011