Celebrating 19 Years as Barrington’s Signature Magazine


Early 20th Century Social Media

But for all our technology, there has never been a substitute for person-to-person
communication over the garden wall!

Story by Barbara L. Benson

Nowadays, we keep in touch with family, friends, and business associates, make medical appointments, do our shopping, and arrange our social calendars through cell phones, tablets, and computers, all known as our “devices,” on an almost minute-by-minute basis.

How quickly have we forgotten our more thoughtful and leisurely ways of communication amongst ourselves? Many older people resist turning everything over to the online wizards, but their children and especially their grandchildren hardly know how to address and mail a letter.

In this light, it is eye-opening to realize that 100 years ago and more, the daily lives of residents were recorded in local newspapers, especially those of small towns like Barrington. The earliest known issue of the Barrington Review from 1889, online at the Barrington Area Library, had a section called “Local Gleanings.” The activities of village residents, numbering then about 800, their social and church events, their illnesses, the births and marriages, appeared in short paragraphs, recording even those who boarded the Chicago and Northwestern Railway into Chicago or northwestward towards Crystal Lake. Deaths mostly received longer reports.

The Review was founded by Miles Lamey. His office, on the second floor of his brother Dan’s lumber business on North Cook Street, where the Commons entrance is now, had a clear view of the station platform, then on the Park Avenue side of the tracks. Did he note when Mrs. X boarded the train to visit her sister in Chicago?

These snippets appeared under different headings, well into the 20th century. As the population increased, and communities grew beyond the village limits, neighborhood columns covered the surrounding areas. Columns were later written by local residents. While the content might now mirror your latest text message, back then, an event only appeared in the newspaper, several days later.

But for all our technology, there has never been a substitute for person-to-person communication over the garden wall!

Barbara L. Benson grew up in Kent, England, and later moved to New York. She settled in Barrington and has walked with our history ever since she first arrived here in 1980.

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Local Happenings of the early 1920s, printed as they appeared in The Barrington Review.

Mrs. George W. Spunner and daughter, Justine, returned Sunday from a 10 days’ visit with Mrs. Spunner’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Lano, at Dixon.

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The woman’s auxiliary of the local Milk Producers association will give a bunco party at the Men’s club room on Thursday evening, January 13. The affair will commence at 8 o’clock and all members of the Milk Producers’ association and their families are cordially invited.

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Below zero weather continues to prevail… One farmer calling at the Review office Saturday said it was nineteen below at his place that morning.

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The Chippewa Camp Fire Girls, accompanied by Miss Ruth Hammond and eight boy friends enjoyed a dancing party at Lake Zurich golf club Monday night. The trip was made by bob-sleds.

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Edward Wolf and family of Lake street left today for California where they will spend the winter months. They will return to this village in the spring when Mr. Wolf will resume his cement solo manufacturing business.

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There is a new chiropractor in town. A nine and one-half pound son was born to Dr. and Mrs. F. W. Ackerman of Main street last Friday.