Wilmette at 150


Non-Fiction - Historical
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 11/21/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite

If you’re a history buff who enjoys touches of trivia, Wilmette at 150 by John Jacoby is for you. Written to celebrate the sesquicentennial of the village of Wilmette, Illinois by a resident who was also a village trustee, village president, citizen of the year, and contributing columnist to a weekly community newspaper, it provides a fascinating glimpse into the people, places, movements, and events that shaped Wilmette since its founding. This isn’t a traditional history book but an illustrated collection of short narratives on a wide array of topics. Grouped into nineteen chapters with titles such as The Shoreline, The Village Center, Local Government, Notable Women, and Local Tragedies, it also includes appendices about drownings, significant buildings, homicides, and famous people.

I enjoyed Wilmette at 150. John Jacoby gives us an engaging presentation that is both informative and entertaining. There were two things that I appreciated. One: he doesn’t avoid some of the shortcomings that society experienced in our history, particularly in the areas of civil rights, politics, and public safety. Two: the linkages between the village of Wilmette and the history of the region reminded me that no village is an island. I enjoyed the occasional change in voice in the articles. For example, the discussion of how Wilmette got its name made me chuckle yet brought home how much of our history remains uncertain. The narrative is tidily written and well-paced. The photographs and historical details are excellent. This is a book that does Wilmette proud.