Each day adds another page in life’s history, and preserving that history is incumbent upon many, including the many volunteers who document local history. In the case of Riverside the duty goes to the Historical Commission, an appointed group of citizens. Prior to being a village commission, it was known as the Riverside Historical Society.

Brookfield has long had a historical society and maintains the historic train depot there. Now we can add the village of North Riverside to the list of towns preserving their history thanks to Dr. Queenella Miller and the North riverside Historical Society, which was founded last year

Incorporated in 1923, North Riverside covers just 1.54 square miles with a population somewhere around 6,600. It is known for its nice, neat homes and its straight streets as opposed to Riverside’s winding roads. Many of the homes were built by Walter Baltis, and include many raised ranches distinguished by their red brick exteriors.

Some of the homes have changed as people who needed more room, but wanted to stay in the town, put on additions. The sturdily built and well-designed Mater Christi rectory at the corner of 24th Street and 10th Avenue was built by Baltis and is a good example of a Baltis-built home. Another builder was Skrepa. Husband Joe has reminded me that the home where he was raised in North Riverside was built by Skrepa, as were many others.

You can’t talk about the history of North Riverside without mentioning the Melody Mill Ballroom, located on the site now home to the North Riverside Village Commons.

People dressed in their finest would come from all over the Chicago area to dance to the big bands there. On the Des Plaines Avenue stretch of land where the fire department is located was Fred Wilson’s Golf Range, or as we called it “Stop and Sock.”

And anyone over the age of 45 will remember the large tracts of open space that now are home to the Edward Don Company and the North Riverside Park Mall. The 1970s ushered in a commercial building boom in the village, changing it dramatically.

To find out more about North Riverside history or become involved in the village’s historical society, contact Dr. Miller, the village clerk, at 447-4211.