When former Riverside Anne Osberg and her husband Clyde “Moose” Moravec came in town from Beverly Hills, Calif., for Osberg’s reunion at Riverside-Brookfield High School it also turned into a nostalgia trip.

I had given Osberg a copy of the recently released Arcadia book on Riverside and marked the page with the picture of her father, Ted, and grandfather, Charles, in front of their store Riverside Electric, now the site of the Riverside Bank.

Our conversation led to her relating the following history of the Osberg family as it relates to Riverside.

Osberg’s grandfather, Christian Hugo Waldemar Osberg (Charles), was born in 1866 in Goteborg, Sweden. Leaving home at 14, he became a sailor on the Orient Line arriving to work on the Panama Canal. When stricken with malaria, he was sent back to sea but he persevered and returned to sea at 17 and jumped ship.

Settling in New York, Charles ended up in Schenectady, working for the Thomson-Houston Electric Company. Through his work, he met Thomas Edison and Samuel Insull.

Coming to Chicago in the World’s Fair year of 1893, Charles wired the homes of Potter Palmer, Marshall Field and the Swifts. Riverside Electric at 17 E. Burlington St. opened in 1895, and the family moved to Riverside in 1904, where they lived at 79 Groveland Ave. He continued to wire area homes and operate four electric stores.

An anticipated generating plant on Forest Avenue was never completed and then came the Great Depression. Charles Osberg also owned buildings at 23-27 E. Burlington St., which were built in 1925. The buildings housed the Public Service Company, a clothing store, a tea room and a florist with apartments upstairs.

Ted Osberg, the youngest of the 10 Osberg children, worked with his father at the electric store, and in 1940 purchased it from his father. The store was where locals could pay their utility bills, get their light bills and buy appliances. He would operate the store until 1974. After that, it remained an electric store for a while and then became a gift. Now it is Riverside Bank.

Ted and Mable Osberg raised their two children on Fairbank Road and “grandma” remained in the Groveland house until her death. Ted and Mabel moved from Riverside and have passed away, but the Osberg history continues. Anne Osberg related as soon as she returned to California she began to dig up the family history and told me, “If you learn anything else, I’d love to hear it.”

It was truly a “homecoming” and though you can take the girl out of Riverside, you can’t take the Riverside out of the girl. Yes, Anne, you can come home again.