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Newspaper Clippings for
November, 1979

from the pages of the Warren-Newport Press 1 November 1979
Millburn Area Named National Historic Site
Talk around Millburn these days has been buzzing with the news that after an almost four year battle, the Historic Millburn Community Assn. has finally succeeded in having much of the unincorporated area placed on the National Register of Historic Sites.
Dorothy Fettinger, president of the historic society, has been working from the beginning to get the hamlet placed on the register.
As part of the community's bicentennial celebration in 1976, a historical committee was formed by the Millburn Congregational United Church of Christ to attempt to get the area or a portion of it on the national register.
After the bicentennial year was past, six members from the original church group decided to continue toward the goal to get national recognition for Millburn as a historic landmark.
The committee contacted Landmarks, a nonprofit organization that strives to keep noteworthy buildings in Chicago and the surrounding areas from being town down and aids in restoring them, which sent architects to Millburn.
The architects came out and said they liked what they saw and started to help the committee by writing letters and substantiating the area as historically important.
In March of 1978, the committee then contacted the Waukegan Historical Society, meeting Robert Wagner, a representative of the Illinois Dept. of Conservation. He came and took pictures of Millburn and pledged his help in putting Millburn on the national register.
Through his efforts, a public hearing was set up in DeKalb in June of that year during which it was decided that Millburn was noteworthy.
Recommendations and information were sent on to Washington, DC, where the entire issue remained tangled up in red-tape until it was recently nominated and accepted to the National Register of Historic Sites.
The historic district as accepted in Washington is made up of 17 structures with varying degrees of historical significance.
According to Mrs. Fettinger, most of the historic buildings are located along the intersection of Rte. 45 and Millburn Rd., the center of the unincorporated community.
"We know progress is coming. On the western edge of Millburn is Lindenhurst and on the eastern is Old Mill Creek. Right now, Lindenhurst is moving towards us," Mrs. Fettinger said.
When asked if she feels that Millburn will now become somewhat commercial because of its new official status, she said, "I think Millburn will stay quiet and old. The older people and even the younger people are much inclined to keep the area rural with the quiet atmosphere their grandparents and parents had.
"People have liked Millburn as it is and haven't really encouraged people to settle here from way back."
An added factor to preserving the rural flavor of the community has been the existence of "land barons" which have literally surrounded and cutoff much of the developments - both commercial and residential - which have altered other communities.
Since there are also a number of historically significant buildings in the surrounding area, Mrs. Fettinger was somewhat disappointed that these structures could not have been included in the Millburn Historical District - too much open space between the buildings and Millburn kept a much larger area from being named to the district.
Riding through the tiny community, which boasts mainly white-wash white homes of mid-1900 vintage, is a dream come true for all who wished they could have lived in a bygone and molasses-slow rural American town, which is exactly what Millburn looks like and aims to continue to be.
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