Golden age of old-time radio airs in Mundelein

The Mundelein Historical Commission is presenting “The Shadow,” the first in a series of old-time radio shows to be shown the last Saturday of every month through Dec. 14. at the Heritage Museum.
Courtesy of Mike Flynn

The Golden Age of Radio is making a comeback Saturday at the Heritage Museum in Mundelein.

For the past two years, the Mundelein Historical Commission has hosted old-time radio shows around Halloween. The popularity grew, and last year two Christmas-themed shows were added.

This year, shows selected by commission member Anne Walker from her extensive collection will “air” on the last Saturday of the month until the museum closes for the season on Dec. 14.

The first radio installment is “The Shadow,” a detective/mystery show that originally aired from 1930 to 1954.

Each 30-minute show is presented at 3 p.m. at the museum, 601 E. Noel Drive. The museum is open from 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Before television, radio was the dominant home entertainment medium, with families gathering to listen. That atmosphere is re-created, said Mike Flynn, historical commission chairman.

“ We have a really old radio,” he said. “We put that on the counter and put the blue tooth speaker behind it.”

Visitors sit quietly and listen to the show, complete with sound effects and original commercials that aired during the show.

“ There are all these little nuggets of history you kind of forget about,” he said of the show content.

“ We try to have a brief discussion afterward about the cultural references,” he added. “It’s nice to relive those eras.”

Upcoming are “The Phil Harris and Alice Faye Show,” a comedy, on April 27 and the Western “Gunsmoke” on May 25.

Visitors still have time to tour the museum, which features a new large-scale exhibit each year. This year, some finds of local artifact collector John Hynds, who has been searching the edges of Diamond Lake for 20 years, are on display.

Diamond Lake was once a popular resort area and is prominent in area history.

The exhibit includes bottles, jewelry, household items, fishing gear, industrial items from railroading and articles related to railroading, ice cutting and more. The items are accompanied by photos and stories of life on the lake.

“We tell the story of life on the lake the past 100 years,” Flynn said.

The Heritage Museum, 601 E. Noel Drive, in Mundelein
Courtesy of Mike Flynn

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