The Eklund Exhibit
Who Was Carl Eklund?
Carl Eklund was born in 1868 near Eke and Steneby Dalaland, Sweden. He was the youngest of four children. He left home when he was 15 years old and walked over the mountains to Norway where he became an apprentice to a cabinetmaker. He worked for six years in Norway as an apprentice before returning to Sweden as a journeyman and eventually became a certified cabinetmaker.
In about 1890, Carl came to the United States to join his brother, Anders Magnus, in Chicago. After working a variety of jobs, Carl opened a cabinetmaking shop on the south side of Chicago. He married Esther Regina Peterson in 1903. Carl and Esther had two children, Carl Hilding (born in 1905) and
Sara Christina (also known as Sally, born in 1907). They moved to 375 Park Avenue in Glencoe in 1917.
Sally Eklund’s Memories
“I was born in Chicago in 1907 and moved to Glencoe with my family in 1917. My father was a furniture maker who had his showroom in the house at 375 Park Avenue. He used [377 Park Avenue] as his workroom. I graduated from Northwestern University in 1929 and then studied in Europe – first in Gothenburg, Sweden, in a shop which sold fine antiques and glassware, and then in Paris, at the Alliance Francaise.
The 1920s were a golden era for our business, serving many people with the background, taste, knowledge and money to indulge in fine custom work. … Frequently, I accompanied my father as he delivered completed orders. While he did fine cabinet making and wood refinishing only, we also did upholstering and later we branched out into draperies, wallpaper, carpets and interior design. At one time, there were eleven people, including a family, working in our shop. The shop had a certain personality, a certain smell (from wood shavings). It was just another world.”
To view the exhibit or obtain more information on the Eklund Family, visit the Glencoe Historical Society, 375 Park Avenue, Glencoe, IL. The museum is open every Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and on Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. or by appointment. It is best, however, to call ahead (847-835-0040) to make sure that we will be able to provide you with the best and most productive visit.