I wrote the story of the homesteading voyage to what would become Naperville for our youngest citizens. The book was titled Ruth By Lake and Prairie after Joseph Naper's neice Ruth Murray and the story is told from her perspective.
The book ends at this very spot, the Naper Homestead, and I'm so thrilled to see this location preserved as a monument to the pioneering spirit.
Thank you, Mayor Pradel and the City Council of Naperville, for choosing to purchase and preserve the property.
Thanks also to Peggy Frank and the wonderful staff at the Naper Settlement Museum and Chris Birck and Dave Kelch and the Naperville Heritage Society Board for the research and development and hard work that turned this property into a strolling memory park for everyone to share.
Journalist, freelance writer, and Internet columnist Kate Gingold has been a Naperville resident since 1989. She's also a member of the Naperville Heritage Society and a Naper Settlement volunteer.
Inspired by the city's 175th anniversary celebration in 2006, she set on a research project to share with young readers about the original settlers and how they came to this area.
Ruth by Lake And Prairie is the product of that work, and it was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by the Illinois Historical Society for the way it "exemplifies the use of creativity and imagination within an accurate framework of history."
She has since written 3 other books: Ruth By Lake And Prairie Activity Book, Haunted By History, and Six Degrees of Abraham Lincoln.
Kate and her husband Don live within strolling distance of the original site of Joseph Naper's cabin overlooking the DuPage River.
You can read more about Kate at her website, www.KateGingold.com.