07/13/12 Resident and guests of Miller’s Senior Living Community listened intently as Jennifer Harness of Plymouth shared her power point presentation title “Remnants of the White City”.  Harness is a first grade teacher at Argos Community Schools.  In 2010 she applied for and received a Lilly Teacher Creativity Grant from The Lilly Endowment.  The grant was used to study the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

During the summer of 2010 Harness and her mother who acted as her co-pilot traveled to Chicago, Wisconsin, and Maine tracking down where some of the buildings from the fair ended up.  Harness points out that none of the building were meant to be permanent structures except for the Palace of Fine Arts which is now known as the Museum of Science and Industry.

Throughout her presentation Harness shared so many interesting tidbits of information.  For example Chicago’s nickname of “the windy city” does no have anything to do with the wind coming off the lake.  It comes from the “windy” politicians who talked and talked until their city of Chicago was chosen to host the World’s Fair.  Chicago also became known as the “white city” because of the white spray paint they produced and used to paint the buildings.  Harness then asked if anyone in the audience knew when Pabst Beer received its blue ribbon.  The correct answer would be at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

Also known as the World’s Columbian Exposition, the fair presented many new products to the public that we take for granted today.  Making their debut were Cracker Jacks, Quaker Oats, the zipper, brownies, commemorative coins, stamps, and picture postcards, Juicy Fruit Gum, Shredded Wheat and many more products.

At the conclusion of her program the audience members took time to browse through the original World’s Fair souvenirs Harness has collected through her travels and surfing the internet.  She also showed her many photographs from her travels while researching the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.  To contact Harness about her presentation you may call 574-936-7357.  To contact Miller’s about upcoming events call you may call 574-936-9801 and ask for Anna Corbett or Cindy Flagg.


Photo:  Jennifer Harness and Nancy Bannon next to part of Harness’s 1893 Chicago World’s Fair display.