HHS Women's Board Membership

The Hinsdale Historical Society Women's Board is dedicated to supporting the Hinsdale Historical Society's mission to bridge the past, present, and future. By engaging the community with its history and architecture, the Women's Board fosters an appreciation of Hinsdale history and architecture through its membership, events and programs.


Penny Bohnen


I was raised in Appleton, Wisconsin, living on the shores of the Fox River. I met my husband John at Lawrence University in Appleton. We married in college and upon graduation, moved to the Near North of Chicago to begin our careers. I went on to graduate school to get a degree in Elementary Education. We subsequently moved back out west, (John having grown up in Hinsdale) to Clarendon Hills where I taught second grade at the Walker Schoo. Several of my former students have become prominent Hinsdaleans.


We moved over to Hinsdale in 1972, buying a vintage farmhouse on the corner of 5th and Garfield. After doing an extensive renovation, we sold in 1975 and purchased our present home, the historic home built by Frank Butler (Paul's father) in 1898. Over the last 45+ years we have labored to restore this home to its former glory, as numerous owners prior resulted in a fair amount of wear and tear and neglect. Our labor of love has manifested itself in a correct period rendition of a classic Colonial Revival home. Situated on over an acre, the property consists of the House and the Carriage House, which still boasts the original stables on the main floor and a renovated "grooms quarters" on the second floor, which is a grandfathered rental property consisting of 1700+ sq ft of living space. A pool and regulation tennis court completes our property, all surrounded by brick walls and wrought iron fencing. We have gone to great pains to recreate an historic estate of old and are finally reaching the end of a life's project. 


Over the years, while raising our three daughters and chasing generations of Jack Russell terriers around the yard, I have found time to engage in many rewarding civic groups and causes. I am very passionate about Hinsdale and our heritage and have fought to keep what I feel is the real essence of our Village. We formed the Alliance for Hinsdale in 2004, gathering together a group of 1300 donors and workers to fight the development of THE GARFIELD in the midst of our historic downtown. Victorious, after a six year saga, we still celebrate that experience as a real expression of what a Village can do when they put their minds to it. We preserved our Historic Downtown and protected our property values for years going forward. 


I successfully led the campaign to raise the funds for the renovation of Immanuel Hall. In that effort, arm in arm with Sandy Williams, we established the Women's Board of the Historical Society, with Laurel Haarlow as our first President. We invented the Kitchen Walk concept to raise funds for the Historical Society and organized October Fests and Fourth of July picnics to promote awareness. Sandy Williams recruited Ruth Anderson to underwrite the grants that became the basis for the Roger and Ruth Anderson Architecture Center as well as provide funds to support a docent, moving forward; a gift that all but assured the ongoing presence of a vibrant Historical Society. 


Owning and operating County Line Properties, a real estate company, for the past 30 years, we continue to sell and represent some of the better real estate in the immediate Hinsdale area. Recently, we opened The County Line Home Design Center, adjacent to the Real Estate office, to showcase a multifaceted group of artisans that we have worked with over the many years. I have been part of many civic organizations, to wit: Infant Welfare, Hinsdale Assembly Board, Chairman of the Hinsdale Antique Show, Hinsdale Humane Society, The Garden Club of Hinsdale, Service Club of Chicago, Hinsdale Golf Club, Oak Brook Racquet Club, Pilates Body in Willowbrook and part of the Katherine Legge dog running crowd. In my spare time you can find me hanging out at various garden centers enjoying the spiritual fulfillment of gardening. I enjoy all the many people we have met in our life here in Hinsdale and continue to appreciate being able to be surrounded with friends and family. Hinsdale is a very special Village and with a little care and perspective, it can continue to thrive for years to come. 


Includes a family membership to the Hinsdale Historical Society PLUS .....

  • Special admission to the Kitchen Walk

  • Pre-sale tickets to Kitchen Walk Trolley Tour

  • Pre-sale tickets to the Women's Board Guest Speaker Luncheon

  • Invitations to monthly social activities, including evening cocktails, lunches, and special gatherings

The Women's Board primary fundraiser is the annual Hinsdale Cooks! Kitchen Walk, which offers guests a tour of Hinsdale's most fabulous kitchens.  Historical landmarks including the Hinsdale History Museum, Immanuel Hall, and the R.Harold Zook Home and Studio are protected and maintained, in large, by funds raised by this event.

Learn more about our ever popular spring Hinsdale Cooks! Kitchen Walk

Questions about membership and Women's Board activities, contact WomensBoard@HinsdaleHistory.org


The 2021 Hinsdale Cooks! Kitchen Walk is Back!

April 21     Kitchen Walk: Outdoor Edition Kickoff Meeting

May 7        Kitchen Walk: Luncheon

May 20      Scentimental Gardens: Evening Event

June 25     Kitchen Walk: Outdoor Edition


2021 Events

April 21           Kitchen Walk: Outdoor Edition Kickoff Meeting

                       Immanuel Hall 7 -9 pm

May 1 & 2       Battle of the Boards: Hinsdale Historical Society Jr Board
                       food drive for HCS

May 7             Kitchen Walk Luncheon 

May 8             Garden Study Club: Plant Sale
                       Hinsdale History Museum 9 - 2

May 20           Scentimental Gardens: Evening Event

June 15 - July 2

                       Exhibition at Immanuel Hall “The 2020 Project” featuring                             original art, writing and video by more than 200 D181students.                         Exact dates/times TBD. Collaboration with the D181                                         Foundation.

June 23          Good Old Fashion Family Fun
                       Hinsdale History Museum

June 25          Kitchen Walk: Outdoor Edition

July 7             Good Old Fashion Family Fun
                       Hinsdale History Museum

July 21           Good Old Fashion Family Fun
                       Hinsdale History Museum

August 11       Good Old Fashion Family Fun
                       Hinsdale History Museum

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