This site is operated by the Palatine Historical Society Board. Our purpose is to increase public knowledge of Palatine and Palatine Township and encourage people to visit the Clayson House Museum.
Henry Godknecht came out here from Chicago in 1872. He had been a carpenter but an injury caused him to give up that job and take up making cigars instead. The house pictured above was his shop as well as his home. This wooden beauty stood on his porch to indicate that smoking materials were sold there. A large number of people were illiterate or spoke a different language so signs & carvings such as this were optical symbols. That had been going on in Europe for centuries so when tobacco was brought to Europe from the colonies they began using Native Americans as a tobacco store symbol since they had shown the colonists what to do with one of their staple crops. They really didn’t know what American natives looked like so their Indians were not very accurate. Our statues were more accurate and showed many varieties of tribal garb. When Henry Godknecht retired, the lady was taken off the porch. Years later she was given to the Palatine Historical Society by the Godknecht family along with some tobacconist’s tools and some photographs.
You’ll love this video on the Palatine, Lake Zurich & Wauconda Railroad’s Old Maud by the Dan and Jenny Trio! Thank you Dan and Jenny and…
The Society is preparing seven new historic plaques for downtown buildings!
Watch for them this summer!
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