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Ethnic Heritage Museum profiles Irish businesses

October 20, 2010

From press release

Sunday, Oct. 24, the Irish Gallery honors two more Irish businesses that join the Camera Craft Photography exhibit at the Ethnic Heritage Museum (EHM), 1129 S. Main St., Rockford. These new exhibits show the early beginnings of Geraghty and Fitzgerald Funeral Home.

An open house runs from 2-4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 24. The exhibits will be up through Nov. 28, with free-will offerings for the museum accepted.

At the open house, Joe Geraghty Jr. will share recollections from the family business, Geraghty Costumes, formerly on East State Street, where the City Hall addition is now situated. This was a place to rent tuxedos, costumes and wigs, especially for Halloween.

Another exhibit honors longtime Irish family business Fitzgerald Funeral Home. The business started in 1914 with a joint ownership of Frank Fitzgerald and William Murphy. Fitzgerald Funeral Home had the government contract to take care of any deaths at Rockford’s Camp Grant during World War I. The business passed along to Frank’s son and later grandson in 1973. Fitzgerald Funeral Home started on Rockford’s west side and now has two locations—one at Rockton and Riverside and the other on Mulford Road. Tom Fitzgerald will be at EHM Oct. 24 to discuss the Fitzgerald Funeral Home history.

Visit ethnicheritagemuseum.org, e-mail ehm1129@comcast.net or call (815) 962-7402 for more details.

From the Oct. 20-26, 2010 issue

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