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Joliet History Museum Lands $50,000 ExxonMobile Grant

The money being donated by the company's foundation will be used to archive the company's Joliet refinery documents and to create a permanent exhibit.

The Joliet Area Historical Museum will use a $50,000 ExxonMobil Foundation Grant to create an exhibit on Joliet's energy/manufacturing industries and to establish an archive of the company's local historical documents.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to tell the Joliet area history of energy/manufacturing," Dennis Cremin, a museum board member and chairman of museum exhibits, said in a press release issued through the city of Joliet.

"Within the area we have petroleum refineries, nuclear power, hydroelectric, and even wind turbines. This is a local story that has the possibility of capturing imaginations and inspiring people. We look forward to collaborating with partners from the energy/manufacturing industries for the eventual permanent exhibit.”

Initial archiving of ExxonMobil materials will begin in 2013 under the direction of Heather Bigeck, the museum's collections and exhibit manager.

“The existing high-quality exhibits within the museum have recreated stories of the I & M Canal, railroads that crisscrossed the area, steelmaking, and quarrying; all provided the materials from which northern Illinois was built," ExxonMobil Joliet Refinery Manager Rick Szalach said.

"Our hope is that the next chapter of the history of Joliet – the world-class manufacturers that chose this area for their facilities because of the highly skilled labor and the excellent infrastructure – will become part of the permanent history showcased at the museum.”

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