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Celebrating Our Centennial

April 6, 2022

On September 22, 1922, Mrs. Kate Raftery recorded the first official sale in her new store, the Geneva Gift Shop, which would later become known as The Little Traveler. Ever since, many a memory has been shared under our roof—shopping days with friends, family holiday traditions, and special days celebrated in the Atrium Café.

"100 Years of The Little Traveler" Exhibition

At the Geneva History Museum; 113 S. 3rd Street, Geneva, IL

This special exhibition runs through December 23. It’s a must-see for anyone who’s ever enjoyed a day out at The Little Traveler. Take a walk through the history of our store and learn about the special people who’ve made this place feel like home for so many throughout the years. The museum’s researchers have uncovered a treasure trove of photos and artifacts to bring this history to life.

$5 Admission, includes a $5 Little Traveler shopping coupon. Museum Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11am-4pm.


Putting Together Our Artistic History

COMING SOON. This beautiful collage, designed by our very own Mary Rath, is a 1000-piece puzzle that features vintage covers of Little Traveler Almanacks dating from 1936 to 1950. Each cover was an artistic piece of work on its own, and together, they’re stunning.

Many of the covers feature artwork by William Moulis, who was an artist-in-residence at The Little Traveler for many years. In 2018, he was inducted into the Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame. You can still see his original artwork in the store in places such as our Linen Room ceiling.

Almanack cover art is courtesy of the Geneva History Museum.

Then & Now

The Geneva History Museum has provided us with beautiful historic photos of The Little Traveler throughout the years. When you visit our store, look for these photos placed in the very rooms where they were originally taken. Can you guess which room this is? Hint: the fireplace is still here—and these days, you’ll usually find beautiful jewelry or hats adorning the mantle.

Tell Your Little Traveler Story

We always love hearing about fun times with family and friends at The Little Traveler. To commemorate our 100-year anniversary, we’re capturing those stories in a “100 Years of Little Traveler Memories” digital scrapbook. We’d love to include YOUR story. Email your special Little Traveler memory (told in approximately 100 words or less) to: [email protected]. Pictures are welcome. Click THIS LINK or the scrapbook cover image to read the wonderful stories already shared with us.

Architecture of The Little Traveler

Presentation & Walking Tour - Thursdays, May 12 & 19 at 5:00PM

How did The Little Traveler go from a stately Italianate home to the 36-Room sprawling boutique that it is today? Terry Emma, Director of the Geneva History Museum, will present the many additions and other changes to our building’s architecture throughout the years. After a presentation at St. Mark’s church (across the street from our store), Terry will take us on a guided walk through the Traveler.

$20. Online registration required. Limited tickets available. 100% of net proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Geneva History Museum.

Coming in July: "History of The Little Traveler"

Subscribe to our Weekly Emails to be alerted when July programs open for registration. 

A Retro Recipe Is Back

While researching The Little Traveler’s history for an article about our store’s 100th anniversary, intrepid Daily Herald reporter Susan Sarkauskas came across a Little Traveler recipe in an unexpected place—in a 1936 issue of a Lexington, KY newspaper! The recipe was for Black Bottom Pie, a sweet & fluffy pie featuring decadent chocolate filling. That recipe is now in Chef David’s hands, and we invite you into our Atrium Café to taste a slice of our history.

A Century of Generations

When you dine in our Atrium Café with 3 or more generations from your family, let your server know you’d like to take part in our “Century of Generations” promo. He’ll give each member of your party a $5 LittleTraveler shopping coupon—all we ask in exchange is that you take a picture of your multi-generations having fun at The Little Traveler and share it with us.

Find Our Founder

Throughout our 100th Anniversary year, we’re placing a framed photo of our founder, Kate Raftery, somewhere in the store. When you find it, you can win a prize. Watch our Facebook and Instagram feeds as well as our emails because we’ll be sharing fascinating founder facts that will give you a clue where to find the photo.


As we always have been, The Little Traveler is still all about making memories. So, we've set a special table for YOU! This is our new “Selfie Spot” at the entrance of our Atrium Café. Have a seat and snap a shot (or take a photo of yourself having fun anywhere in the store) & post your picture along with hashtag #MakingLTMemories on Instagram or Facebook. Each month, we’ll randomly select one winner of a $20 Little Traveler Gift Card. 

Download the Spring 2022 Almanack

Little Traveler
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