Board of Directors
The Graham Historical House Museum is owned and operated by the City of Momence. The Graham Historical House Board is appointed by the Mayor and approved by the council to oversee all aspects of maintaining and operating the Graham Historical House and Museum.
Pictured L to R: Eileen Crooks, Bruce Crooks, Kendra Sandstrom, Nancy Porter, and Honorary Board member Abe Lincoln. Not pictured: Rick Byrne
Nancy Porter is a lifelong resident of the Momence and Grant Park area. She is married to Ron Detmar and she has one son, Tyler. Nancy has been employed at Van Drunen Farms for over 25 years and works as a packaging purchaser. She is a graduate of Grant Park High School, and attended The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online for Graphic Design.
Nancy's interests in Momence history include helping with the revitalization and preservation of the Graham Historic House Museum, as well as researching the history behind other historical homes in the area. She also enjoys designing and creating historical window displays in the downtown buildings of Momence. Nancy is currently the Marketing Chairman for the 2020 Heritage Day Committee. In the past, Nancy has been involved with Main Street Momence and was a former board member of the Momence Historical House in 2006.
Richard (Rick) Byrne
Richard (Rick) Byrne was born in Chicago shortly after the end of WWII and currently resides in Momence. After serving 4 years in the US Navy, he married the girl next door and had three children: 2 girls and a boy. He now also has two granddaughters. Rick studied business management at Benedictine University when it was known as Illinois Benedictine College (IBC). After retiring from Commonwealth Edison, Rick owned and operated 3 companies. He is a member of the board of directors of Good Shepherd Manor, a residential community in Momence, IL for developmentally disabled men. Rick’s involvement with Good Shepherd Manor has afforded him the opportunity to become familiar with Momence and its people. Momence has a fascinating history and the Graham House is an integral part of that history. He wants to help Momence return to its historical prominence, and the restoration of the Graham Historical House is a good start toward its rebirth.
Eileen Crooks grew up in Tinley Park, IL, then moved to Bourbonnais, where she married Bruce. They have a grown daughter, Heather. Eileen and Bruce bought their current home in Momence in 2005, after not only falling in love with their 1905 house, but with the community of Momence. She is retired after 20 years working in, owning, and operating a full-service photography studio, along with other assorted jobs over the years. She currently designs and maintains the Graham Historical House, Heritage Day, The Earl D. Schoeffner Farm Museum, and the Visit Momence Museums websites for the Community, and two commercial websites, Sensei Steve's Karate Center and Art's Landscaping. Eileen and Bruce were the Momence Chamber of Commerce Citizens of the Year in 2016. Eileen volunteered for Main Street Momence on the promotion committee for several years, and is currently a member of the Heritage Day 2020 Committee,
with duties including Publicity, Web Management, and Photography. She believes in the preservation of Momence history and the process of revitalization. The Graham Historic House is a great example of what can be accomplished when individuals, organizations, and local businesses come together for the good of the community.
Bruce grew up in Palos Heights, IL, married Eileen in 1978, and moved to Bourbonnais. After having worked as a photographer and darkroom technician for his father, he and Eileen bought the studio, and operated it for another 12 years. Looking for a new career, at age 42, Bruce enrolled at DeVry University, and completed his Bachelor's Degree in Computer Information Systems in 2003. He secured a temporary job at Governors State University, which became permanent in 2004, and has been working in the IT Department there ever since. He also pursued and achieved his Master's Degree in Computer Science in 2018, and is an adjunct professor as well. Bruce still loves photography, and has photographed many buildings, landscapes, and events in and around Momence throughout the years. He loves living in Momence and being a part of the preservation and renovation of the city and its buildings, and the Graham House is one of his favorites.
Kendra Sandstrom has been a resident of Momence since 2007. She is married to Matt Sandstrom and is the mother of four children. She has her degree in Social Sciences from Governors State University and her Master's in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. She is employed as the Adult Services Librarian at the Wilmington Public Library District. Kendra has a strong interest in helping the community preserve its rich and vibrant history and enjoys sharing her love for creating historic costumes.