Boulder Hill resident Jim Williams snapped this photo of the dragster “Hyper Sonic” at the Oswego Drag Raceway in April 1968. The drag raceway is the subject of a new temporary exhibit at Oswego’s Little White School Museum now through August.
Each Sunday within a few years of its inception in 1954, the Oswego Drag Raceway was drawing nearly three times the village’s total population to the course on the Wally Smith farm on U.S. Route 34 west of Oswego.
The Little White School Museum, 72 Polk St. (Polk at Jackson) is bringing a bit of that Oswego drag racing history back to life with a new, seasonal exhibit, “Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! The Oswego Drag Raceway, 1954-1979.” The exhibit is open to visitors now through the end of August.
The title for the exhibit was inspired by commercials on popular “Top 40” AM radio stations including WLS and WCFL featuring an announcer shouting “Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!” before reporting which famed drag racers and dragsters would appear during that weekend’s races. At a time when Oswego’s population was around 1,200 residents, the drag raceway regularly drew more than 3,000 spectators each Sunday to see such well-known drivers as Arnie “The Farmer” Beswick and Art Arfons and such famed dragsters as Arfons’ jet-powered “Green Monster.”
The exhibit includes a variety of drag raceway memorabilia including trophies, drag racing magazines featuring the Oswego Drag Raceway, photos of dragsters and drag racers, and memorabilia from pit passes to tee shirts.
The exhibit was mounted by museum manager Tina Heidrich assisted by assistant museum director Bob Stekl.
“We’re always seeking more drag raceway memorabilia,” said museum director Roger Matile. “The drag raceway had a huge impact on the Oswegoland area for a quarter of a century, and we’re trying to keep a little of its history alive.”
Museum admission is free. Regular hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12 noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
The museum is a cooperative venture between the non-profit Oswegoland Heritage Association and the Oswegoland Park District.