Colonel Palmer House

Colonel Palmer House Our mission is to preserve the home of Gustavus and Henrietta Palmer, provide a venue for local history interpretation and education, and serve as the home of the Crystal Lake Historical Society.
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The Crystal Lake Park District just posted an Operations Update for June 1, 2020
06/01/2020

The Crystal Lake Park District just posted an Operations Update for June 1, 2020

Crystal Lake Park District Operations Update June 1, 2020

Dear Residents,

Based on the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-38 issued on May 29, 2020 and the guidelines provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Crystal Lake Park District has made the following updates to operations as we enter Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois Plan.

The Racket Club Tennis facility will open for lessons and open play on June 8 following the guidelines provided by the DCEO.

The Lippold Park Family Golf Center driving range, practice area and miniature golf will open June 15 following the guidelines provided by the DCEO. While we planned on opening sooner than June 15, the conditions of the grounds is forcing a delay. Due to the record rain fall during the month of May, the turf areas at the Golf Center are too wet for mowing equipment. As a result, the grass is long and needs to be cut and cleaned up prior to the facility opening. Due to the high volume of peat in the ground in that area, this area takes longer than normal to dry out.

The Crystal Lake Park District’s newly developed Day Camp program is anticipated to begin July 6 following the DCEO, IDPH and American Camping Association (ACA) guidelines. Staff is currently being hired and will have to go through the onboarding process along with training that consists of the typical camp staff training along with the new training program that specifically addresses the new environment due to the COVID-19 situation. The Camp 2020 Digital Guide is tentatively scheduled to be released on June 3. Registration via our online registration portal in the 'Activity' field, select 'camp' to display camp options.

Main and West Beach remain closed pending direction from the IDPH. If beaches are able to open, consideration to open West Beach as well as Main Beach will be given provided we are able to properly and safely staff the beach.

Parks and trails remain open. We ask that users adhere to the Governor’s Executive Order and follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines when visiting these spaces. This includes practicing social distancing and not gathering in groups. Ignoring guidelines could result in increased restrictions.

Boat Rentals at Main Beach will be available beginning June 8. Information regarding the reservation process will be announced via our website and social media prior to June 8.

The Hound Town Dog Park at Lippold Park is anticipated to open on June 15.

The Skate Park and Batting Cages at Lippold Park will open June 3.

Doubles play on tennis and pickle ball courts is allowed, but singles is still recommended. For a list of parks with tennis courts and pickleball courts, visit our interactive map

All indoor programming other than what has been specifically called out in the Governor’s Executive Order is postponed until further notice.

The Nature Center remains closed but will be offering some outdoor programming opportunities in the near future.

The Administration Building remains closed but the drive through window is open from Mon-Fri, 8:30 am-noon for limited services that include boat launch gate keys, fisherman gate keys and drop off registration.

The Colonel Palmer House remains closed.

Playgrounds, Splash Pads and basketball courts are to remain closed per the Governor’s Executive Order.

Youth Sports are able to take place in some capacity based on the DCEO guidelines. Crystal Lake Park District Affiliate sports groups are putting together plans that will allow play soon.

As more information becomes available, updates will be provided.

Jason Herbster, CPRP
Executive Director

The summer 2020 digital activity guide is live and registration is open! Colonel Palmer House info can be found on page ...
05/22/2020

The summer 2020 digital activity guide is live and registration is open! Colonel Palmer House info can be found on page 13

Due to the evolving CDC guidelines surrounding summer camps, programs and events, we have made the decision to provide the summer guide in digital format so that updates can be made as the need arises.

https://view.publitas.com/clpd/programs/page/15

The Crystal Lake Park District just posted an Operations Update
05/21/2020

The Crystal Lake Park District just posted an Operations Update

Dear Residents,
With all the uncertainty, summer 2020 is going to be much different than previous summers in our community. The Restore Illinois Five Phase Plan issued by Governor Pritzker’s Office is the plan directing how we move forward based on science and data surrounding the fluid COVID-19 virus situation. We wanted to provide you with this brief update on summer at the Crystal Lake Park District.

Beaches and Boat Rental
•The opening of the beach at Main Beach is on hold until further notice
•West Beach will not open for the 2020 summer
•Public Beach operations are included in Phase 4: Revitalization which could occur in early July
•Main Beach Park will be open - The beach area and playground will remain closed per the Governor’s Executive Order and have been fenced off due to the start of the “swim season”
•Boat rentals will be available in the near future
•Boat launches will remain open for those with boat launch gate keys

Camps
The 'traditional' day camp programs that many children have enjoyed through the Crystal Lake Park District will not be offered this summer. Instead, the Crystal Lake Park District has been working to create an alternate camp program that can exist within the guidelines of Phase 3: Recovery.
•Under Phase 3, summer programs can open in the following manner:
1. Using approved IDPH safety guidelines
2 Groups of 10 or fewer
3. Social distancing guidelines in place
•Locations, staffing, activities and timelines are still being developed to determine if camps of this nature are possible.
•Due to preparations and staff training, the earliest start of the alternate camp program would be early July.

Programs and Facilities
Regular summer program offerings will be in our digital brochure that can be found at crystallakeparks.org beginning Fri, May 22. As we progress through the Phases, facilities such as The Racket Club, Nature Center, and Golf Learning Center will begin to open following IDPH guidelines.

Please know that we are closely monitoring the situation daily. We are working hard to be able to bring you the summer programs we all enjoy given the major changes to our operations due to COVID-19.

The value recreation provides a community is beneficial to one’s quality of life and even more so during this challenge. The Crystal Lake Park District’s ability to deliver services as usual is not possible. As the Crystal Lake Park District navigates through the COVID-19 situation, we greatly appreciate the community’s continued patience.

Be safe, be well, and please enjoy your parks, trails and services that are available!!

Jason Herbster, CPRP
Executive Director

We miss our volunteers here at the Colonel Palmer House while closed and "sheltering at home!"  Take a look at a few of ...
05/21/2020

We miss our volunteers here at the Colonel Palmer House while closed and "sheltering at home!" Take a look at a few of our fantastic volunteers through the years. We couldn't have provided these events and programs (many of them at no cost) without help from organizations like the
Crystal Lake Historical Society, McHenry County Historical Society, Crystal Lake Historic Preservation Committee, Crystal Lake Public Library, Civil War Roundtable, Garden Gate Club, and dozens of energetic individuals just like you. We look forward to being together again later this summer!

#TBTIt's been 20 years since the Crystal Lake Park District became the caretaker of the Colonel Palmer House.  Here are ...
05/14/2020

#TBT
It's been 20 years since the Crystal Lake Park District became the caretaker of the Colonel Palmer House. Here are a few "before" photos from 1999-2001. Peeling plaster, water damage, asbestos, and lead paint were just a few of the problems.

We are closed now during the Governor's Stay at Home Order. Like many of you, it's a good time to get out the old photo album and remember how far we've come!

Colonel Palmer House-Then and Now

Spring is here at the Colonel Palmer House, even if we are not!  This beautiful blossom is from one of our two Johnny Ap...
05/07/2020

Spring is here at the Colonel Palmer House, even if we are not! This beautiful blossom is from one of our two Johnny Appleseed Trees on the property.

On September 30, 2007, a certified Johnny Appleseed Rambo Apple Tree was planted at the Colonel Palmer House. It was donated by Countryside Flower Shop & Nursery, a neighbor of the Colonel Palmer House and supporter of the Crystal Lake Historical Society. The tree was obtained from Silver Creek Nurseries in Wisconsin, a certified grower and distributor of varieties offered in the Famous and Historic Tree Program. Johnny himself attended the tree planted celebration and would be pleased with the size and health of "his" tree.

May 1 Crystal Lake Park District Operations Update
05/01/2020

May 1 Crystal Lake Park District Operations Update

May 1, 2020 Crystal Lake Park District Operations Update

Greetings Crystal Lake Park District Residents,

I hope this note finds you and your family doing as well as can be expected during these challenging times. As you are aware, Governor Pritzker has extended the stay at home order through May 31, 2020. As a result, the Crystal Lake Park District will remain closed until further notice. All facilities including the Administration Building will be closed. All playgrounds, basketball courts and the Hound Town dog park will remain closed out of concern for social distancing. The CDC has stated that pets need to follow the same social distancing guidelines as everyone else due to reports of animals testing positive for COVID-19.

All outdoor public tennis courts in the parks and pickle ball courts will be open for SINGLES play only. The disc golf course at Lippold Park will also be open. All trails and open spaces along with fishing will remain open. Social distancing is to be practiced at all times and facial masks are to be worn per the Governor’s Executive Order if the six feet needed for proper social distancing cannot be achieved.

The Park Services Department will be working to complete essential functions such as grass cutting, park and facility inspections and building maintenance throughout the district. Due to the evolving CDC guidelines and summer camps, programs and events, we have made the decision to provide the summer guide in digital format so that updates can be made as the need arises. The guide will go live and registration will open on Friday, May 15, 2020. As more information develops in these areas, communication will promptly be sent out informing the community. In the meantime, visit our website at crystallakeparks.org to explore some fun activities and virtual offerings.

With the Governor’s Executive Order now allowing boating, boat gate launch keys will be on sale for limited hours at the Administration Building drive-through only. The hours for boat gate launch keys will be Monday-Friday, 8:30am-noon.
On behalf of the Park Board of Commissioners and Staff of the Crystal Lake Park District, thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through the details of the COVID-19 situation. It is times like this that everyone needs their parks and recreation more than ever and we are working hard to get to that point as soon as safely possible. Be safe!

Sincerely,
Jason Herbster, CPRP
Executive Director

Program cancellation and facility closure update from the Crystal Lake Park District
04/01/2020

Program cancellation and facility closure update from the Crystal Lake Park District

Stay Informed: Crystal Lake Park District Program Cancellations & Facility Closures

Governor Pritzker has extended the stay-at-home order to April 30, 2020. Please see below for how this extension impacts Crystal Lake Park District operations.

Closed Through April 30:
•All Crystal Lake Park District facilities including The Racket Club, Administrative Office, Barlina House Preschool, Grand Oaks, Colonel Palmer House, Nature Center and Lippold Park Family Golf Center are closed through April 30, 2020.
•All playgrounds.
•All outdoor courts (basketball, sand volleyball,, tennis, pickleball), athletic facilities and fields, and Lippold Park Disc Golf Couse, Lippold Park Hound Town and Lippold Park Skate Park.
•Opening day for Lippold Park Family Golf Center is tentatively rescheduled for May 9.

Program Cancellations:
All registered and free programs/special events scheduled to begin or take place between now and April 30 are canceled or postponed. Staff will reach out to participants and families directly with more information on program make-ups, rescheduling, or refunds. Information will be available early next week regarding the refund process and timeline.

Open:
Parks and trails remain open. We ask that users adhere to the Governor’s Executive Order and follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines when visiting these spaces. This includes practicing social distancing and not gathering in groups. Ignoring guidelines could result in increased restrictions.

Racket Club Memberships:
All Racket Club automatic billing payments are on hold as of April 1 and until the facility re-opens.

Boat Gate Key Cards:
Boat launch keys purchased for the 2019 season are still able to be used until further notice. Those that have purchased new keys for 2020 are now able to be used. Due to the boat launch not being an essential service under the Governor’s Executive Order and the Administrative Offices being closed under this Order, new boat launch keys will not be available for purchase until the Governor’s Executive Order is lifted.

Facility & Picnic Shelter Rentals:
Staff will reach out to you directly if you had a facility or picnic shelter rental scheduled between now and April 30 that has not already been canceled or rescheduled.

Barlina House Preschool & Extended Time:
All automatic billings and payments continue to be suspended until the District re-opens and the programs resume. If the programs are cancelled entirely at a later date, refunds will be processed accordingly at that time.

Contacting the Park District:
While many staff members are working remotely, we are still available to answer your questions! We will do our best to respond to you Monday-Friday between 8:30 am to 5 pm.
Park Police remain on duty. To report any park damage or if you need Park Police assistance, please call 815-455-2313 (Police non-emergency number)

Parks Department staff will continue to monitor properties and facilities with a reduced crew.

For general questions and inquiries, please use the website Contact Form,crystallakeparks.org/contact-us or email [email protected] and your email will be forwarded to the staff member in charge of that program or facility.

As always, your continued understanding, patience and support is valued and appreciated during this challenging time. Adherence to the guidelines and stay-at-home order is also appreciated. It is imperative that one’s personal enjoyment must take a back seat to public safety and the wellness of all.

Look at these great additions to our costume collection!
03/31/2020

Look at these great additions to our costume collection!

Thanks to the McHenry County Conservation District for the generous donation of Trail of History Costumes to the Colonel Palmer House. A few pioneer dresses are modeled here by Ashely Palazzo, Colonel Palmer House Supervisor.

Please note the latest update on the Crystal Lake Park District closure.
03/20/2020

Please note the latest update on the Crystal Lake Park District closure.

With the “stay at home “ order issued by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, all Crystal Lake Park District facilities are closed through Tuesday, April 7. During this time all Crystal Lake Park District parks will remain open but playgrounds are included in the executive order for closure. We ask that all park goers take extra precautions to stay healthy and safe while enjoying parks and open space areas.

Stay tuned to Crystal Lake Park District social media pages and website for updates plus tips and options to stay active and engaged during this trying time.
https://www.crystallakeparks.org/
https://www.facebook.com/CrystalLakeParkDistrict/
https://www.instagram.com/crystal_lake_park_district/
https://twitter.com/CLParkDistrict

We will continue to monitor the situation and follow Governor Pritzker’s orders in regards reopening Park District facilities. After that time, decisions regarding programs and facility rentals will be made on a week-to-week basis. For the latest information, please visit our web page at https://www.crystallakeparks.org/coronavirus

For questions relating to the Crystal Lake Park District and the Corona Virus, please contact Jason Herbster, Executive Director, [email protected], 815-459-0680, ext. 1203

Coronavirus update: March 17, 2020
03/17/2020

Coronavirus update: March 17, 2020

Crystal Lake Park District Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
-March 17, 2020-

The Crystal Lake Park District has been monitoring the Coronavirus situation closely, and the health and well-being of our residents and members is our top priority. Based on the Executive Order issued by Governor Pritzker, the following facilities have been added to our list of closures:

Effective today, March 17, 2020, all Crystal Lake Park District facilities including the Administration Building will be closed. The drive through at the Administration Building, 1 E. Crystal Lake Avenue, Crystal Lake will be open during normal business hours. The Wednesday evening hours have been suspended until March 25, 2020, and will be re-evaluated at that time.

Effective March 18, 2020 The Racket Club will be closed until further notice due to the provision in the Executive Order including fitness centers/health clubs.

All rentals will be cancelled until further notice. Lauren Thibodeau, Facility Rental Supervisor ([email protected]) will be in contact to discuss refund/reschedule options.

At this time, Crystal Lake Park District parks, walking trails and playgrounds are open. We ask that all park goers take extra precautions to stay healthy and safe while enjoying parks and open space areas.

Effective today through April 18 all large group special events are cancelled. Staff are working on contingency plans for rescheduling programs and activities where possible. Information on potential refunds or credits will be forthcoming.

Stay tuned to Crystal Lake Park District social media pages and website for tips and options to stay active and engaged during this trying time.
https://www.crystallakeparks.org/
https://www.facebook.com/CrystalLakeParkDistrict/
https://www.instagram.com/crystal_lake_park_district/
https://twitter.com/CLParkDistrict

We will continue to monitor the situation and a decision on reopening Park District facilities and programs will be made on a week-to-week basis. For the latest information, please visit our web page at https://www.crystallakeparks.org/coronavirus

For questions relating to the Crystal Lake Park District and the Corona Virus, please contact Jason Herbster, Executive Director, [email protected], 815-459-0680, ext. 1203
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Address

660 E. Terra Cotta Avenue
Crystal Lake, IL
60014

Opening Hours

Thursday 11:00 - 17:00
Friday 11:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(815) 477-5873

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A Part Of Crystal Lake History Since 1858

The Colonel Palmer House built in the year 1858 by a stone mason named, Andrew Jackson Simmons. The Palmers, Gustavus and Henrietta, were pioneers from Nunda, New York that traveled by covered wagon to Crystal Lake in 1842. As early pioneers to this area the Palmers purchased 80 acres of land from the Federal Government and would eventually acquire about 300 acres of property. Gustavus was a successful farmer and respected by his friends and neighbors, earning him the honorary title of “colonel”.

This 19th century Federal and Greek revival-style home is wonderfully preserved and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Colonel Palmer House has a unique partnership with the Crystal Lake Park District, the Crystal Lake Historical Society, and the City of Crystal Lake, all of these organizations work together to bring local Crystal Lake history to our community!

The Palmer House is open for tours Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and has various engaging events and programs throughout the year! If you would like to learn more about local Crystal Lake history, you can make an appointment with the Crystal Lake Historical Society to look through our archives!

History Happens Here: The Colonel Palmer House strives to present local history to a diverse range of visitors in an enjoyable and engaging manner.

Give our page a Like and stay updated on all the exciting new events and programs going on here at the Colonel Palmer House!

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