History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff

History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff The History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff connects people and inspires curiosity by exhibiting, preserving, sharing and celebrating history.

We are the Historical Society for the Lake Forest and Lake Bluff communities in Illinois. Our organization was founded in 1972, and we have been at our current location since 1998. We create exhibits, sponsor public programs, facilitate research, and collect and preserve items that tell our community's story.

It is so beautiful and green today! We would like to thank Lake Forest's Edith Foster Farwell for her work in making the...
06/26/2019

It is so beautiful and green today!

We would like to thank Lake Forest's Edith Foster Farwell for her work in making the Chicago area a bit greener!

Edith began growing her garden after realizing the outrageous price of buying from others. From there, her herb garden became very well known. After using her herbs for medicinal and culinary purposes, she began writing and lecturing about the knowledge she had cultivated.

Later, she would be an inspiring figure for the creation of the Chicago Botanical Gardens and produce her own works on her herbs: Have Fun With Herbs, My Garden Gate is on the Latch, and The Fairy’s Garden.

Stop by to cool off and learn more about Edith & other change makers from Lake Forest - Lake Bluff!

#WisdomWednesday!Did you know that Walker Sales was the second police officer in Lake Forest? He worked with the Lake Fo...
06/19/2019

#WisdomWednesday!

Did you know that Walker Sales was the second police officer in Lake Forest?
He worked with the Lake Forest Police Department from 1900 to 1919. Before that, he was a coachman for the Rumsey family and moved with them from Kentucky to 404 E Deerpath, Lake Forest. Captain Israel Rumsey became a Captain serving for the Union in the Civil War.

Do you know who the first police officer was? What about his mode of transportation?

Katie Hale, long-time board member and volunteer extraordinaire, was honored this week by History Center staff, board an...
06/15/2019

Katie Hale, long-time board member and volunteer extraordinaire, was honored this week by History Center staff, board and friends. In recognition of her countless contributions to the organization, the gallery has been named in her honor! Although "retired" after thirteen years of service, Katie plans to stay involved while pursuing her love of painting. We love you, Katie!

Bears fans got a real kick out of hearing Don Pierson and Dan Pompei share stories of working the Bears Beat — from the ...
06/14/2019

Bears fans got a real kick out of hearing Don Pierson and Dan Pompei share stories of working the Bears Beat — from the late 60s to the present. Former Bears tight end, Emery Moorehead, joined in the conversation as veteran tribune sports columnist, Mike Conklin, asked the hard questions. Guests had the privilege of viewing the 1985 Super Bowl trophy, ring, and necklace on special loan from Lisa Dooley Trace. Pierson and Pompei signed copies of their Centennial Bears Scrapbook, and guests enjoyed our new exhibit: Home Field Advantage in the Kathrine Bell Hale Gallery.

Thank you to all who joined! If you did not get a chance to view the exhibit, it will be open all summer. Come share your Bears stories!

Woodlands and Barat Alumni Gather to Remember the Religious of the Sacred Heart at Student Presentation
06/11/2019

Woodlands and Barat Alumni Gather to Remember the Religious of the Sacred Heart at Student Presentation

Woodlands and Barat Alumni Gather to Remember the Religious of the Sacred Heart at Student Presentation

LFHS Graduation 45 years ago--almost to the day! Will any of the young graduates pictured in these photos be sitting on ...
06/07/2019

LFHS Graduation 45 years ago--almost to the day! Will any of the young graduates pictured in these photos be sitting on the lawn watching their child graduate tomorrow?! Let us know--send pics! And, CONGRATULATIONS to all!

WELCOME to our summer interns Clare MacCarthy and Lily Walters! They'll be learning the ins and outs of museum operation...
06/05/2019

WELCOME to our summer interns Clare MacCarthy and Lily Walters! They'll be learning the ins and outs of museum operations and visitor services while they work with staff over the next eight weeks.

Hey Bears Fans! On Thursday, June 13th at 7pm Don Pierson and Dan Pompei (Hall-of-Fame sports writers and co-authors of ...
06/03/2019

Hey Bears Fans! On Thursday, June 13th at 7pm Don Pierson and Dan Pompei (Hall-of-Fame sports writers and co-authors of The Chicago Bears Centennial Scrapbook) will be here to talk about their new book and sign copies. Our new exhibit, "Home Field Advantage: The Chicago Bears in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff" will open in the gallery. Come celebrate the 100th anniversary of our hometown team and join us for an exciting opening night! Register at www.lflbhistory.org

The History Center was the first stop for the Global Odyssey class from Woodlands Academy today! This group of 14 studen...
05/28/2019

The History Center was the first stop for the Global Odyssey class from Woodlands Academy today! This group of 14 students will spend the next four days researching and writing about several of the Religious of the Sacred Heart who are interred in a little cemetery behind their school. History Center Curator, Laurie Stein, gave them tips on how to go about their research and the students got a feel for the Hunter Family Education Hall where they will present their research on Tuesday, June 11 at 10:30 am. This presentation is free and open to the public. Register at www.lflbhistory.org

The History Center was the first stop for the Global Odyssey class from Woodlands Academy today! This group of 14 students will spend the next four days researching and writing about several of the Religious of the Sacred Heart who are interred in a little cemetery behind their school. History Center Curator, Laurie Stein, gave them tips on how to go about their research and the students got a feel for the Hunter Family Education Hall where they will present their research on Tuesday, June 11 at 10:30 am. This presentation is free and open to the public. Register at www.lflbhistory.org

Colonel Elmer Ephraim Ellsworth: Close Friend to President LincolnIn the fall of 1859, Ellsworth came to Lake Forest Aca...
05/27/2019

Colonel Elmer Ephraim Ellsworth: Close Friend to President Lincoln

In the fall of 1859, Ellsworth came to Lake Forest Academy to conduct drilling exercises. Each Saturday night, the students would march on fields adjacent to campus (east of the present-day site of Lois Durand Hall). The young men, who called themselves the Ellsworth Guides, were equipped with Springfield Army muskets. They performed both long, rugged hikes through the countryside as well as double-quick marching parades through town, entertaining and thrilling the residents. Ellsworth died the day after Virginia seceded from the Union, in May 1861; his company crossed the Potomac from Washington D.C. to occupy the Alexandria side. Ellsworth was shot while taking down a Confederate flag from the roof of an inn, an irritant visible to President Lincoln from the White House.

Posthumously, Ellsworth became a cult hero for the Union, the subject of songs, poems, and sermons. "Remember Ellsworth" was a Union rallying cry. He had also worked in Lincoln’s law office and was a close friend of the President. His body lay in state at the White House after his death.

Visit the History Center to learn more about Colonel Ellsworth in our permanent exhibit!

Thumbs up to the LFHS World Civilization Students and their awesome teacher, Kelly McKee! Thanks so much for making the ...
05/23/2019

Thumbs up to the LFHS World Civilization Students and their awesome teacher, Kelly McKee! Thanks so much for making the History Center your field trip destination. Hope to see you again next year!

05/22/2019

Field Trip! And to the History Center, no less. Kelly McKee's World Civ classes at LFHS are spending the next two days piecing together the history of local landmarks (from City Hall, and the Schweppe estate--to the train stations and Shoreacres club, etc.) and analyzing their impact on the community. Curator Laurie Stein is assisting with research, questions and fact checking!. So fun to see our History Center bustling with the next generation of LFLB history lovers.

We were delighted to honor the Preston Family and Griffith, Grant and Lackie last night for their more than one hundred ...
05/17/2019

We were delighted to honor the Preston Family and Griffith, Grant and Lackie last night for their more than one hundred years in the community!

We were delighted to honor the Preston Family and Griffith, Grant and Lackie last night for their more than one hundred years in the community!

What JOY to have artwork from the talented students of LFCDS hanging in our gallery in the month of May! Grandparents, p...
05/04/2019

What JOY to have artwork from the talented students of LFCDS hanging in our gallery in the month of May! Grandparents, parents and students viewed the exhibition at an Opening Reception on Friday. Now it's your turn! We're open weekends 1-4 and weekdays 10-4. (Remember we're closed on Mondays).

History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff's cover photo
05/03/2019

History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff's cover photo

History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff's cover photo
05/03/2019

History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff's cover photo

05/03/2019

Kenyatta Berry, interviewed by our E.D. Carol Summerfield, delighted the audience last night with stories of her own genealogy journey and great advice for how to go about your own. Kenyatta's mom, Denise, was in the front row soaking up every moment of finally being able to see her daughter "doing her thing" in person rather than on tv! Huge thanks to Kenyatta for sharing her knowledge and fantastic family history toolkit with us and kudos to Carol for asking such great questions! Stay tuned for the next program in our Genealogy Series: How to Write Your Family History on July 18!

Celebrating National Telephone Day with a classic ad from our archives! I remember my parents telling stories about spea...
04/25/2019

Celebrating National Telephone Day with a classic ad from our archives! I remember my parents telling stories about speaking Dutch on their party line so no one could eavesdrop. Not very neighborly! Do you have a story?

04/19/2019

History lovers, budding broadcast journalists, and Larry Potash fans enjoyed a fabulous evening filled with backstories and advice for keeping your storytelling full of tension, release and surprises. Thank you to Larry and his family for bringing this wonderful program to the History Center. We don't know how you have the time to balance both roles and hope we didn't keep you out too late!!

Our E.D. Carol Summerfield loved having the opportunity to visit with students from the Museum Studies class at Lake For...
04/18/2019

Our E.D. Carol Summerfield loved having the opportunity to visit with students from the Museum Studies class at Lake Forest College today. Thanks so much for dropping by! And--for all of you who are doing an Easter staycation--we'll be OPEN SUNDAY. Bring your family and friends--the Easter Bunny may have left a few eggs to find!

Meet Kathleen Van Ella who graciously welcomes visitors to the History Center when she's not busy running her own busine...
04/12/2019

Meet Kathleen Van Ella who graciously welcomes visitors to the History Center when she's not busy running her own business. In Kathleen's words, "I've liked my 45 years in Lake Forest, and every time I come to the History Center, I feel I am celebrating!"
Kathleen, today we celebrate YOU and the many other volunteers who help brighten our days at 509 East Deerpath! THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH! #nationalvolunteerweek

Celebrating our wonderful volunteers this week (and every week)! Meet Dede Banks, one of our Visitor Services volunteers...
04/11/2019

Celebrating our wonderful volunteers this week (and every week)! Meet Dede Banks, one of our Visitor Services volunteers. We love her positive attitude and helpful ways. In Dede's words, here's what she enjoys about helping visitors explore our permanent exhibit, "I find the history and development of the golf clubs of Lake Forest to be an intriguing section. There is such a legacy of gardens and recreation in the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff area!" Thank you Dede for all you do and for brightening up our Thursdays!

Come see the Lincoln Life Mask now displayed with our temporary Lincoln exhibit! Special thanks to Board Member, Kate Mu...
04/05/2019

Come see the Lincoln Life Mask now displayed with our temporary Lincoln exhibit! Special thanks to Board Member, Kate Mursau who brought us this unique donation.

Mad for Basketball? So were these divas back in 1896! Stop in and read more about the Ferry Hall women's basketball team...
03/29/2019

Mad for Basketball? So were these divas back in 1896! Stop in and read more about the Ferry Hall women's basketball team in our permanent exhibit. #womeninhistory#marchmadness#womensbasketball

It’s Official! The History Center is running on all cylinders again with Carol Summerfield hired as our new Executive Di...
03/28/2019

It’s Official! The History Center is running on all cylinders again with Carol Summerfield hired as our new Executive Director and Laurie Stein back from maternity leave. We are ready to launch an exciting roster of summer programs, a new initiative for recording oral histories, two exhibits and beautiful permanent outdoor signage. We welcome you to come visit us in our cheery, new office space inside the museum. Happy Spring everybody--change is definitely in the air!

No fooling! Memberships expire on April 1st. Check out our new membership benefits and save big bucks on our fabulous pr...
03/26/2019

No fooling! Memberships expire on April 1st. Check out our new membership benefits and save big bucks on our fabulous programs by joining today. Wouldn't a History Center membership make a wonderful Mother's Day or Father's Day gift?!

Sign up for our Genealogy Series that continues this Spring: DNA, Behind the Scenes with Dr. Daniel Hubbard on April 4 @...
03/22/2019

Sign up for our Genealogy Series that continues this Spring: DNA, Behind the Scenes with Dr. Daniel Hubbard on April 4 @ 7pm and Conversations with Kenyatta Berry, co-host of the Genealogy Roadshow on Thursday, May 2 at 7pm! www.lflbhistory.org

03/19/2019

The Lincolns were in Lake Forest and the wonderful crowd who gathered--from 6 years old to almost 90--was clearly moved by Abe and Mary's intimate performance. Thank you to the very talented Michael Krebs and Debra Miller for taking us back in time and helping us see another side of the Lincoln's extraordinary life.

Feeling the urge to get outside and play? Come pass the time at the History Center. Our permanent exhibit features the h...
03/14/2019

Feeling the urge to get outside and play? Come pass the time at the History Center. Our permanent exhibit features the history of golf in our community with wonderful photos and stories like these!
#women'shistorymonth,#golf

Photos from History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff's post
03/07/2019

Photos from History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff's post

03/06/2019

Our Lincoln lecture and exhibit opened to an enthusiastic crowd! Can you guess which Lincoln lover donned his favorite socks for the occasion?
"A Man of His Time, A Man for All Times" runs through May 15!

02/26/2019

The thrill of victory and... the agony of defeat! A packed house enjoyed a battle of historic proportions last Friday at the History Center. Congrats to the Hale, Hunting, Connell and Carroll table for their big win! Our Trivia Night is so popular we're thinking about doing it again this fall. Any takers? #historytrivia

Found in the Collection:  The Souvenir Book for the 66th Anniversary of Lake Forest's First Baptist Church at 673 Oakwoo...
02/19/2019

Found in the Collection:
The Souvenir Book for the 66th Anniversary of Lake Forest's First Baptist Church at 673 Oakwood Avenue celebrated May 1-8, 1966. The following copy is taken directly from the book's history section: "Prior to 1900, the Negroes in Lake Forest did not have a Baptist Church home. The Rev. Harry Knight, of Chicago, held services from home to home. Some of the early Christian pioneers who attended were: Hanna Reid, Joe Drummond, Moses Stern, W.L. Bost and Mrs. S. Dent. Eventually they rented Haely’s Hall, which stood on the corner of Bank Lane and Westminster Avenue. Others joined the church and worked earnestly to secure a permanent church home. In May, 1903, a former lodge hall, located at 673 Oakwood Avenue, was purchased. This site proved satisfactory and remains as our present location." #blackhistorymonth

The Biggest Flirts and Cutest Smiles! Lake Forest High School yearbook photos from 1976 and 1977  #throwbackthursday
02/14/2019

The Biggest Flirts and Cutest Smiles!
Lake Forest High School yearbook photos from 1976 and 1977 #throwbackthursday

All About Abe!  Get ready to celebrate Lincoln at the History Center in March with an exhibit, lecture, and live perform...
02/12/2019

All About Abe! Get ready to celebrate Lincoln at the History Center in March with an exhibit, lecture, and live performance!
Visit our website for details. www.lflbhistory.org

Watch our friend Gail Lukasik on WGN-TV this Tuesday morning at 9:30am!
02/11/2019

Watch our friend Gail Lukasik on WGN-TV this Tuesday morning at 9:30am!

Found in the Collection Friday:Remembering Samuel Dent, an honored Civil War veteran and respected Lake Forest businessm...
02/08/2019

Found in the Collection Friday:
Remembering Samuel Dent, an honored Civil War veteran and respected Lake Forest businessman who was buried in 1890 on a shady slope in the oldest part of Lake Forest cemetery. A livery driver, Dent is pictured here at the railroad station with his freight wagon.

01/29/2019

We will be closed on January 30 while the weather is busy making history!

Looking back in our collection to fifty years ago today and what did we find?  A freezing lake and a fabulous snowman!  ...
01/25/2019

Looking back in our collection to fifty years ago today and what did we find? A freezing lake and a fabulous snowman! If you have cabin fever, come visit our museum. We're open Tu-Fri 10-4 and Sat/Sun 1-4 #wewinterinlflb

There's still time to register for Part I of our Genealogy Series with award-winning author Gail Lukasik updating us on ...
01/22/2019

There's still time to register for Part I of our Genealogy Series with award-winning author Gail Lukasik updating us on her extraordinary journey! Deadline Hollywood announced last week that Gail's book, White Like Her, will be made into a television series. Join us tomorrow evening, Jan 23 @ 7pm in the Hunter Family Education Hall. Come curious and leave inspired! Register at lflbhistory.org

Address

509 E. Deerpath
Lake Forest, IL
60045

The Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society is located adjacent to downtown Lake Forest, east of Market Square and a few blocks from the Lake Forest Metra station.

General information

The History Center has a Permanent Exhibit, Gallery, Education Hall and Research Room. The Center is accessible to visitors in wheelchairs. Admission is free.

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Saturday 13:00 - 16:00
Sunday 13:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(847) 234-5253

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