Staff Picks: What to Watch

Tucker Strang, LFC 2020 Graduate, on creating his film "The Roots of the Forest"

Over the course of five months, I used the History Center for my school project, creating a short documentary about my family history and its ties to the city of Lake Forest. Whether it was a week before, or a day before, I was able to contact Laurie Stein, Curator, about requests for information or photos on my family's history, and come in the next day with it organized at a designated carrel in the research center. The center was very resourceful in providing printed copies of documents from the archives and after I had to leave for the day, I could return to my carrel with the documents waiting right where I finished the day before. 

Join Tucker on his journey to unravel his family's history and discover his deep roots to the Durand family of early Lake Forest. His documentary is absolutely fascinating! Well done, Tucker. The History Center is so happy to have served as "home" for much of your research and to have played an essential role in preserving your "pirate's chest of buried family treasure!"

View Tucker's film here:


Staff Picks: What to Read

Scots of Chicago's North Shore Now Available: All Sales Benefit the History Center!

Scottish-born author, David Forlow, tells the stories of the Scots who helped found Lake Forest, Illinois and several towns up and down Chicago's famous North Shore. Hundreds of native-born Scots settled in this area and the Scottish influence is evident in town names like Glencoe, Bannockburn, Milburn, and Dundee. 

These Scots were industrious and left their mark in countless ways. The Keith family theater chain became RKO Studios with Scots-born J.J. Murdock as president. James Simpson was CEO of Marshall Field and Company and oversaw the building of the Merchandise Mart. After Simpson, a series of Scots ran Fields: John McKinlay, James McKinsey, and Hughston McBain. Scots partnered to form Carson Pirie & Scott. They also founded Douglas and Stuart Oats, which became Quaker Oats. Hugh Robertson was president of the Zenith Corporation, and the Armour family operated one of the largest meatpacking companies in the world. Only slightly smaller was Wilson Meats, which later spun off Wilson Sporting Goods. 

Forlow's book tells these stories and many others with more than 200 fascinating photographs and hundreds of personal anecdotes. The Scots of Chicago's North Shore may be purchased through the History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff website for $21.95 including shipping. All sales generously support the History Center.

Hear the author talk about his Scottish roots and inspiration for the book in this interview with History Center Executive Director, Carol Summerfield:

A Highwood resident addresses president, local violinist plays with Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lake Foresters sow seeds for victory.


Be sure to check out more great stories on our website at:



#100YearsAgoToday was a good day for ice cream. Monahan’s Chocolate Shop on Western Avenue advertised new prices: 70 cents for a quart of “brick cream,” prepackaged in the familiar carton and available in three flavors, or 75 cents for a quart of “bulk cream,” scooped and packed in-store, in a greater variety of flavors.

Click here to read more about Monahan’s Chocolate Shop



#MayDays: On May 29, 1938 Joan Ryerson of Lake Forest married George W. W. Brewster Jr. of Boston at the Church of the Holy Spirit.

A top student in prep school, Joan Ryerson had been slated to attend Bennington College at age 17 in 1933 but instead found herself in an "iron lung" at Passavant Hospital after contracting bulbar polio. After recovery, fortunately emerging with one leg weakened by only minor paralysis, she went on to study at the Sorbonne in France.


Last week's favorites:

Wendy Giangiorgi: "This will not end well . . ."

Jeenie Whatley: "Center field, fly ball."

Mernie O'Connell: "This will be our signature move at the Olympics!"

Tom Fahey: "When I said that it looked like Brian tossed him I was referring to Urlacher, not Boitano!

Christopher Douglas: "Now here comes their famous Triple Salchow and . . . nope."

Bill Grotts: "The day Margaret learned that a skirt may not be the best thing to wear on a skating date."

Let's see what silly subtitles you have for this week's #captionthis!

Email your captions to


Our Quest for Collecting Photos Continues!

A Candid Look at Covid-19 | Hooray for Memorial Day and the LF Beach Opening!

Thank you to the city workers who have worked nonstop to repair and prepare the Lake Forest beach for a Memorial Day weekend opening. Happy start of summer everyone. Enjoy and be safe!

Thank you for sharing your photos, videos and stories of life during the pandemic. Click here to see what we've collected so far! To participate please email

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