Showing Tonight at Gorton at 7pm!

Before the film begins, Carol Summerfield, History Center Executive Director, will share some brief cinematic history including Irene Castle's very interesting connections to our community. A limited number of tickets are available in order to observe ample social distancing inside the John and Nancy Hughes Theater.

ABOUT THE FILM:  In 1911, Vernon Castle, minor comic in a stage revue, pursues the leading lady to a New Jersey beach…where, instead, he meets stage-struck Irene Foote. A few misadventures later, they’re married; at Irene’s insistence, they abandon comedy to attempt a dancing career, which lands them in Paris. Agent Maggie Sutton hears them rehearse and starts them on their brilliant career as the world’s foremost ballroom dancers. But at the height of their fame, World War I begins…

For more information on the Castles stop by the History Center during our new open hours and view "Twenty in the 20s," an exhibit comparing and contrasting life in the 1920s and 2020s. 


This Week in History: Episode 12

Join the History Center's Alexandra Schneider for a look back at local history happenings from the week of July 26 - August 1. This week's highlights: Police make Lake Michigan rescue, First Presbyterian Church turns 75, Sylvia Shaw Judson has show at The Art Institute of Chicago. View Episode 12 here.



#100YearsAgoToday The society pages of the Chicago Tribune featured an article bemoaning the lack of “wayside inns” in the Chicago region, as compared with New England, and observed that in some places (for a select few, at least), private clubs were founded to fill the void.

As an example, the article highlights the Gagemere Club, a meeting place located on Gage’s Lake (in Grayslake), about 15 miles northwest of Lake Forest. The club, incorporated in 1909, was composed primarily of Lake Forest residents, in search of a nearby spot for more remote recreation. A 1910 article mentions that Gagemere had “a curious bylaw that a member must take his party to the club in his own machine”; this was “to prevent large parties from monopolizing the limited capacity of the building.”


#100YearsAgoToday The Lake Forest Presbyterian Missionary Society sought donations of vegetables and flowers from local residents on Thursdays through the summer. The Society arranged for the donations to be sent to the Bohemian Settlement House (also known as the Howell Neighborhood House), located at 1831 South Racine Avenue in Pilsen. The Settlement House was built and sponsored by the Women’s Presbyterial Society of Chicago, and supported the many Czech, Serbian and Croatian immigrants who lived in the Pilsen neighborhood.

C.T. Gunn’s grocery store, located in Market Square where Starbucks is today, housed the donations and arranged for shipment. Josephine Laflin and the women of the Presbyterian Missionary Society were very savvy to put the advertisement in the newspaper this week, directly following the North Shore Horticultural Society’s Flower and Vegetable Show at Gorton the previous weekend.



Last Week's Favorites:

Christine Halverson: Training in Cuba has really paid off!

John McDonald: I really like smoking  my stogie while going over these fingerprint cards. Especially knowing there will be no smoking when this PD/FD becomes Southgate, then Market House. 

S.P. Swire: Get twice your smoking pleasure with the Ronco Cigar Extender. But wait! There’s more! It also works as a penlight for reading the fine print on those pesky legal documents.

Qwen Pinckney: Wendel had two of everything in his office - two typewriters, two phones - but smoking two cigars proved to be impractical, so he went for the next best thing. 

Blair Waite: If COVID had happened 70 years ago, imagine how fun home offices would be ...the sound of the clacking typewriter, the smell of the cigar, the Zoom-less productivity!

Robert Reidel: Enjoy it Harlan
Sue Renz Fox: Damn paperwork!
Alice Moulton-Ely: It was a big baby.

Peg Allingham Ciccarelli: I'm really digging this Bob Marley joint.

Give us a great caption for this great picture!

Pictured: David O'Neill on steps at Church of the Holy Spirit

Email your captions to Alex at



#Wedding Wednesday Enjoy this popular post from the History Center's weekly Facebook campaign

Kay Kerrigan, whose family had lived in Lake Forest since the 1840s, married Robert R. Weston at the Church of St. Mary in 1954. Kay's gown was designed by local designer (and later state representative) Virginia Fiester (Frederick). She also designed the dresses and hats of the bridesmaids, pictured standing on the front steps of the Kerrigan home at 334 Granby. (Kay is at center, Virginia is standing in the doorway.)

If you have old wedding photos please send them our way!

We're looking for more photos for this ongoing feature. Please email your wedding photos (with a brief description) to Laurie Stein at


#CoolerByTheLake Walking along Lake Forest beach, 1991. 


A New Way to Give Back!

Have a Special Occasion Coming Up and Looking for a Unique Way to Celebrate?

You can now celebrate milestones like birthdays, anniversaries, etc. by hosting a fundraiser on Instagram or Facebook and supporting your favorite cause. With the launch of their new personal donation pages, Instagram (and Facebook) are making it super easy to raise money for local non-profits and the causes you care about. 

To create a personal fundraiser on Instagram:

  • Tap “Edit Profile;”
  • “Add Fundraiser;”
  • “Raise Money;”
  • Choose a photo;
  • Select a fundraiser category and add details;
  • Enter your information on Stripe, the payment processor; and,
  • Tap “Send.”

It's that easy! Hmmmn. Have a birthday coming up? The History Center would love to help you celebrate!

Lisa Frey is available to assist with setup if you're new to Instagram or Facebook. Please don't hesitate to contact her at


509 East Deerpath I Lake Forest, IL 60045            847.234.5253 I I