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A beautiful day for a walk? Try out one of our new, historic walking tours!

Join us on Thursday mornings for docent-led walking tours of the historic Triangle Park neighborhood; advertising magnate Albert Lasker's extraordinary estate; and Lake Forest's famous Market Square.

All tours begin at 10:30 am. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Group size is limited, so sign up early!

Lasker Estate Tour of Estate Lane

8/13 @ 10:30 am 

Historic Market Square Tour

8/20 @ 10:30 am

 Triangle Park Neighborhood Tour  

8/27 @ 10:30 am


Personal Protection: For your health and safety, History Center docent-led walking tours are limited to a maximum of eight attendees plus docent(s).  It is a requirement that attendees and docents wear face coverings over their nose and mouth at all times.  We ask that attendees practice safe social distancing of at least 6 feet while on the tour and bring their own hand sanitizer, if desired.  For added safety, none of our tours will be entering enclosed spaces.


#100YearsAgoToday Mellody Farm underwent a change in administration. In 1920 J. Ogden Armour’s estate (pictured) was one of the Lake Forest area’s largest (along with that of Louis Swift), and thus a significant local employer.

Thomas W. Head had served for five years as superintendent. He was 53 years old, married with three daughters, and had immigrated to the U.S. from England in 1895. Relocation rather than retirement was in his future; by 1930, he was superintending another estate in Middletown, New Jersey.

The new superintendent, Marc (or Marcel) Twinney, was also an immigrant. A young man, he had come in 1915 from Wales at about age 20, and had been employed at Mellody Farm as a gardener and foreman. He would continue to work for Mrs. Armour into the 1940s, even after her husband’s death and the sale of the estate.

He is pictured in 1947 with his wife Clare at a gathering of the 50-50 Club. Top: Melvin Lackie, Kathryn Lackie, Lee or Leland Watson, Herb Nicholaus; Bottom: Marc Twinney, Clare Twinney, Viola Watson, Ruth Nicholaus.


#100YearsAgoToday Big changes were in store for Lake Forest College in the coming year with a new (yet to be named) president. Under the direction of John Henry Huhnke, LFC grounds superintendent since 1917, the campus received a sprucing-up as well, with new plantings, rocks lining the edges of the roads, and building repairs. Blackstone and Harlan Halls (pictured) were built in 1907-08 by the architects Charles Frost and Alfred Granger. In addition to the repairs, the walls were also “calsomined” (whitewashed with a mixture of lime, water and whiting) by “a squad of students” who remained in town for the summer.



Last Week's Favorites:

Great minds think alike!

Christine Halverson: 🎼🎵 "I'm gettin' married in the mornin!" 🎵

Rodney B. Green LFHS Class of 1966: "I'm getting married in the morning".

Laura Jiggens: "Atchoo!" 

Stephanie Schneider: Achooo! I’m allergic to roses.

Duncan M. Thomson: "Come baacckkk, Sharon!!!"

Sara Dragemuller Mahler: "I’m taking my flowers and going home!"

Lynn Todd Paolillo: HALLELUJAH!

Jerry Schneider: "Sing it with me… 'These steps are alive, with the sound of music"

Special thanks to Christopher Bacon for confirming that this photo was taken in front of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Lake Forest and Susan Jane ONeill for adding that this was Joe O'Neill's wedding to Sidney! 

Caption this photo and make us chuckle!

Pictured: Lake Forest High School students pose with small wooden models of buildings; 1956

Email with your caption or join the fun on Facebook.



#WeddingWednesday James Simpson Jr. and Ella Snelling were married in January 15, 1931 at the Snelling winter home in Aiken, South Carolina. They are pictured on their honeymoon trip to Bermuda. Simpson's father, James Simpson Sr., was the chairman of the board of Marshall Field & Co.; Simpson Jr. would join the board later that year. In 1933, James Simpson Jr. was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois, serving one term.

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


#GolfersLife By fall 1895, Lake Forest golfers were seeking a site to establish a club with a full 18-hole course. They purchased 175 acres of land from architect Henry Ives Cobb, as well as his country house, the first estate built in Lake Forest along Green Bay Road in 1890.The Shingle-style summer home served Onwentsia members as their clubhouse for over 30 years. 

#GolfersLife Onwentsia from a distance, 1901. The various additions appended on to the Henry Ives Cobb summer home can be seen here, along with (at the far right) one of the two cottages added to the grounds in 1899. These had four apartments each and were used by members and guests both for weekend visits and more extended summer stays. (Image source: Library of Congress.)


Chanticleer Circle

It's August and the perfect time to think about barbecues and beach days. It's also National Make-a-Will Month (yes, it's a thing!)

If you've been thinking about making or updating your will, please take a look at the History Center's planned giving program. There's nothing morbid about planning for the future--it's actually a very positive thing to do. A legacy gift is a biographical statement about something you value. Giving at a time when all your personal needs have been satisfied is a way to leave a lasting connection with an institution you are passionate about, to enable endless opportunities for engaging with history, and to inspire patrons for generations to come.

To learn more about the Chanticleer Circle and the History Center's planned giving program please contact

Happy August!


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