"A completely self-contained utopia, the estate even boasted an 18-hole, nationally recognized golf course enjoyed by presidents and movie stars." 

Don't miss this popular tour led by docent Katie Hale at 10:30 am tomorrow! Along with an overview of the history of Lasker’s Mill Road Farm, the tour will cover the story of Albert Lasker and the 13 David Adler-designed farm buildings all now private residences. Expect to walk two miles over a period of about 1.5-2 hours. The tour will take place light rain or shine.


We're thrilled to be celebrating Gene Hotchkiss as our 2020 Local Legend!

While President of Lake Forest College, Dr. Eugene Hotchkiss established a wonderful rapport and connection with his students. Hear Gene talk about his unique leadership style and the many positive changes he made on campus during his Local Legends interview with Larry Potash on September 24 at 7pm. Read all about the event and how you can help honor Gene in this special LOCAL LEGENDS edition of our e-newsletter.


This Week in History: Episode 16

Join the History Center's Alexandra Schneider for a look back at local history happenings from the week of August 23-29. This week's highlights: Jar of gold found in Deerfield, Marshall Field Jr. expedition explores Amazon, murder mystery near west Lake Forest. View Episode 16 here.


Don't be shy. We want to see your photos!

Whether you have been taking photos for years, or just discovered portrait mode on your mobile phone, we want to see how you express your sense of self, sense of place, and/or sense of community.

Contestants can enter one photo in each of three categories (i.e. three submissions max):

●    A photo that depicts a sense of self

●    A photo that depicts a sense of place

●    A photo that depicts a sense of community

The entry fee is $25 per photo. All funds raised go toward History Center exhibits, programs, and educational initiatives.

All participants will have their work displayed online in a virtual gallery and first place winners will have their work on temporary display at the museum and on permanent display in our digital collection.

Thank you to our talented panel of judges for offering their time and expertise in establishing our contest guidelines. Please find all the details here. 



#100YearsAgoToday Marjorie Dodd Letts (Mrs. F. C. Letts) was not to be delayed from her tee time at the Women’s Western Amateur golf tournament in Oak Park, despite a potential speeding violation.

Her razor-sharp focus was rewarded three days later, when she defeated another notable Lake Forest golf champion, Edith Cummings, in the final by two strokes. It was her third Western Amateur title - she had also won in 1916 and 1917.

Born in Cincinnati, Marjorie Dodd Letts was a talented athlete. Beyond her prowess on the links, she captured several tennis titles, both singles and doubles, in the Western Section of the United States Tennis Association in the aughts and 1910s.

She married Frederick Clayton Letts in 1916. (Fred Letts was the half-brother of Courtney Letts, one of the famous 'Big Four' debutantes, along with Ginevra King, Margaret Carry, and, of course, his wife's rival Edith Cummings.) 


#100YearsAgoToday The funeral of Corporal Joseph W. Steele took place at First Presbyterian Church. Steele had died nearly two years prior of “Broncho-Pnuemonia” (likely resulting from influenza) in a hospital in Le Mans, France, while serving with Company F, 329th Infantry, 83rd Division in World War I. He took ill the day the 329th was scheduled to leave for the front.

The McKinlock Post 264 American Legion took charge of his funeral, with members of Steele’s division who served with him in France serving as pall bearers.

By the end of 1918, about 45,000 U.S. soldiers had died of influenza and related pneumonia, nearly doubling the fatality rate (American combat deaths in the war totaled 53,402). The epidemic sickened more than a quarter of the Army - over 1 million men.



Last Week's Favorites:

Allison DeBiase: #Love West Park

Shaun McCaffrey Leviton: Wax paper

Holly Kobzina: Don’t burn yourself😆 That slide was always so hot in the sun! But never stopped us😄

Catherine McCole: I’ll only eat you when you get down here!

Sink or swim, we need a caption!  #captionthis

Email your captions to Alex at aschneider@lflbhistory.org




#WeddingWednesday On June 17, 1939, Margaret Sneddon married Chuck Larsen at First Presbyterian Church. According to the Lake Forester, the bride "wore a street-length dress of blue crepe and a large white picture hat. Her corsage was white rosebuds."

At the time, Margaret Sneddon was teaching second grade at Gorton School and Chuck Larsen was greenskeeper at Deerpath Golf Course. They had met at a Gorton School play that featured Chuck's nephew Jack Sweningsen.

Read more on the Sneddon-Larsen family here.

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 lstein@lflbhistory.org.


#GolfersLife By the mid-1920s, Onwentsia's original clubhouse had been added on to many times and was beginning to come apart at the seams. Difficulty in obtaining fire insurance finally convinced the club to replace it. New York architect Harrie T. Lindeberg, who had designed homes for several club members, built the new structure in 1928, topped by the impressive roof characteristic of his style.
(Pictured 1940s, inset c. 1930.)


#GolfersLife  In 1925, noted golf architect William Flynn designed a course for advertising magnate Albert Lasker’s new estate, Mill Road Farm. Its difficulty was legendary. Length ranged between 6,557 and 7,100 yards, with several killer par 4’s. At 76.32, its rating exceeded all area courses. Few golfers even approached par, which for a time was listed at 70. Over 110 bunkers dotted its greens and fairways, with trees encroaching on every hole. On the ninth, golfers faced an excruciating tee shot with a window through the woods of less than 20 yards. Its price tag for design and construction ran over $1 million. In 1939, National Golf Review ranked it twenty-third out of the top 100 courses in the world.

Here you can see an aerial view from 1939. At the top center of the photo, Estate Lane intersects with Everett Road.



509 East Deerpath I Lake Forest, IL 60045            847.234.5253 I info@lflbhistory.org I lflbhistory.org