Help us share and remember what's special about the holidays

in our communities and at home


Whether it's catching a glimpse of Santa on his fire truck, building a snow fort, or remembering the days when Chuck and Marilee Helander delighted residents with carriage rides* around Market Square--we're savoring and sharing our community's special traditions and celebrations from holidays past and present.

We'd love to hear from you! Please help us build THE HOLIDAY COLLECTION with your own photos and short videos, art and music, cards and letters highlighting the special traditions, celebrations and stories.

Submit your photos, videos or reminiscences to History Center Curator Laurie Stein at Please also include your permission to feature the item(s) in THE HOLIDAY COLLECTION virtual exhibit and in social media. Don't forget to include a brief description: names of those pictured, subject matter, and approximate date/year.

Click here to see what we've collected so far!

*We were thrilled to learn the following about the photo we posted of the horse and carriage: 

This is my father and his team of Paints, Mr. Spurs and Bandit. My brother Gerrit holding the team and I'm standing in front of my brother on the sidewalk. My Dad had the team in front of Helanders for many years during Christmas time. In the 1970s he would dress as Santa and give rides to the kids. My fathers name is Gerrit Jan Arnoldus de Koning. He came to the United States from Holland in 1959.

Special thanks to our Facebook friend, Marcus de Koning for sharing his story and sending us additional photos for the collection!


Free Webinar for Fans of the famous Marshall Field's Windows!

Behind the Scenes: Marshall Field's and Christmas

Thursday, December 17 at 7pm

Since many of you have enjoyed our Marshall Field's window display in Market Square this holiday season, we thought you'd also enjoy tuning in to this fun webinar! Amy Meadows, Marshall Field's former director of Windows & Marketing Events, will share 25 years of windows and more! This event is hosted by and is free, but you must register. Learn more here.



C. T. Gunn’s grocery advertised their upcoming selection of Christmas greens and trees, advising customers not to buy elsewhere “till you see them.” The store was also stocked up for the holiday demand for citrus fruit. C.T. Gunn was located in Market Square where Starbucks is today.



Last Week's Favorites:

Stephanie Schneider: OK, where did the dog go?

Blair Waite: Excuse me, I was just digging a hole.  How tall are you and what time will my daughter be home?

Erika Eddy: The original gold digger.

John Looby III: I'm going to build the hospital this week.

Jan Reynolds Peters: On my way to China.

Thomas Izzo: One more step and I'll brain you.

Todd M Smith: Hello Uncle David.

John Stevenson: Hoffa who?

Ames Ross Mathee: Which end is for digging?

Ned Skae: Who let the dogs out ?

Ginny Dangremond Houghtaling: Shall we bury him here? Or out by Rt 41?

Mary Dalton: Tonight on Dateline....

Dave Grinnell: Now just where did I bury my reefer?

June Owens Luzarraga: Happy Anniversary Honey!

Jeff Page: Let's dig a tunnel under the tracks at the train station. It will be safe & clean with nothing but fresh air.

Bill Reidy: I was given this gold plated shovel to dig with

Bruce Thomas: When David Graf says he digs Lake Bluff - believe it.

Anne Szymanski: They said there’d be snow ...


We need a dramatic caption for this theatrical photo! Give us your best play on words.

Laughter adds precious hours to our lives. Send your captions to Alex Schneider at or respond on Facebook!


Every little bit counts!

This holiday season please remember the History Center during your holiday shopping on Amazon. All you need to do is start your shopping at, choose History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff as your charity of choice and 0.5% of your eligible purchases will be donated to our Center. We're smiling just thinking about it!


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