Coming up . . .

The Bonds of War: Lake County Soldiers in the American Civil War

Thursday, March 24 at 7pm on Zoom

When curator Diana L. Dretske discovered that the five long-gone Union soldiers in a treasured photograph in the Bess Bower Dunn Museum were not fully identified, it compelled her into a project of recovery and reinterpretation. Through her intensive research, The Bonds of War was created. Dretske's new book centers on immigrants from the British Isles who wished to be citizens of a country at war with itself. Far removed from their native homelands, they found new promise in rural Illinois. These newcomers along the quiet Stateline Road in Lake County, with some even residing in today's Lake Forest-Lake Bluff regions, decided to join the fighting at its most dangerous hour, thus shifting the bonds of war into the bonds of their new national identity.

Diana L. Dretske, curator and Lake County historian at the Bess Bower Dunn Museum of Lake County, has explored the history of northeastern Illinois through her research, presentations, and blog for over thirty years. In 2012, the Illinois State Historical Society recognized her with a lifetime achievement award for outstanding contributions in promoting, preserving, and commemorating Illinois history.


The History of Women's Health and the NMLFH Women's Board

Thursday, April 7 at 7pm on Zoom

For the past 75 years, the Women’s Board of Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital has faithfully served the community and given their hearts to the hospital every step of the way. In celebration of their diamond anniversary, this presentation will consist of Women’s Board members and esteemed doctors and physicians as they discuss the history of women's health in Lake Forest and how the Women’s Board impacted wellness and medicine in Lake Forest over the decades.

Panelists include Women’s Auxiliary Board members Maddie Dugan and Debbie Saran, Dr. Jill Holden, Board-Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Dr. Michael D. Bauer, Chief of Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital Medical Staff and Board-Certified Pediatrician.

Our complimentary Zoom programming is made possible by the generous support of

History Center Board Member Maddie Dugan.

Map Stories Exhibit Receives IAM Award of Merit! 

The History Center is delighted to be the recipient of an Award of Merit from the Illinois Association of Museums for our recent exhibit, "Map Stories: The Hidden History in the Maps of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff." An Award of Merit award recognizes a project that makes a significant contribution in its category and meets professional standards.

A digital version of Map Stories is available for viewing on our website and via the link below. Congratulations to our Deputy Director Laurie Stein and Executive Director Carol Summerfield for their hard work in curating and designing this interesting exhibit!


#50YearsAgoToday the Motion Picture Association of America's film rating guide "for parents and their children" included G for "general audience" (all ages admitted); PG for "some parental guidance suggested" (some material might not be appropriate for pre-teenagers); R for "restricted" (under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian); and X for "no one under 17 admitted" (age limit may vary in certain areas). Movies such as The Devils and Women in Love received X ratings while Sunday Blood Sunday and Straw Dogs were rated R. 

we're fifty & flourishing! 

It's our 50th Anniversary! Join Us for an Exciting Year of Programs and Events

Special Membership Offer: Renew your membership at the GOLD level ($250) or higher and receive two golden tickets to an exclusive, Preview Party for our 50th Anniversary Exhibit in May!

Your membership is rolling and valid for twelve months from the time you sign up. Click the button below to learn more about the benefits of a History Center membership.


History Center Lake Forest-Lake Bluff
509 East Deerpath  | Lake Forest, Illinois 60045
(847)234-5253 |

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