Event: Good Neighbors: Making a Difference in Lake County, 9th Annual Lake County History Symposium


Good Neighbors: Making a Difference in Lake County, 9th Annual Lake County History Symposium


The Lake County History Symposium is an annual gathering of people interested in the history of Lake County, Illinois. Professional, amateur and student historians are invited to submit proposals for presentations at the Symposium. The Symposium will take place virtually on Zoom, Thursday, January 4 and January 18, 2024 from 6:30–8:30 pm.

This year’s theme, Good Neighbors: Making a Difference in Lake County, shares the stories of individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to society and work to make their communities better. Each day will feature three different presentations. Breakout rooms will be open at the end of the presentations for participants to ask questions and engage in dialogue.

Presentations for January 4, 2024

Building a Healthy Community
Marina Mayne

The Wheeling-Buffalo Grove Nurses Club was founded in the 1961 to focus on medical education, community service, and building community in the Wheeling-Buffalo Grove area.  The Club was started by Jean Starvos, a local school nurse who recognized that medical services were lacking in her community. The closest hospitals were in Libertyville, Elgin, Highland Park, and Evanston. The Nurses Club provided continuing educational opportunities for local nurses and scholarships to students who were pursuing a career in nursing.  They also provided basic medical tests to area residents and built a community lending closet of medical supplies for loan.  In this talk, learn about the Nurse’s Club and how it was an important resource for a small but growing community!

Good Neighbors: One Act at a Time
Nancy Webster, Archivist from Highland Park Historical Society

A series and spectrum of acts that contribute to good neighbor ambiance.  From a gardener, doctor and businessman collaborating to rescue boys from an ice flow on Lake Michigan in 1899 to Louis Eckstein working to keep Ravinia Park open and usher in its Golden Age with personal time and finances, highlighted events will illustrate the mosaic of community spirit and good neighbors.

It Must and Will Come
Ty Rohrer, Waukegan Park District

In 1894, a group of women organized the Sesame Club which was the forerunner of the Waukegan Women’s Club. These women were interested in bringing to fruition a free library. People laughed at the idea of Waukegan maintaining a free library, but the Sesame Club members responded, “It must and will come.” Their efforts were successful and ultimately led to the building of the Waukegan Carnegie Library. Later, the Waukegan Women’s Club realized the need for the city to establish a formal park system. After failed attempts, their efforts were realized with the creation of the Waukegan Park District. Today, these two important community initiatives from the past have merged with the Waukegan Park District’s (in partnership with the Waukegan Historical Society) history expansion effort to create the Waukegan History Museum at the Carnegie.

Free registration at Questions via email to

For additional presentations, please go to events for January 18th.