Events & Exhibits


The Generals: Patton, Rommel, and Montgomery, Pearl Harbor Day Fifth Annual Veterans Forum

Highland Park ---- Highland Park Historical Society will cohost with Highland Park American Legion Post 145 "The Generals: Patton, Rommel, and Montgomery" with Robert Mueller, a battlefield historian. at the Highland Park Library auditorium, 494 Laurel Avenue, at 7 p.m. on Monday, December 9th, 2019. Three men stamped their images upon events during the Second World War like no others. Each led their country's armed forces to historic battlefield victories and two met inglorious ends. Join Robert Mueller as he contrasts and compares the personalities, tactics, and leadership styles of George Patton, Erwin Rommel, and Bernard Montgomery. Diana Dretske, Lake County historian and author of Fort Sheridan, commented, “General George Patton was the most historically significant person to post at Fort Sheridan.”

Sears Homes of Chicagoland

Do you love old homes? On October 14, come explore the Sears Homes of Chicagoland. From 1908 to 1942, Sears Roebuck and Company sold ready-to-build kit homes through catalogs. Despite the rash of teardowns in the Chicago area, some of these houses have managed to survive.  Learn about the Sears homes still standing in Highland Park and neighboring communities, and how to identify them. Lara Solonickne is the creator of the Sears Homes of Chicagoland website ( She is an architecture enthusiast who enjoys uncovering the hidden stories behind old houses. She holds a degree from Northwestern University. Her research and blog have been featured by FOX 32 News, Curbed, McMansion Hell, the Chicago Tribune, Yale University Press, The Birmingham News, and more.

A History of Preservation in Lake County

Lake County has a rich history of preservation. Join Lake County’s Dunn Museum curator, Diana Dretske, for an introduction to individuals whose efforts preserved the county's historical and natural heritage, including Bess Bower Dunn, Edward DeWolf, Jesse Lowe Smith, Robert Vogel and Ethel Untermyer. Diana Dretske is the Curator and Lake County historian for the Bess Bower Dunn Museum of Lake County. Dretske is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois State Historical Society for making outstanding contributions in promoting, preserving and commemorating Illinois history. Primary areas of expertise for research and programming include the history of Lake County, Illinois.

Chicago’s Black Metropolis

Highland Park Historical Society presents ‘Chicago’s Black Metropolis’, focusing on African-Americans whose energy and ingenuity helped Chicago become the commercial and  cultural  center of the American Midwest. The program will be held in the auditorium of the Highland Park Public Library, 494 Laurel Avenue, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 19, 2019.           The program was initially presented to an audience in Paramaribo, Suriname in 2013 by Highland Park Historical Society Board Member Jeff Stern at the request of his daughter, who was then the Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy there.

Family Heirloom Recipes from the Illinois State Fair, an Illinois Bicentennial Project

Come join us as the Highland Park Historical Societys' own Catherine Lambrecht dishes on her book, Family Heirloom Recipes from the Illinois State Fair, an Illinois Bicentennial Project. The book is based on Cathy’s work through The Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance, and was also inspired by her own family’s heirloom recipes. Since 2009, Greater Midwest Foodways has sponsored and judged Family Heirloom Recipes contests in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Ohio, Minnesota, Missouri, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Cathy has compiled many of the winning recipes from 1950 or earlier, along with their histories, in what many are already considering a landmark book. “If nothing else, should this book inspire you to document a family favorite recipe to share with loved ones, then we have accomplished our mission,” Cathy says. 

World War II: The Defense of Bastogne, Fourth Annual Veterans Roundtable

The 101st Airborne Division's heroic denial of the crucial Belgian transportation hub of Bastogne to attacking German forces during the Battle of the Bulge and the charging advance of elements of General George S Patton Jr's US Third Army to break the enemy encirclement have entered legendary status in military history. Less recognized was the stubborn resistance by overwhelmed infantry and armored units at key road junctions in Belgium and Luxembourg. Without their willingness to sacrifice all in holding their ground, the defense of Bastogne would have never happen. Join battlefield expert Robert Mueller in reviewing individual contributions to defeat Hitler's 1944 Winter Offense.

200 Objects that Made History in Lake and McHenry Counties

Every artifact tells a story.  Learn about the history of Lake County through the artifacts featured in the new book 200 Objects that Made History in Lake and McHenry Counties.  Debbie Fandrei, curator of the Raupp Museum in Buffalo Grove and project manager for the book, will show pictures and share stories of 30 of the different artifacts, ranging from a mammoth bone to a 1940s football. She will also talk about the collaboration between 23 different museums which produced the book. Members of the Deerfield, Highland Park and Highwood Historical Societies will offer complimentary local history to this program.

Leopold and Loeb Files: An Intimate Look at One of America’s Infamous Crimes

          In 1924, University of Chicago students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb were young, rich, and looking for a thrill. The crime that came next--the brutal, cold-blood murder of 14-year-old Bobby Franks--would come to captivate the country and unfold into what many dubbed the crime of the century. As the decades passed, the mythology surrounding the unlikely killers continued to capture the interest of new generations, spawning numerous books, fictionalizations, and dramatizations.          In The Leopold and Loeb Files, author Nina Barrett returns to the primary sources--confessions, interrogation transcripts, psychological reports, and more--the kind of rare, pre-computer court documents that were usually destroyed as a matter of course. Until now, these documents have not been part of the murder's central narrative. This first-of-its-kind approach allows readers to view the case through a keyhole and look past all of the stories that have been spun in the last 90 years to focus on the heart of the crime.