Events & Exhibits


Wreck of the Steamer Calumet — History on our Highland Park Shoreline

On November 28, 1889, Captain Orville Green and crew of 18 found themselves floundering in a tremendous gale, towering waves and wind lashed sleet.  The next morning a Highland Park resident saw the vessel under duress being buffeted by waves and covered in ice.  The precursor to the US coast guard was the Life Saving Service located at Northwestern University’s campus. Using a lifeboat transported by train to the bluffs overlooking the wreck and desperate crew, the Life Saving Service performed a heroic rescue of all 18 men. This program will bring this wreck off our shores to life with vivid information from Steven Draska’s research. Draska has the only photo ever taken of the Calumet and several artifacts along with research of the construction, ownership and salvage of the steamer Calumet.

Highland Park’s 150th in 2019: Getting into Gear

Archivist Nancy Webster and HP-150 Archives, History and Lakefront Chair Catherine Lambrecht will offer ideas how Highland Park residents can make a contribution. It can be as personal as an oral history, loan or donation of an object or document. More than trinkets or pretty objets d´art, artifacts can illustrate an era, movements and innovation as lives change in the home, the community, the work place, and en route.  We want to gather papers and objects illustrating a keystone event or element that built the Highland Park Community of the 21st century.

Great Lakes, Great Women

"Great Lakes, Great Women" explores the significant contributions of women to Naval Station Great Lakes from its opening in 1911 through the present. This presentation highlights over twenty women who broke legal and civic barriers in the fight for inclusion, equality, and recognition within the United States Navy.

Pop Up Museum: Illinois 200 and Highland Park 150

Create a Pop-Up Museum with the Highland Park Historical Society. We’ve all got fascinating things, but not everyone gets to show them off in a museum. This is your opportunity to bring objects to make a temporary exhibit. We will gather at the Highland Park Public Library on Monday March 19th at 7 PM to see your treasured artifact(s).  Whether you an exhibitor or not,  we need an audience to share our passion. Please feel welcome to mingle to see and chat with local exhibitors.  

Chicago Food Biography, Celebrate Illinois 200 Series

The food biography of Chicago is a story of not just culture, economics, and innovation, but also a history of regulation and regulators, as they protected Chicago’s food supply and built Chicago into a city where people not only come to eat, but where locals rely on the availability of safe food and water. With vivid details and stories of local restaurants and food, Block and Rosing reveal Chicago to be one of the foremost eating destinations in the country.

Pearl Harbor Day Third Annual Veterans Forum: 75th Anniversary of the March of Bataan “The Codebreaker and the POW: A family legacy of WWII”

The attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 forever changed the lives of millions of Americans and Filipinos. In February 1942, Ms. Baugh’s father became a Navy codebreaker and helped the U.S. win the Battle of Midway. In May 1942, her grandfather, Richmond Baugh, was taken prisoner on Corregidor Island and spent nearly 3 years as a Japanese POW north of Manila. Through her family's legacy, Ms. Baugh describes the strategy, suffering, and brutal combat it took to liberate the Philippines and defeat the Japanese Empire in the Pacific.

Architect William W. Boyington, A Highland Park Legend

Julia Johnas presents the life and work of William W. Boyington, architect of Chicago’s Water Tower, entrance of Rosehill Cemetary and a Mayor of Highland Park residing there from 1874 until his death in 1898. A long and prolific career is illustrated with slides that showcase his best-known buildings in Chicago and Highland Park. Several Boyington-designed residences remain in Highland Park, including the log house built for Sylvester Millard in 1893.