Events & Exhibits


The Turkey, An American Story

Food historian Andrew F. Smith’s sweeping and multifaceted history of Meleagris gallopavo separates fact from fiction. Smith presents the turkey in ten courses, beginning with the bird itself (actually several different species of turkey) flying through the wild. Learn practically every aspect of the iconic bird, including the wild turkey in early America, how it came to be called “turkey,” domestication, turkey mating habits, expansion into Europe, stuffing, conditions in modern industrial turkey factories, its surprising commercial history of boom and bust, and its eventual ascension to holiday mainstay.

Lake County Barns

Since 2015, John Rouse has photographed barns in Lake County. He has photographed over 200 barns with 500 plus images. In 2021, he launched the website to share the agricultural heritage of Lake county and farm life. It is a resource for educators, preservationist, genealogist, families, historical societies, and other organized groups.

Edith: The Rogue Rockefeller McCormick (and the Highlands)

This thrilling story of a daughter of America’s foremost industrialist, John D. Rockefeller, is complete with sex, money, mental illness, and opera divas—and a woman who strove for the independence to make her own choices. Rejecting the limited gender role carved out for her by her father and society, Edith Rockefeller McCormick forged her own path, despite pushback from her family and ultimate financial ruin. Author Andrea Friederici Ross was born and raised in Highland Park. Linda Barbera-Stein is a Highlands resident and realtor who is very knowledgeable on the Highlands development by McCormick She will provide information on what was accomplished.

Stupey Cabin Concert: Dennis Stroughmatt et l’Esprit Creole

A medley of music, language, stories, and culture secreted away in the Missouri Ozarks now has a voice in the tapestry of this world. With the blessing of the Creole people of the Midwest, Dennis Stroughmatt et l’Esprit Creole are its passionate ambassadors, expanding interest and excitement in a region that has been, in may ways, ignored by the history books. What many have considered to be long lost is alive and kicking. It’ll make your soul jump, your head spin, and your heart glad to know that it is still here. As they say in the hills, “On est toujours icitte: We are still here!!

Betwixt and Between: Lea Demarest Taylor and the Chicago Commons Settlement House

Dr. Alicia Schatteman will talk about Lea Demarest Taylor (1883 – 1975) as leader of the Chicago Commons Settlement House from 1922 to 1954 and her family’s connections to Highland Park. This research contributes to our understanding of the evolution from the progressive social reformer movement to the second generation of nonprofit social service agencies.

The Bonds of War

Diana Dretske will present on her recently published book, The Bonds of War: A Story of Immigrants and Esprit de Corps in Company C, 96th Illinois Volunteer Infantry (Southern Illinois University Press), which is a finalist for the 2021 Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Awards. The book is a collective biography inspired by a portrait in the collections of the Bess Bower Dunn Museum of five immigrants from Britain and Ireland, who served in the American Civil War. The presentation will include her research to identify the men in the portrait and the significance of their voluntary military service and desire to be recognized as American citizens.

Community Survey, Complete by May 7, 2022

The Highland Park Historical Society is planning for the future. We would like your perspective as someone who may have attended a program, visited any of our online, indoor or outdoor exhibits, such as the Stupey cabin, or benefited from our research.  This is a blind survey with nothing to connect to your response unless you choose to voluntarily identify yourself. We will use this information for our planning needs, and none of the information we gather will be shared with any other organizations. The survey will close at midnight on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Thank you for the gift of your time. This survey should take less than five minutes unless there is more you choose to offer. We welcome the opportunity to listen and learn from you. Board of the Highland Park Historical Society

Tour of Adlai Stevenson II’s Historic Home

Learn about this Illinois governor and ambassador to the United Nations as you tour his home, a National Historic Landmark. Hear about this influential American statesman known as ‘the man from Libertyville’ as you take in the setting where he wrote speeches, reflected on world events and found solace in the landscape. The tour begins with a video introduction to his life and career, followed by a walking tour of the home and ending in the service building with original horse stalls and exhibits.

The Man from Libertyville: Adlai Stevenson II

An influential figure in the political history of the U.S., Adlai E. Stevenson II was Governor of Illinois, ran twice for President as the Democratic National Candidate, and served as Ambassador to the United Nations. Though he lost both presidential campaigns, it was Stevenson’s ideas that are his real lasting legacy. Join us for a virtual presentation about Stevenson’s life and career, broadcast from his study, with time at the end for questions and examining some of the artifacts at the site more closely.