Events & Exhibits


COVID Survey

As you know, the Highland Park Historical Society collaborates to document the community, culture and people of Highland Park, Illinois in everyday life and in a broad context. Given the extraordinary circumstances, the Society, in collaboration with other Highland Park agencies, invites you to share your experiences now and in the future.

When Potato Fields were Prisons: Unfree Farm Labor in McHenry during World War 2

During World War II, some farmers in Marengo, Illinois negotiated with a large food corporation and federal agencies to make local farm fields into restricted, prison-like spaces. When the Curtiss Candy Company brought Japanese-Americans from the Tule Lake Internment Camp in California to cultivate and pick potatoes in 1943, the Marengo community struggled with the federal government and the candy company to eliminate the outsiders’ presence. Click for additional information.

Abraham Lincoln Goes to Waukegan

Hear the story of Abraham Lincoln's brief, but memorable visit, to Waukegan in this presentation by Ty Rohrer, of the Waukegan Historical Society, who will recount the visit as well as the "Lincoln Legends" that are still shared today, 160 years after the event.

Abraham Lincoln: A Man of His Time, A Man for All Times

More than two hundred years after his birth, Abraham Lincoln's historical importance endures. A man of his time - humbly born, self-taught, and ambitious - he seized the opportunities of an expansive society to rise to the country's highest office. A man for all times, Lincoln's strong principles, timeless rhetoric, and resolute leadership have contributed to his status as a globally recognized figure.

From Obscurity to Greatness: Illinois and Lincoln, 1830 to 1861 Opening of ‘Abraham Lincoln: A Man of His Time, A Man for All Times,’ exhibit

Kevin Wood is a professional Abraham Lincoln presenter who bears a remarkable resemblance to Mr. Lincoln and has a very extensive knowledge of his life and times. He also writes a blog, “Loath to Close… Still!”, which encourages others to reflect upon and learn from President Lincoln’s life and legacy. This presentation is supported by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council. Our visit with Mr. Lincoln will open the exhibit ‘Abraham Lincoln: A Man of His Time, A Man for All Times,’ on loan from the Waukegan Historical Society that was gifted the exhibit from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. There will be additional content from the Highland Park Archives and Local History Collections, which is supported by the Highland Park Community Foundation.

By Popular Vote: Highland Park was Dry for 104 Years On the 100th Anniversary of Prohibition

When Highland Park’s first City officials met as a city government on March 11, 1869, the new City´s leaders articulated clearly their objection to permitting ¨intoxicating beverages¨ in the new municipality. Records show repeated discussions and changes to liquor ordinances. Flash forward to November 1, 1972, Historical Society President Bob Robinson made the first legal purchase of an alcoholic beverage since 1869. A unanimous vote of the City Council allowed the issuance of liquor licenses to retail establishments and clubs, thereby repealing local prohibition. Join us to learn what unfolded between 1869 to 1972, because there is where the real story lies.

The Generals: Patton, Rommel and Montgomery

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.”

Highland Park 150 History Prize – Adult Deadline

An initiative to contribute to high quality education in Highland Park and environs while stimulating interest in the City's history and use of archives and historical collections at the Library and beyond. With local history and collections as an educational tool, the Highland Park History Prize aims to encourage original research. Although this effort is intended to reach all and cover a broad spectrum of local history topics, the prize will encourage new study of historical events, actors and groups in Highland Park previously under documented or studied. Examples may include farming and immigrant populations in the 19th centuries; or 21st century newcomers. This prize takes its inspiration from the Chicago History Fair and National History Day. Prizes will be given at 3 age levels: primary-middle, high school and adult. The participants current grade will determine level.Judging will be blind.