Events & Exhibits


High and Dry on the North Shore

The Highland Park Historical Society and Highwood Historical Society jointly present ‘High and Dry on the North Shore,” by Bill Savage. When the 18th Amendment was enacted in 1919, the fifth-largest industry in the United States became illegal.  While many parts of the country (including, famously, many north-of-Chicago suburbs) were already legally “Dry,” Prohibition changed the political and moral landscape of the nation, introducing intrusive federal law enforcement, a new kind of organized crime, and the “scofflaw.”  In this talk, Bill Savage will discuss how the politics of Temperance, and the battle between Wets and Drys, exposes rifts in American identity (and American food-and-drink culture) that still resonate today.  Using George Ade’s The Old-Time Saloon as a guide, he will explore Prohibition historian Daniel Okrent’s not-so-rhetorical question: “How the Hell Did that Happen?”

Searching for Gold in Online (and Offline) Archives

Welcome to the online catalog for the Highland Park Archives and Local History collections at the Highland Park Public Library, which originated with grants from the National Archives. In addition to the collections photos available on this site, Highland Park images can be found on Flickr ( and the Illinois Digital Archives (, a service of the Illinois State Library and Illinois Secretary of State.

Manny Bud, Artifacts from a Jewish Marine Fighting in the Pacific, WW II

Manny Bud (1921-2016) enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on December 8, 1941. Less than one year later, he was serving as a Pioneer Marine on Guadalcanal. He saw heavy combat there but was able to return stateside. After further training on the mainland and Hawaii, Manny deployed to New Zealand for combat training in preparation for the invasion of Iwo Jima. Manny was on the invasion force of the 4th Marine Division, and on his sixteenth day of combat was leading his unit out of a bomb crater when he sustained injury from a shot by a Japanese sniper. He was evacuated, placed in a body cast, then transported to the Island of Guam and later to Naval Hospital, Great Lakes, Illinois, where he spent more than one year recuperating. His oral history on this period is available at the Pritzker Military Museum in Chicago.

Searching for Mr. Lincoln: Fortuitous Archival Processing

David Spriegel will present events surrounding his discovery in 2011 of two previously unknown Abraham Lincoln manuscripts. He made this discovery while an intern in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library’s manuscripts division. David’s presentation will highlight the historical context of the two original manuscripts, in addition to the initial discovery.

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.