Events & Exhibits


Ossoli Cookbook A fundraiser for the first public beach in Highland Park, Illinois

A joint meeting of the Highland Park Public Library and Highland Park Historical Society will host ‘Ossoli Cookbook, a fundraiser for the first public beach in Highland Park, Illinois,’ on Tuesday May 4, 2021 at 7:00 pm via Zoom. We are encouraging people to prepare a recipe from this antique community cookbook and discuss the results. This cookbook is available online via the University of Illinois.

A May Day Call for an Environment in Distress

The Highland Park Historical Society is putting out a May Day call for all hands that might be available, starting around 1:00 PM on Saturday, May 1, 2021. The locations in distress are the environs of the Stupey Cabin, between City Hall and Highland Park Public Library, where months of inactivity, brought about by a worldwide epidemic, have left the grounds in disarray.

Ravinia Music Under the Stars Around the World, An Archives Access Project Courtesy of the Illinois Secretary of State

This project has been a journey of discovery through the basement, closets and file cabinets of an institution established in 1904. A hidden collection laid waiting for an archives program to claim it. We hope this is the beginning of a program that will fill in gaps in the Festival’s institutional memory and documentation. Thankfully, the Highland Park Historical Society had already begun the work with the Ravinia Park Collection, an important task of collecting of programs, posters, and other historical materials for each season. And, the Ravinia Association donated records to the Newberry Library, creating an additional resource. These materials and many stored on site at the Ravinia Festival have been digitized with a grant to the Highland Park Public Library from the Illinois Secretary of State, as have other materials documenting the festival housed at Ravinia, the Newberry Library, and other locations. A presentation of key images and documents will be presented to create a historical timeline of Ravinia Festival from this collaboration.

Mock Goose and Lord Woolton’s Pie: Shopping, Eating, and Cooking ‘On the Ration’ in World War II Britain

When war broke out in 1939, the British people, long dependent on imported foods, found themselves thrown back on their own resources. Sure, they had a little help from their American friends, much of it in the form of powdered eggs and Spam. For the most part, however, they were alone. How did Britons, and women especially, cope with food shortages, long lines at grocery stores and cooking on a busy schedule?

Swedish Pancakes for Breakfast?

Why do we eat the things we eat? And how do those things change due to migration? This talk explores what the foods we eat can tell us about immigration, identity, and Nordic-American life in the Upper Midwest, by focusing on coffee, lutefisk, and, of course, Swedish pancakes.

The Happy Invention: The History and Significance of Picture Postcards

The first picture postcards were published for the 1889 Paris Exposition, celebrating the completion of the Eiffel Tower. In America, the first picture postcards were printed for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago — making Illinois the birthplace of the American picture postcard. Since those flowery Victorian originals, uncountable billions of postcards of every aspect of life have been printed, depicting train stations and bandstands; street views and cartoons; ads for products and services; beauties and freaks; social history both whimsical and dark; and everything in between. An early mention of postcards is in the 1870 diary of a Welsh curate, who called them “a happy invention.”

The Loop: The “L” Tracks That Shaped and Saved Chicago

Patrick T. Reardon unfolds the fascinating story about how Chicago’s elevated Loop was built, gave its name to the downtown, helped unify the city, saved the city’s economy, and was itself saved from destruction in the 1970s. Explore the elevated Loop’s impact on the city’s development and economy and on the way Chicagoans see themselves. The Loop rooted Chicago’s downtown in a way unknown in other cities, and it protected that area—and the city itself—from the full effects of suburbanization during the second half of the 20th century.

Marshall Field’s and Chicago, This event is presented as part of the Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Bureau outreach

For over 150 years, Marshall Field and Company was Chicago’s store, run by the most innovative retailer of the 19th century. Chicago natives could easily identify a Field’s shopping bag at a hundred paces, and Chicago brides weren’t really getting married until they registered at Marshall Field and Company. Marshall Field and Company’s history is tightly entwined with that of Chicago.

Fun & Games: Sports and Leisure, Sixth Annual Lake County History Symposium

Wednesday, November 4, 2020 @ 6:30 PM via ZOOM Saturday, November 7, 2020 @ 9:30 - 11:30 AM via ZOOM Highland Park is well represented by two presentations: Wednesday: North Shore Yacht Club: A Century of Fun & Safety on Lake Michigan Saturday: A Day at the Beach (Ossoli Club of Highland Park) presented by Archivist Nancy Webster 

No Ketchup: Why Dennis Foley Ate 50 Hot Dogs in 50 Days

The Chicago-style Hot Dog - fit for kings and commoners alike. In Dennis Foley’s No Ketchup, you'll find Chicago's Top 50 hot dogs along with stories about the mom and pop entrepreneurs who slap the mustard on your wiener. No matter where you're at in the Chicago area, Foley will direct you to the nearest location for that tasty dog with plenty of snap. Get yours with everything or hold the relish. Whatever the case, stop in to one of these joints, grab a dog, and share a few words with the folks behind the counter as you knock down one of the greatest treats known to mankind.