Events & Exhibits


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.

Sears Homes of Chicagoland

Do you love old homes? On October 14, come explore the Sears Homes of Chicagoland. From 1908 to 1942, Sears Roebuck and Company sold ready-to-build kit homes through catalogs. Despite the rash of teardowns in the Chicago area, some of these houses have managed to survive.  Learn about the Sears homes still standing in Highland Park and neighboring communities, and how to identify them. Lara Solonickne is the creator of the Sears Homes of Chicagoland website ( She is an architecture enthusiast who enjoys uncovering the hidden stories behind old houses. She holds a degree from Northwestern University. Her research and blog have been featured by FOX 32 News, Curbed, McMansion Hell, the Chicago Tribune, Yale University Press, The Birmingham News, and more.

Pieces of the Past, The Armchair Traveler’s Tour

To celebrate Highland Park’s 150th Anniversary, the Highland Park Historical Society and HP-150 Archives, History and Lakefront Committee, with Catherine Lambrecht, Jeffrey Stern and Nancy Webster co-curating, this open-air exhibit was inspired by a similar effort by the Waukegan Historical Society to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Waukegan Park District. Highland Park has been very fortunate to have historically inclined residents who photographed and documented its people and places for future study. Railroads helped transition this settlement from farms to summer residences to year-round living. Those striving to make the community a permanent place to live created schools, a library and municipal services, such as police and fire departments and water supply systems. Some who served in the military and those who qualified for Olympic competition are also highlighted. Others who were creative in the arts and in producing early telephone and electric devices are featured among the many stories that the 64 puzzle pieces represent.

Stupey Cabin Harvest Fest 2019

The Highland Park Historical Society invites the community to celebrate the city’s pioneer history and step back in time on Saturday, September 14, from 3:00 pm until 7:00 pm at the Stupey Cabin, on St. Johns Avenue between the Highland Park Library and City Hall. The celebration will include live music by the Ravinia Ramblers and Linda Iovino, food, and tours of the Stupey Cabin. Among activities for children will be a petting zoo, pony rides, Woof Pack Dog Rescue simulations and storytelling. PaperSource will provide crafts.There will also be live demonstrations of metal forging and cloth dying.