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Mission and History
The Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society is a nonprofit organization with 500 members and a history museum in the heart of Lake Forest. For over 40 years, we have collected and preserved the history of our area. With a robust collection dating back to 1860, the Historical Society is the place to research and discover the people, places and events from our past. Our award-winning exhibitions, publications and programs offer a chance for people of all ages to remember and celebrate the heritage of our community.
The Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society inspires an awareness of the community’s history and an appreciation of its relevance through delivering engaging exhibitions, publications and public programs; collecting and preserving local heritage and culture; and supporting historical research.
The Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society was formed in 1972 by over 100 charter members to preserve the history of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff. Elmer Vliet was elected to serve as the first president of the organization. For many years, the Historical Society maintained an office at the Gorton Community Center. In 1998, the Historical Society opened its first museum at 361 East Westminster, a former coach house and Masonic Lodge. In 2016, the Historical Society moved to the former Church of Christ Scientist at 509 E. Deerpath.
The Historical Society has found a new home. We are adapting the site at 509 E. Deerpath for use as a museum campus. Find out more in our press release.
The Historical Society website first launched in 2001 and underwent a major redesign in 2012. Learn about the changes made to the website and all its new features here.