Telephone Directory Databases
Local telephone directories, which in addition to phone numbers included names, street addresses, and, sometimes in the early days, professions, are an invaluable research tool for genealogists and those trying to document the history of their home. You can find out where your ancestors lived in town and when they arrived or left or moved. You can also discover previous owners of your house.
Here you'll find transcriptions of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff telephone directories for various years, starting in 1909.
More coming soon!
How to use the databases: To search by last name or by street address, click the link for the year of interest. This should bring up the database as in a new browser window. The directory is arranged alphabetically by last name, so you can simply scroll to the name you are looking for, or use your browser's "Find" feature.
Helpful hints: If using the "Find" search box, search by "Last Name" only, not "Last Name, First Name" or "First Name Last Name." Also, house numbers in Lake Forest were changed in the late 1920s, so if the street address seems incorrect or you are unable to find it in the early phone books, that might be why. Some of the earliest directories do not include house numbers at all, just street names. Additionally, we have not included telephone numbers in the transcribed database. If it is the telephone number that you are interested in, you will need to visit our museum's Resource Center to view the original directory.
Our museum collection features phone books for most years from 1909 to the present. If we have not yet transcribed the year you're looking for, stop by the museum and visit our Resource Center to view the original. This phone book transcription project is ongoing. If you are interested in assisting with this project, visit our Volunteers page.
Thanks go to the Lake Forest Library, whose phone book donation in 2012 helped round out our collection. The databases above were created through the efforts of Historical Society volunteers Tara Abraham, Kate Hurst, Laurietta Parsh, Juliet Stein-Davies, Kathy Swift, Rosemary Troxel and Natalie Yang.