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Mission and History

About Us

The History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff has been home to the stories of our community for more than 45 years. And now we have a state-of-the-art history museum that is the pride of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff. Our new home—your home for history—is a gathering place where the community can come together to celebrate who we are and how we are connected.

Championing curiosity in the past, present and future is our specialty. The History Center plays an important role in the community by collecting photographs, archives and objects of that past that tell our story. Our accessible Research Room harnesses the power of our wide-ranging collection and professional staff to connect you with stories of the past and solve history mysteries.

Here you also can experience fascinating programs, tours and exhibits that celebrate our history. Programs are held in our dynamic Hunter Family Education Hall. Our permanent exhibit just debuted in October 2018. It features some of the most interesting items in the collection and incorporates state-of-the-art technology that allows you to discover history for yourself.

Our Mission

The History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff connects people and inspires curiosity by exhibiting, collecting, sharing and celebrating history.

Our History

We were founded in 1972 as the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society 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.

Annual Report

2017 Annual Report

2016 Annual Report

2015 Annual Report

2014 Annual Report

2013 Annual Report

2012 Annual Report

2011 Annual Report