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Collections Cameo Blog

Collections Cameo, March 2015

William Mather Lewis was born in Michigan in 1878 and graduated from Lake Forest College in 1900, eventually becoming a professor of oratory and debate in 1903. He founded the college’s current drama club, the Garrick Players, for which he wrote multiple plays and acted as its first advisor. In 1905, at the age of 27, Lewis was asked to become the new headmaster of Lake Forest Academy, a title he held until 1913.

As headmaster of Lake Forest Academy, he stressed the importance of current events and cultural literacy to his students through the introduction of “general knowledge tests” beginning in 1911. Lewis believed that schools should focus...

Collections Cameo, February 2015

By Amber Craghead, Leslie T. Chapman Museum Intern

This is the first in a series of three blog posts by Amber focusing on objects in our collection related to World War I.

John Scholte Nollen, Ph.D, became president of Lake Forest College in 1907 at the age of 38. Nollen was a specialist in modern languages, especially German, and during his time as president of the college, the curriculum underwent incredible changes in which students were encouraged to take a wide range of courses and heavy emphasis was placed on the humanities. As the 1914 Forester yearbook states, “constant hard work has been his principle and through an executive ability combined with a scholarly mind he has done much to systematize and simplify the working principles of the school.”

From the college’s inception and during the early 1900s, attending...

Collections Cameo, December 2014

The Winter Club of Lake Forest was founded in 1900. But it was in December of 1938 that the club first printed and mailed an Annual Report to all its members. Before that time, an audited financial statement was simply available for review – but given the Depression-era context, the club’s president, W. A. P. Pullman, wished to inform the membership of the accomplishments of the previous years and the challenges the club would face in the future.

By 1936, membership had decreased to 186, down from its pre-Depression high of 250 – and there was no waiting list to replace those who resigned. Many who left were behind in their dues; others were largely inactive but had maintained their membership for sentimental reasons, and gave it up while economizing. With this in mind, the directors decided to cap membership at 200 going forward. In light of the economic circumstances,...

Collections Cameo, October 2014

The Almanack was a monthly Ferry Hall student journal published from 1907 to at least 1916. It was directed at alumnae, as well as fellow students and faculty. You could subscribe for $1.00 per year. The journal was edited by Ferry Hall students and printed by The Kimball Press of Evanston. Kathleen Leable donated 12 issues of The Almanack, ranging from 1907 to 1912, to the Historical Society collection in 2007.

This October 1907 issue is the very first Almanack. Introducing the new publication, the editors wrote, “With this number The Almanack begins its history, and it cherishes the hope...

Collections Cameo, August 2014

This ticket was good for one general admission to Game 3 of what was dubbed “the World Series of Polo” in August 1933. The event pitted the best polo players of the eastern and western United States against each other in a best-of-three series. Held at the Onwentsia Club, each match drew thousands of spectators to Lake Forest from Chicago and across the country. Frank Farwell donated this item to our collection in 1998 – he had attended as a young boy.

The ticket itself as a historical artifact reveals quite a lot of information, even beyond the date, time and location of the event. It was probably torn when the ticketholder entered the gates. The Farwells attended Game 3 and sat in section 7, paying $1.10 per ticket. The map drawn on the reverse side shows how the field and grandstands were set up in relation to Green Bay Road and the Onwentsia clubhouse. Handwriting...