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Online History Resources

Explore our collectionsOnline Collections Catalog

You can now access more than 6,000 photographs from our collection online.


Timeline of Lake Forest History

An interactive timeline that highlights chronological milestones in Lake Forest’s past


  Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Telephone Directory Databases

 Transcriptions of historic Lake Forest/Lake Bluff telephone books - very helpful for genealogy or house history



City of Lake Forest Officials Database

Find all the Lake Forest aldermen, city managers, treasurers, city marshals and mayors, and the years of their terms


Lake Forest City Charter

Text from Lake Forest’s City Charter, approved in 1861, amended in 1869



Lake Forest Lodge 1026, Petitions for Membership and Degrees

A database of genealogical information taken from petitions for membership and degrees for Lake Forest Masonic Lodge 1026. The database includes names, birthdates, professions, employers, and addresses for each of nearly 300 petitioners born before 1913. The original documents are largely from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s and are available in our archives. (For petitioners born in 1913 or later – there are nearly 200 more – visit the Historical Society to access the complete database.)


Stately Observers: Witness Trees of Lake Forest

Lake Forest history as told through some of its oldest trees. Includes current photos, historic photos and a map of tree locations.



Online Exhibits

Online exhibits produced by Historical Society staff



Guide to Lake Forest Mayors

Learn about the mayors of Lake Forest and the seminal events that occurred during their terms in office


John Griffith and Griffith, Grant & Lackie

A brochure published in 2003 at the centennial of John Griffth's real estate business, founded in Lake Forest in 1903. Includes a biography of John Griffith, details about his efforts to create Market Square, and a sketch of the 100 years of Griffith, Grant & Lackie. Written by Arthur H. Miller with research contributed by Shirley Paddock.