8 Interesting Museums in Lake County
Byline: Chris Heidenrich
Lake County is home to several museums that offer glimpses into local history and popular culture of the past. They provide insight into important historical events as well as the way ordinary people lived.
Some of the buildings in which the museums are housed have more historical importance than the treasures inside. As the weather gets colder, museums can be great indoor places for people of all ages to reminisce about their childhoods or learn about people of earlier times.
FORT HILL HERITAGE MUSEUM
This Mundelein museum, run by the Fort Hill Historical Society, carries artifacts from local history and everyday life, such as historical photos, hats and gowns from the 1920s. It also houses a 1774 flintlock musket.
The building itself has its own history: It was once a train depot that was pegged for destruction by the railroad.
But the railroad agreed to donate it around 1981, and local historians raised money to move it to its current location, 601 E. Noel Drive. The land was donated by the Mundelein Park District. The building even survived a fire that broke out before refurbishing was finished.
The museum is open from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays and by appointment, and by appointment only in January and February. Call (847) 566-7743.
LAKE COUNTY MUSEUM
This museum, a department of the Lake County Forest Preserve District, is on Route 176 west of Fairfield Road in Lakewood Forest Preserve. One of the largest in the suburbs in terms of content, it houses more than 20,000 artifacts, including Native American bead work, military equipment from Fort Sheridan and Civil War artifacts.
It also is home to the largest public postcard collection, the 360,000-piece Curt Teich post card archives.
Upcoming special events include the Farm Heritage Show from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; "Archeology: A Key to the Past" through Oct. 31; and the art of 13-year-old Randall Taylor of Mundelein from Oct. 15 to Nov. 30.
A vintage motorcycle exhibit will be on display through October, and an alternative-energy car exhibit will be displayed in November and December as part of the "Model A to Z28" exhibit.
Operating hours are 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $2.50 for adults and $1 for children age 4 to 17.
Call (847) 526-7878.
GRAYSLAKE HISTORICAL MUSEUM
More local history can be found at this museum, 164 Hawley St. Operated by the Grayslake Historical Society, the museum is open from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month, on Thursday mornings through October and by appointment.
Features include vintage clothing; a mock country store with real penny candy and a counter from a former dime store in town; and memorabilia from churches, the Grayslake Fire Department, schools, local businesses and various wars. It also includes a research area that personnel can use to answer requests.
Special exhibits include items commemorating the 100th anniversary of Strang Funeral Chapel and early 20th century postcards with photos of Gages Lake, Druce Lake, Third Lake and Fourth Lake.
Call (847) 223-7663. …