The museum and research center are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please enjoy browsing our collection and the Twenty in the 20s exhibit online.

Permanent Exhibit

We believe communities flourish when people better understand what makes a community survive and thrive.

Our permanent exhibit, featuring interactive touchscreens and fascinating artifacts, tells the story of how Lake Forest and Lake Bluff formed, from the mastedons who once traversed this land to the people who have called it home.

Our unique exhibit format gives you a glimpse of the small stories of daily life and the big stories of changing the world. Since our technology allows us to continually add more stories, there's always something new to see and learn!

Permanent Exhibit

The permanent exhibit is the culmination of a decade of planning and community conversations. The narratives here reflect the ceaseless commitment of the staff and the board to assist the ever-changing needs of the public, and work to develop relevant, community-focused stories that deliver quality educational experiences to the public.

The Hunter Family Education Hall

The permanent exhibit hall highlights people, places and events that tell the stories of American community-building, from Paleoindians to the newest residents and visitors of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff.

With a stated goal to create local and regional history narratives that are inclusive and expansive, the History Center staff works to capture the stories of all the people who have come to and through this area.

The Virtual Exhibit

Hundreds of stories from our permanent exhibit are available online to browse from wherever you are. This collection expands every month, and you can contribute by sharing your own story, photos, and video online as well.

Also available digitally are stories from our thematic rotating exhibits: