Archives and Articles
Discover Lake Forest/Lake Bluff history through the 300+ stories on our digital exhibits – and add a story or photograph yourself to help expand our archive and tell our community’s story.
Browse through over 6,000 photographs from our museum collection.
Highlights chronological milestones in Lake Forest’s past. (Published in 2011 in honor of Lake Forest's sesquicentennial.)
Text from Lake Forest’s City Charter, approved in 1861, amended in 1869
Presentation adapted from our 2019 panel discussion "Managing Epidemics Over Time"
An overview of the history of vaccination efforts put together by board member and medical microbiologist Tom Thomson
Online Tours of Lake Forest
Take a walk through architectural and community history along the Lake Forest shoreline. The tour will open in a simple PDF file that is formatted for phones and tablets. Tour is 1.25 miles and takes about 25 minutes to walk.
Transcriptions of historic Lake Forest/Lake Bluff telephone books; very helpful for genealogy or house history
Find all the Lake Forest alderman, city managers, treasurers, city marshals and mayors and their years of service
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 to access the complete database.)
1877 List of Lake County Taxpayers (selections from LF/LB area)
Includes name, occupation, and occasionally biographical information. Transcribed from The Past and Present of Lake County, Illinois, Chicago: Wm. Le Baron & Co, 1877.