Thursday, October 2, 2008

Illuminating Lake County Illinois History

That's a new more-or-less-twice-a-week blog by Diana Dretske in her capacity as collections coordinator for the Lake County, Illinois, history archives outside Wauconda: Illuminating Lake County, Illinois History. Like its neighbor the colorful Lake County Discovery Museum and its virtual neighbor the Curt Teich Postcard Archives, the archives are under the umbrella of the Lake County Forest Preserves.

My research lately has kept me coming back to Lake County (which FYI is in the extreme upper-right-hand corner of Illinois, squeezed between Chicago and Wisconsin and fronting on Lake Michigan), so I may be biased or just zoned out from too many two-hour commutes across the Chicago metropolitan area, but I found the material quite interesting.

Recent history posts include looks back at JFK's 1960 campaign swing through the county; Swan School in Fremont Township, a sample of the archives' holdings of material on 52 local schools, most now gone; the North Shore Line; and one of Lake County's funnier products, Jack Benny of Waukegan.

Genealogists with young descendants to entertain can make strategic simultaneous use of the museum and archives (not to mention the beautiful forest preserve grounds). As with any archive, do your homework and call ahead to arrange a productive visit.

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