Community history comes alive as part of the modern world with a variety of public programs and events throughout the year. View our most recent newsletter.
Roaring Twenties Murder Mystery Evening – Guests got dolled up for a swanky evening at “The Rose Club,” the most exclusive Speakeasy in town! La Grange’s most ruthless mobsters and elegant flappers gathered for a night of glamour, scandal, and murder! Each guest had a role to play, clues to share, and secrets to conceal as we worked together to unmask the killer! Included in the registration fee was a sampling of Prohibition Era cocktails and light snacks.
History Comes Alive! – History came alive for kids on Saturdays in July with fun and games from decades past. There were family friendly activities set in a different decade each week! Kids could learn to disco or experience what it would have been like at the Chicago World’s Fair or a 50’s sock hop!
Annual Kentucky Derby Party We were excited to invite you to our inaugural benefit event this spring! On May 5th from 1:00 – 4:00 pm we hosted a Derby Day celebration in the garden at the Vial House. Guests enjoyed live music, Southern snacks, and an exclusive exhibit of our vintage hat collection. Ticket price also included bourbon tastings from a variety of distilleries with signature mixers provided by Barrel House Social.
Spooky Storytime for Kids – Also new in October, we hosted Spooky Story time for kids! Children listened to spooky and silly interactive Halloween stories and learned about how Halloween has been celebrated throughout history! Snacks were served and children took home a goody bag. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Hauntings of La Grange – Guests joined us at the LaGrange Area Historical Society’s Vial House for an evening of haunting, disquieting, and out of the ordinary tales that are embedded in the La Grange area’s past. Guests shared their own strange, haunting stories to contribute to the society’s collection. Light refreshments were served.
West End Walking Tour – Join our historian John Burns for an interesting tour that focuses on La Grange’s west end. John will provide tour goers with some surprising tales of the village near Stone Avenue Station.
Heart of La Grange: Now & Then – A Guided Walking Tour of Historic Fifth Avenue LGAHS member John Burns will guide you through the heart of downtown La Grange on Fifth Avenue from the railroad station on Burlington to Elm Street. Find out who’s entombed in the façade of a prominent downtown building. Discover where the Sears Roebuck, Montgomery Ward, and S. S. Kresge stores were once located.
What’s Wright in La Grange? – This popular guided walking tour is given by LGAHS member John Burns. After a short introductory presentation at the Vial House Museum, learn what Frank Lloyd Wright designed in La Grange in the 1890’s and early 1900’s, and what his designs have to do with bootlegging. Then, view four Wright designed homes as you walk through a historic and picturesque La Grange neighborhood.
School and Group Visits to the La Grange Historical Society offer resources and learning opportunities designed to make history come alive.
Holiday Open House The museum is open free of charge offering: visits with Santa, a vintage toy display and exquisite Victorian Christmas decorations.
Victorian Ornaments A program and discussion on the history of Victorian holiday traditions and the exquisite collection of hand made ornaments created by local resident Carol Norling.
Storytime with Santa Bring your children for a fun evening with Santa. Enjoy cookies and cocoa as Santa reads classic and contemporary Christmas stories. There are opportunities for photos with Santa, and each child will receive a souvenir cocoa mug.
Tea with your Doll Our annual Tea with your Doll highlights a different period in time each year. Guests will learn about music, fashion, and customs of the time and enjoy refreshments typical of the era. Each child receives a goodie bag and American Girl themed prizes will be raffled off. Adult chaperone required, dolls and other lovies welcome! Ages 5+
Four WWII Veterans: A Discussion (October 26, 2014) R. Bruce Dold, Editorial Page Editor Chicago Tribune moderates this panel. Charles Battaglia, James Docherty, Edgar Gifford, and Raymond Vavra share their memories of wartime and beyond. The Veteran’s History Project preserves the personal experiences of American service people. “Asking them to tell their own stories is one way we can acknowledge and thank them. As their numbers grow fewer, we haven’t much time to record and publicly recognize how local men and women served our country during WWII,” Jeannine McLaughlin historical society president.
The Mavor Collection – Grand Opening Event Featuring: A Downton Abbey Discussion (April 12, 2015) this newest exhibit features a wide variety of unique artifacts given to us over the years by members of the Mavor family. The family has been in La Grange since 1893: their youngest grandchild, Mary Forester, still resides in town. Join us for tea and a discussion about prominent social issues in Downton Abbey, and learn about a local connection between La Grange and Lady Cora Crawley.