Perhaps you were born and raised in Crystal Lake.  Or perhaps you've recently moved here.  Maybe your ancestors helped settle the area.  Regardless, we welcome you to The Crystal Lake Historical Society website, and hope you will learn more about our Society and our community's rich history.

Join us! Terra Cotta & Teco history!

Sharon Darling, author of many books relating to the American Terra Cotta & Ceramic Company and Teco Pottery will be our guest on Sunday, February 7, 2016 at 2PM.  This event will take place at Park Place, 406 W. Woodstock Street, Crystal Lake. 

This free event is open to the public -- donations gratefully accepted.

2016 "Who Remembers?" Calendar

This beautiful "Who Remembers?" 2016 Crystal Lake Calendar is sure to be a hit for all of those who know and love Crystal Lake!  Each page of the calendar has photos and information, raising the question, "Who Remembers?"  

  • Who Remembers Twin Ponds Golf Course?
  • Who Remembers Martinetti's?
  • Who Remembers The Crystal Drive-in?
  • .....and many, many more!

Calendars are available for sale ($10) onsite at:

  • Crystal Lake City Hall, 100 W. Woodstock St., Crystal Lake
  • Crossroads Gifts, 57 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake
  • Colonel Palmer House, 660 E. Terra Cotta, Crystal Lake
  • Heisler's Bootery, 50 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake

Calendars shipped by mail to you ($13-includes postage):

Send $13 for each calendar ordered to Crystal Lake Historical Society, P.O. Box 1151, Crystal Lake, IL 60039-1151

Purchase online (price will include postage):

Membership Support

One of the most valuable benefits of membership is the Society newsletter, The Crystal Times, which is published quarterly.  An online version of Index to Names found in the newsletter is available on the Local History / Research Resources page.  A limited number of back issues to The Crystal Times are available for sale.  Please email the Society for specific requests.  

Other Items of Interest on our Website

The Upcoming Events tab has been updated with dates and information about our 2015 programming activities.  Check this tab often as additional information is added.

The Local History tab has also been updated with a new feature called "Lost Crystal Lake".  Learn more about buildings and structures that are no longer standing.  This is an ongoing project, so check this tab often for new additions/updates. 

Another update to Local History is the addition of the Crystal Lake American Legion page featuring a history of the William Chandler Peterson Post #171. 

Also on the Local History tab, we've added an American Terra Cotta & Ceramic Co. page which includes information about the factory.  As a special treat, copies of the company's magazine, "Common Clay" have been added. 

A  Post Office History page and Telephone History page have also been added.  Vintage Crystal Lake phone books are being uploaded to view.  We just added 1931 & 1936 to the collection of phone books online!

 Plan a Visit

The Crystal Lake Historical Society is located at the Colonel Palmer House, which is at the intersection of Illinois Route 176 and Terra Cotta Road in Crystal Lake. 

2016 (Winter/Spring) hours of operation:

Tuesdays (11AM - 4PM)

Thursdays (11AM - 4PM)

Fridays (11AM - 4PM)

1st Saturday of each month (11AM - 4PM) - special programming

If you are planning to do research, it is best to call ahead to make certain someone will be available to assist you.

Mary Ott is the Site Coordinator at Colonel Palmer House.  Email her at: palmerhouse@crystallakeparks.org or call 815/455-1151

Vintage Postcard Book of Crystal Lake

Together with Arcadia Publishing, the Crystal Lake Historical Society has produced a Postcard History Book of Crystal Lake.  Using 190+ postcards from the Society's collection, Diana Kenney has created a visual history of Crystal Lake.  All proceeds from the sale of this book will benefit the Crystal Lake Historical Society.   Books are available at:

Colonel Palmer House, Route 176 & Terra Cotta

Crossroads Gifts, 57 N. Williams St.

City of Crystal Lake, 100 W. Woodstock St.

Books can be ordered online through the "Online Store" tab.

Please go here to listen to Diana Kenney, Crystal Lake Historical Society president, discuss some of the efforts the Society is involved with, along with a further description of the Vintage Postcard book. The audio is from a December 6, 2009 interview Diana had with Stew Cohen of local radio station STAR 105.5. (Note: the full 10 1/2 minute interview is playable in MP3 file format and is approximately 8 MB in storage size)

Memberships in the Society expire on December 31st of each calendar year.  Memberships received during the fourth quarter extend through the following year.    Click here to learn more about member benefits, rates, and payment options.  Remember, it is through the support of our members that we can continue to preserve our community's history.