We are aware that some of the images are not displaying correctly on this website. Additionally, the links to PDF documents are resulting in error messages.  These problems are being caused by our website service provider.

The Crystal Lake Historical Society is in the process of creating a brand new, fabulous website!  The new website will be hosted through another service provider.  We are concentrating our time and energy on the new site development.  We ask for your patience, as the new website should be up and running sometime in August, 2017.

Our website address will remain the same. Check back often, and be prepared for a great new experience in history!


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.

Swedenberg, by Kurt Pearson

The Swedish community in Crystal Lake 1850 - 1950

Details about Swedenberg

    • A 2-volume hard-bound set
    • Over 1200 pages (acid-free), fully indexed
    • 1000+ vintage photos
    • Helpful maps
    • Cost $100 (pickup price).  Cost $115 (shipped price)
Click here to learn more and order your set

Summer Sundays

Travel back in time with each of our FREE Summer Sunday special events where our costumed presenters have plenty of displays and hands-on experiences. Each Summer Sunday is from 1-4pm on the lawn of the Colonel Palmer House. Come inside and see the historic house restored to its 1800s glory.

Sunday, August 13th – CPH Presents: Game On!

In 2018, the Colonel Palmer House will celebrate its 160th year. Our final Summer Sunday of the season launch’s this much anticipated year of celebration. Spend the day learning games from each decade. Delight in seeing toys that were popular and may still be today. Featuring an interactive game of Civil War era baseball; enjoy reliving games and toys your ancestors enjoyed as we discover childhoods of the past.

Click here to learn more about ALL of our Upcoming events.

Membership Support

Memberships in the Society expire on December 31st of each calendar year.  Click here to learn more about member benefits, rates, and payment options.

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. 

Remember, it is through the support of our members that we can continue to preserve our community's history. 

 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. 

Summer/Fall Hours:

Tuesdays (3PM - 7PM)

Thursdays (11AM - 4PM)

Fridays (11AM - 4PM)

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

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: or call 815/455-1151