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.

2017 "Then and Now" Calendars 

2017 Calendar Available

Crystal Lake – Then and Now
Stroll through the pages of this beautiful calendar to view vintage and current images of various Crystal Lake scenes. Some of the image locations are easily recognizable, while others have changed dramatically!

Calendars are available for $10 at:
Crystal Lake City Hall, 100 W. Woodstock St.
Colonel Palmer House, 660 E. Terra Cotta
Heisler’s Bootery, 50 N. Williams
Online: www.cl-hs.org

Proceeds benefit the Crystal Lake Historical Society

Membership Support

Memberships in the Society expire on December 31st of each calendar year.  Because of the lateness in the current year, memberships received now will be extended through the end of 2017. 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. 

Other Items of Interest on our Website

The Upcoming Events tab has been updated with dates and information about our 2016 programming activities through the end of the year.  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.  

 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 hours of operation:

Tuesdays (3PM - 7PM)

Thursdays (11AM - 4PM)

Fridays (11AM - 4PM)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Colonel Palmer House will be closing early at 2PM on September 9th and will be closed all day on September 29th due to staff training.

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