​​​Calendar of Upcoming Events

Annual GEHS Business Meeting and Dinner

Thursday, November 4th  6 p.m. Dinner; 7 p.m. Meeting

Members of the Glen Ellyn Historical Society are invited to attend our annual business meeting at 7 p.m. preceded by a light supper at 6 p.m. in the History Center. This is a free event, but you must be a member of the Historical Society to attend the meeting. We review the past fiscal year (July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021). Please RSVP to Karen Hall at director@gehs.org or 630-469-1867 if you are planning on coming so we know how much food to prepare. Thanks!

Sears Homes of Chicagoland

Saturday, November 6 at 2 p.m.

Did you know that in the early 20th century, Sears, Roebuck and Co. used to sell "kit homes" that were delivered by train, then assembled by the homeowner (or construction crew) right on the homeowner's lot? Did you know that other companies like Montgomery Ward also sold kit homes from catalogs? How do you determine if your home is a Sears home? Come learn about kit homes from Lara Solonickne, a local expert on Sears homes in Glen Ellyn and surrounding communities. We have been fortunate to have Lara speak at the History Center before and she is a wealth of information.  Even if you have heard Lara, she is always updating her database with new local finds so every presentation brings something new! Refreshments served. Admission $8, GEHS Members $6, Students 18 and under $5

Book Discussion Group

Thursday, November 11 at 10 a.m.

Chicago’s Great Fire: The Destruction and Resurrection of an Iconic American City by Carl Smith

The Historical Society's Book Discussion Group is meeting at the Glen Ellyn History Center. In recognition of the 150th anniversary of the Chicago Fire, the book is: 
Chicago’s Great Fire: The Destruction and Resurrection of an Iconic American City by Carl Smith. Everyone welcome!

​Midcentury Christmas: Fads and Fun from 1945 - 1970

A Leslie Goddard Program

Saturday, November 13   2 p.m.

​Christmas in America from the 1940s through the 1960s meant aluminum trees, department store Santas and cartoon specials on television. Every kid in the suburbs wanted an Easy Bake Oven, a G.I. Joe or a Slinky. The coolest houses had trees with rotating color wheels. Historian Leslie Goddard explores this optimistic era in a new illustrated lecture, using photographs, advertisements, greeting cards and catalog to explore why this era was a turning point for how we celebrate the holidays. Refreshments served. Admission $8, GEHS Members $6, Students 18 and under $5

GEHS Member Appreciation Day at Stacy's Corners Store

Saturday, November 13   10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

November 13th will be our annual fall appreciation day for members of the Glen Ellyn Historical Society. Members will receive 25% off almost all their purchases in the gift shop all day! (A few exceptions apply.) Be sure to come early to enjoy the best selection!

5th Annual Gingerbread House Contest

On Display Saturday, December 4th from 4 - 7 p.m. at Gingerbread and Candlelight

Join our gingerbread house contest with an entry made of gingerbread, graham crackers, or plastic bricks! Individuals, families, groups and businesses are all welcome to participate. No entry fee, but advance registration required. For more information, pick up a registration form in the lobby of the Glen Ellyn History Center at 800 N. Main St. Or contact us at 630-469-1867 or director@gehs.org and we will send you one! 

Gingerbread and ​Candlelight: A Holiday Celebration for the Whole Family

Saturday, December 4th  4 - 7 p.m.

Start at the Glen Ellyn History Center at 800 N. Main St. You can view the gingerbread house contest entries, enjoy making crafts, and have cookies and coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Then walk over to Stacy's Tavern Museum to enjoy a candlelit tour of the first floor, decorated for the holidays. There is something for every age -- come have some holiday fun with us! $5 each adult; children free with paid adult admission. No tickets needed -- just pay at the door!

Events Scheduled for 2022

Book Discussion Group

The World of Juliette Kinzie: Chicago Before the Fire by Ann Durkin Keating

Thursday, January 6    10 a.m.

Juliette Kinzie is one of Chicago’s forgotten founders. Early Chicago is often presented as “a man’s city” but women like Juliette worked to create an urban and urbane world, often within their own parlors. With The World of Juliette Kinzie, we finally get to experience the rise of Chicago from the view of one of its most important founding mothers.  Through Juliette’s eyes, our understanding of early Chicago expands from a city of boosters and speculators to include the world that women created in and between households. Juliette’s death in 1870, just a year before the infamous fire, seemed almost prescient. She left her beloved Chicago right before the physical city as she knew it vanished in flames. But now her history lives on.

Be sure to join us Saturday, April 22 for a presentation by author Ann Durkin Keating about this amazing woman!

The Hershey Chocolate Company

Saturday, January 8     2 p.m.

A Hybrid Program: Both Zoom and at the Glen Ellyn History Center

Today the name Hershey is synonymous with quality milk chocolate. But that wasn't always the case. Milton S. Hershey worked hard and failed often before his chocolate company was finally successful. And when he did become a household name and had earned a vast fortune, Milton and his wife Catherine decided to give it all away. Because of their generosity, tens of thousands of orphans have been saved, protected, and educated. Attend this illustrated lecture by Laura Keyes to hear the "behind the scenes" story of this beloved American company. We will add the Zoom link here if you want to watch from home. Or come to the History Center to enjoy refreshments -- including cookies and assorted Hershey chocolates, coffee and tea -- to watch the program on our large screen. $5 per person at the History Center -- just pay when you come. (No advance purchase needed) Or click here on the Zoom link on January 8th to join from the comfort of your home!

​Zoom Program: Researching Your World War I Ancestry

​Tuesday, January 11     7 p.m.

No need to worry about the weather -- stay home and learn how to research your World War I Ancestry. Jenny Warner, a professional genealogist, will provide an in-depth examination of the various military records used to search for soldiers, sailors, and marines. Program will last about ninety minutes. The Zoom link will be provided here in December/January. Free! Just tune in.

History of the Chicago Auto Show 1901-2021

Saturday, January 15     2 p.m.

Learn about the history of the Chicago Auto Show from Mitch Frumkin, the Chicago Auto Show Historian and Archivist. First staged in 1901, the Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in North America. Enjoy a full-length video presentation that features a blend of vintage photographs, color film footage, period music and voices from more than 100 editions of the Chicago Auto Show. Refreshments. $5 Admission. Tickets at door day of program.

Zoom Program: Researching Your World War II Ancestry

​Tuesday, February 8     7 p.m.

Stay warm at home and learn about researching your World War II Ancestry. Jenny Warner, a professional genealogist, will cover Compiled Service Records, Pensions, Draft Registrations, and other related genealogical material. The program will last about ninety minutes. The Zoom link will be posted here in January/February. Free! Just tune in.

Oh, The Humanity! The Hindenburg Disaster

Saturday, February 19    2 p.m.

On May 6, 1937, WLS reporter Herb Morrison was sent to Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey to cover the first anniversary of transatlantic passenger service. What he witnessed that day turned out to be one of the greatest disasters of the 20th century. Hear Morrison, portrayed by performer Terry Lynch, explain the historical significance of the dirigible Hindenburg, as well as recount the horrific details of that day. Refreshments served. Admission $8, GEHS Members $6, Students 18 and under $5

Book Discussion Group

The Ship of Dreams: The Sinking of the Titanic and the End of the Edwardian Era by Gareth Russell

Thursday, March 3   10 a.m.

In April 1912, six notable people were among those privileged to experience the height of luxury—first class passage on “the ship of dreams,” the RMS Titanic: Lucy Leslie, Countess of Rothes; son of the British Empire, Tommy Andrews; American captain of industry John Thayer and his son Jack; Jewish-American immigrant Ida Straus; and American model and movie star Dorothy Gibson. Within a week of setting sail, they were all caught up in the horrifying disaster of the Titanic’s sinking, one of the biggest news stories of the century. Today, we can see their stories and the Titanic’s voyage as the beginning of the end of the established hierarchy of the Edwardian era.

A Traditional St. Paddy's Day Concert and Sing-a-long with Rick Pickren

Saturday, March 5      2 p.m.

Enjoy the music stylings of singer-songwriter-actor Rick Pickren as he celebrates the joyful wearing 'o the green. He will treat us to many of the traditional Irish songs, including Danny Boy and When Irish Eyes are Smiling. Rick's recordings have been featured on the TV Show The Good Wife and many PBS programs. He is a two-time winner of the Marlboro Country Music Round Up and has shared the stage with George Strait, Merle Haggard, The Judds, Dolly Parton, and Alabama. Refreshments. Admission $8, GEHS Members $6, Students 18 and under $5

Coco Chanel: A Life by Design

Saturday, March 12   2 p.m.

​You are invited to a special Chanel showing in celebration of Women’s History Month, showcasing the woman who created a fashion revolution, and revealing her life and her loves. Dr. Maria Boundas Bakalis portrays Coco Chanel in her original one-woman play, Coco Chanel: A Life by Design. This unique Chanel showing promises to captivate you. The performance will be followed by a question and answer session with Dr. Bakalis about Coco Chanel. Coco Chanel’s fashion legacy is one of classic elegance. Her creative designs in dress, jewelry & perfumery captured the imaginations of women worldwide. Chanel’s “little black dress,” her strings of pearls, and her signature scent, Chanel. No. 5, have all endured and become fashion classics. Refreshments. Admission $8, GEHS Members $6, Students 18 and under $5

Barn Quilts: Following the Trail

Zoom: Wednesday, March 23  7 p.m.

Author Suzi Parron will take you on a journey along the quilt trail, beginning with the very first barn quilt, which stemmed from Donna Sue Groves and herwish to honor her mother's quilting art. The presentation features over one hundred stunning photographs of barn quilts, some of which rival cloth quilts in their intricacy. You will hear stories of some of the individuals who have painted quilt blocks to honor loved ones or their local culture, along with a few humorous anecdotes. The presentation is both informative and entertaining, as we explore the way in which our quilting heritage takes on new meaning as this movement continues to expand. Suzi has two books on barn quilts: Following the Barn Quilt Trail and Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement. Just us for a fascinating and fun program! More details coming.

The World of Juliette Kinzie: Chicago before the Fire

Saturday, April 23   2 p.m.

Author Ann Keating, Ph.D., will speak to us about her recent book, The World of Juliette Kinzie: Chicago before the Fire. Juliette was an American historian, writer and pioneer -- one of Chicago’s forgotten founders. Early Chicago is often presented as “a man’s city,” but women like Juliette worked to create an urban and urbane world, often within their own parlors. With The World of Juliette Kinzie, we finally get to experience the rise of Chicago from the view of one of its most important founding mothers. Ann Durkin Keating is one of the foremost experts on nineteenth-century Chicago, and is a professor of History at North Central College. Join us to learn about a driving force in early Chicago history. Refreshments. $5 adults; students free. Tickets at door day of show.

Book Discussion Group

The Last Million: Europe’s Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War by David Nasaw

Thursday, May 5  10 a.m.

In May 1945, after German forces surrendered to the Allied powers, millions of concentration camp survivors, POWs, slave laborers, political prisoners, and Nazi collaborators were left behind in Germany, a nation in ruins. British and American soldiers attempted to repatriate the refugees, but more than a million displaced persons remained in    Germany.  A masterwork from acclaimed historian David Nasaw, The Last Million tells the gripping but until now hidden story of postwar displacement and statelessness, as the Last Million crossed from a broken past into an unknowable future, carrying with them their wounds, their fears, their hope, and their secrets. 

Eighth Annual Glen Ellyn Vintage Auto Fest 

​Saturday, June 4

10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Come join us at the 8th Annual Glen Ellyn Vintage Auto Fest! The event will be held on Saturday, June 4, 2022 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Admission is free to visitors attending the show. (Interested in registering your vehicle? See below.) The show has great vintage vehicles on display in the space between Stacy's Tavern Museum and the Glen Ellyn History Center. Enjoy lunch by Heavenly Hot Dogs from 11 - 2.

Interested in registering your vintage/antique vehicle for our show? Please submit $10.00 per vehicle with check or money order payable to the Glen Ellyn Historical Society, along with your registration form (or you can call us with your credit card information). The registrant will receive 2 free tickets to Stacy’s Tavern Museum to be used during 2021-22, a discount coupon for Stacy’s Corners Store, and a dash plaque. All vintage, antique and classic vehicles and clubs are welcome. Registrants will vote on Best of Show awards to be given at 2:45 p.m. 

For more information about the event, contact Karen Hall, Executive Director, Glen Ellyn Historical Society at 630-469-1867 or director@gehs.org or Jim Manak, Secretary, Packards of Chicagoland, lelp@xnet.com, 630-858-6092. To receive a printable registration form you can mail in or email, email Karen at director@gehs.org or call 630-469-1867, or pick one up at the Historical Society at 800 N. Main St. Glen Ellyn. (Open 10 - 5, Tuesday thru Saturday)

​Second Annual Vintage and Antique Market: A GEHS Fundraiser 

June 16 - 18, 2022      Thursday thru Saturday   10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

(Items may be donated June 8 - 11, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.)

The Historical Society will have a fundraising sale selling vintage and antique items which have been donated to us for this purpose. The sale will be held in the Anderson Multi-Purpose Room at the History Center, 800 N. Main St. during business hours, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., June 16-18. Come check out all the unique finds! 

Would you like to contribute to the sale? Vintage and antique items in good condition can be brought to the History Center June 8 - 11th from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Remaining items that are left after the end of the sale will either be retained by the Historical Society for future sale or be donated to local charities. Small items like jewelry and collectibles can be accepted for sale prior to the 9th, but furniture and large items will need to be brought on the 8th - 11th. As a guide to item donors: while the term "vintage" does not refer to a specific set of years, for this sale we are suggesting 1970's and earlier. Questions? Contact Karen Hall at director@gehs.org or 630.469.1867. 

Book Discussion Group

The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for
Freedom and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear by Kate Moore

Thursday, July 7    10 a.m.

1860: As the clash between the states rolls to a boil, Elizabeth Packard, housewife and mother of six, faces her own battle. Her husband of 21 years is increasingly threatened―by Elizabeth's intellect and independence. So he has her committed to an insane asylum, the Illinois State Hospital in Jacksonville, Illinois, overseen by Dr. Andrew McFarland, a man even more dangerous to Elizabeth than her traitorous husband. There are many rational women on her ward who tell the same tale. This is the story of the forgotten woman who courageously fought for her own freedom―and in so doing freed millions more.

Book Discussion Group

​Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Interments in World War II by Richard Reeves

Thursday, September 8   10 a.m.

After Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt signed an executive order that forced more than 120,000 Japanese Americans into primitive camps for the rest of war. Their only crime: looking like the enemy. Men we usually consider heroes―FDR, Earl Warren, Edward R. Murrow―were in this case villains. We learn of internees who joined the military to fight for the country that had imprisoned their families, even as others fought for their rights all the way to the Supreme Court. The heart of the book, however, tells the poignant stories of those who endured years in “war relocation camps,” many of whom suffered this injustice with remarkable grace.

Pioneer Day at Stacy's Tavern Museum

​Sunday, September 25   1- 4:30 p.m.

Come see what life was like for the early settlers of Glen Ellyn, on the same spot where early residents lived! Try your hand at 1840's life. There will be live farm animals, craft-making for kids, make your own candles, corn shelling, apple peeling, help with vegetable harvest, pioneer games and toys, how to rope a bed, do laundry 1840’s style, experience 1840's school in an outdoor classroom, make rope, tour the Tavern, and much, much more! Adults $8, GEHS Members $6; Children (3-17) $4, GEHS Members Children $3; children under 3 are free.

Book Discussion Group

First Friends: The Powerful, Unsung (And Unelected) People Who Shaped Our Presidents by Gary Ginsberg

Thursday, November 3    10 a.m.

Publishing history teems with books by and about Presidents, First Ladies, First Pets, and even First Chefs. Now former Clinton aide Gary Ginsberg breaks new literary ground on Pennsylvania Avenue and provides fresh insights into the lives of the men who held the most powerful political office in the world by looking at the friends on whom they relied. First Friends is an engaging, serendipitous look into the lives of Commanders-in-Chief and how their presidencies were shaped by those they held most dear.

Below are events postponed during the pandemic to be rescheduled:

Memoirs of the Holocaust: George Mueller's Time in WWII -- postponed
Please join us to hear long-time Glen Ellyn resident George Mueller speak as he shares his experiences with us from World War II. George Mueller is the survivor of three Nazi concentration camps during World War II including Bergen Belsen. Learn about his experiences and how he came to terms with the shattering effect the Holocaust had on his life. He emerged from tragedy to embody a profound story of hope. Mr. Mueller is the 2019 winner of the Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce Paul Herwaldt Senior Citizen of the Year Award. Refreshments. Free. Reservations not required -- please join us.

Just a note: Have many of the events on this list happened already? Your browser may be bringing up a cached version of the web page. You can refresh the page, or bring up an incognito window with your browser and try again. We try to update this page weekly to keep events current. Not sure? Just call us at 630-469-1867. Thanks!

Note: All events occur at the History Center at 800 N. Main St. Glen Ellyn, IL 60137 unless otherwise noted. Free parking is available at the History Center, behind Stacy's Tavern Museum, and on surrounding lots and streets. The History Center is wheelchair accessible and has wheelchair accessible restrooms. Tickets for events may be purchased in person at Stacy's Corners Store or by calling 630-469-1867, or at the event.

While there is usually sufficient parking among the lots/streets in the area, if you have mobility concerns, you may want to be dropped off at our front door or arrive early enough to park in the lot surrounding the History Center. Large event attendance may require walking a couple of blocks to the building. At 800 N. Main St., we are near Forest Glen Elementary School and across the street from a 7/11 Convenience Store, a block south of St. Charles and Geneva Roads in Glen Ellyn.

Upcoming Events


The Glen Ellyn History Center  800 N. Main St. Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

We adhere to CDC, State and County guidance regarding masks, etc. at all events.

Glen Ellyn

Historical Society