+1.630.469.1867

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



​Fourth Annual Gingerbread House Contest

Houses will be on display Saturday, December 7 from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.

We are continuing our new holiday tradition with our fourth annual gingerbread house contest! Admission to the contest is free, but you must pre-register by Thursday, Dec, 5th at 5 p.m. by returning a completed entry form, either by mail, in person, or by email to director@gehs.org. There are awards for individuals and groups; for children, teens, and adults. Categories for Buildings include: Best Depiction of Glen Ellyn Building or Event, Best Depiction of Historical Building or Event, Best House for Dogs (or Other Companion Animals), Best House for Birds (or Wild Animals). New category this year: Best Gingerbread House built with plastic bricks! The bases do not need to be edible (plywood is recommended), but all visible materials should be edible (unless in the plastic bricks category).

For complete rules, email director@gehs.org or pick up a copy at the History Center.

​Local businesses and organizations are welcome to participate, too. You can even leave give-aways/coupons by your gingerbread house at no extra charge!


Gingerbread and Candlelight: A Holiday Celebration for the Entire Family

​Saturday, December 7    4:00 - 7:00 p.m.

​Featuring Aunt Tillie and Her Elves at 4 p.m.

​Join the Historical Society in their fourth annual holiday celebration. Stacy's Tavern Museum will be open for candlelight tours. See the remarkable gingerbread houses from our fourth gingerbread house contest. Craft-making for kids...and adults too! Enjoy refreshments -- delicious cookies and hot chocolate/coffee/tea. Admission is $5 for adults; children are free with paid adult admission.​ Tickets sold at the door. Begin at the History Center, 800 N. Main St. in Glen Ellyn. (Please note that Stacy's Tavern Museum will be closed from 1:30 - 4 p.m. for its regular tours. Tours will begin at 4 p.m.)


Storytime and Fun with Aunt Tillie

Tuesday, December 10  10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

This children's time is geared toward 2 - 5 year olds, but anyone young at heart is welcome to attend. Aunt Tillie (Dr. Maria Boundas Bakalis of CurtainUp Classroom) will engage with your young children, read them a story, make a craft, and have fun with them! Adults are asked to stay with their children. Free! No reservations required.


2020 Events

Book Discussion Group

​Thursday, January 9     10:00 a.m.

Lady First: The World of First Lady Sarah Polk
A Biography by Amy S. Greenberg


An exploration of Sarah Polk's political savvy and contributions to American feminism details the contradictions attributed to her
character, her wartime achievements, and her influence in Washington politics during her husband's presidency. 
This group is open to everyone. While it is a lot more fun if you have read the book, if you have an interest in the topic, you are welcome to join in the discussion. Free! Just come!


Storytime and Fun with Aunt Tillie

Tuesday, January 14   10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

This children's time is geared toward 2 - 5 year olds, but anyone young at heart is welcome to attend. Aunt Tillie (Dr. Maria Boundas Bakalis of CurtainUp Classroom) will engage with your young children, read them a story, make a craft, and have fun with them! Adults are asked to stay with their children. Free! No reservations required.


Sears Homes​ of Chicagoland...and Glen Ellyn

Saturday, January 18    2 p.m.

You may have heard Lara Solonickne speak on Sears Homes of Chicagoland before...and loved her! She is an extremely knowledgeable and well-researched presenter, and teaches classes on the topic at the College of DuPage. Lara will be talking about the kit homes that were built throughout so many communities in the early to mid 1900s, including our local area, and she will teach you how about some of the models, including how to identify kit homes. Glen Ellyn, Lombard, Wheaton -- so many of our communities have homes made from kits that were manufactured and often sold through catalogues. Come learn about their appeal, how they were sold and made, and where you can see local examples today. Refreshments served.          $8 Adults, $5 GEHS members and students 18 and under. Advance purchase of tickets available at Stacy's Corners Store gift shop and Eventbrite.


​​​​Muscle Car Mania, The Art of Selling Horsepower AND The Great Auto Trivia Contest

Saturday, January 25   2 p.m.

Mitch Frumkin, the official historian of the Chicago Auto Show, will be presenting a double feature about Muscle Car Mania in tandem with an auto trivia contest. Muscle Car Mania is a new, multi-media presentation that Mitch will be offering, based on extensive research and is full of illustrations. This 25-minute multimedia video is an incredible gathering of print advertisements from the exciting muscle car era of 1962-74. Muscle Car ads hit on stuff that mattered: HORSEPOWER, ACCELERATION, and PERFORMANCE. Featured are historic supercars like Chevelle SS, Dodge Super Bee, Oldsmobile 4-4-2, Plymouth Road Runner (beep-beep), Mercury Cyclone GT, Buick GS, Pontiac GTO. Also, mixed in are wailing ponycars, such as the Shelby Mustang, Firebird Trans Am, Challenger R/T, Cougar Eliminator and more. Added music and vintage auto commercial recordings help bring these devastating machines to life. Preceding Muscle Car Mania is THE GREAT AUTO TRIVIA CONTEST. Audience members compete for prizes by selecting the most correct answers to dozens of picture puzzles, photo quizzes, and name games that are all about cars and related subjects. Come spend a fascinating afternoon, and flex your mental car muscles in preparation for this year's Auto Show. Refreshments served. Tickets sold at door. $5


​Storytime and Fun with Aunt Tillie

Tuesday, February 11  10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

This children's time is geared toward 2 - 5 year olds, but anyone young at heart is welcome to attend. Aunt Tillie (Dr. Maria Boundas Bakalis of CurtainUp Classroom) will engage with your young children, read them a story, make a craft, and have fun with them! Adults are asked to stay with their children. Free! No reservations required.


Tea for Three: Lady Bird, Pat, and Betty

A Leslie Goddard Program

Play by Eric H. Weinberger and Elaine Bromka

Saturday, Feb. 15    2 p.m.

What is it like for a woman whose husband becomes the president of the United States – and she is thrust into the spotlight? This witty, sly and deeply moving portrayal performed by Leslie Goddard explores the hopes and fears of Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon and Betty Ford. In three scenes taking place in the family quarters of the White House, each of them confides to the audience. Secrets are spilled about their husbands’ rise to power, their romances with the men and their paths as wives in the White House. Each becomes intimate as the women wrestle with what Pat Nixon called “the hardest unpaid job in the world.” Refreshments. $10 Adults, $8 GEHS Members, $5 Students 18 and under. Advance purchase of tickets available at Stacy's Corners Store gift shop and Eventbrite.


​Project 231: A Story of Elgin's African American Heritage

Saturday, February 22   2 - 4 p.m.

Project 2-3-1 is a 75-minute documentary film that begins with Civil War “contrabands” who were the first African Americans to Elgin, and continues to the present day. This award winning film is filled with enthralling stories, amazing history and wonderful photographs that tells a rich history. Following the film, representatives of the Elgin Historical Society will be on hand to answer your questions. Refreshments. Admission $5. Tickets at the door day of program.


Book Discussion Group

​Thursday, March 5    10:00 a.m.

Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait?: Alice Paul, Woodrow Wilson, and the Fight for the Right to Vote
A Biography by Tina Cassidy


Examines the complex relationship between suffragist leader Alice Paul and President Woodrow Wilson, revealing the life-risking measures that Paul and her supporters endured to gain voting rights for American women. This group is open to everyone. While it is a lot more fun if you have read the book, if you have an interest in the topic, you are welcome to join in the discussion. Free! Just come!


Discovering Marie Curie: A One-Woman Play by Dr. Maria Boundas Bakalis

​Saturday, March 7      2 p.m.

​"Discovering Marie Curie” pays tribute to this singular woman’s scientific achievements, and reveals her devotion to husband and scientist Pierre Curie, her homeland Poland, her family, and her immense compassion for all of humanity. Playwright and actor Maria Boundas Bakalis portrays this extraordinary woman’s life, a life dedicated to the pursuit of scientific discovery. It also explores her role in promoting the education of women, and her passionate desire to inspire scientific inquiry as a means to a better the world. Adults $10, GEHS Members $8, Students 18 and under $5. Refreshments served.           


Storytime and Fun with Aunt Tillie

Tuesday, March 10   10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

This children's time is geared toward 2 - 5 year olds, but anyone young at heart is welcome to attend. Aunt Tillie (Dr. Maria Boundas Bakalis of CurtainUp Classroom) will engage with your young children, read them a story, make a craft, and have fun with them! Adults are asked to stay with their children. Free! No reservations required.


Wail of the Banshee: Tales of Celts and Druids 

A St. Patrick's Day Celebration

​Saturday, March 14    2 p.m. 

Hear ghostly Irish legends from professional actor and speaker Terry Lynch -- a regular presenter at GEHS -- as he brings scary tales of the Emerald Isle to life. These Celtic stories and myths include Dearg Due (the Irish vampire), The Dullahan (the headless horseman), and Aillen Mac Midgna (a fire-breathing goblin). An entertaining afternoon!  Refreshments served. $6


Smithsonian Museum Day Live!

Saturday, April 4   1 - 4:30 p.m.

The Glen Ellyn Historical Society partners with the Smithsonian Magazine for this annual event, where admission is free for two people to local museums on April 4th, 2020. Just visit their website and download a free ticket, print it out or show it on your phone. This event is designed for individuals and families; we regret that we cannot schedule group tours for this event.


Storytime and Fun with Aunt Tillie

Tuesday, April 14  10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m

This children's time is geared toward 2 - 5 year olds, but anyone young at heart is welcome to attend. Aunt Tillie (Dr. Maria Boundas Bakalis of CurtainUp Classroom) will engage with your young children, read them a story, make a craft, and have fun with them! Adults are asked to stay with their children. Free! No reservations required.


Emmett Till: Spark of the Modern Civil Rights Movement

Saturday, April 18  2 p.m.

Find out why many historians believe the murder of a 14-year-old Chicago boy in 1955 was a major contributor in the development of the modern civil rights movement. Mike Small and his wife Tina were very close to Emmett’s mother, Mamie Till, until her death in 2003. (Mike was a pall bearer at her funeral.) Being involved in the Emmett Till story for close to twenty years, they have made presentations all over the world including universities and high schools. They helped to establish the “Emmett Till Trail” in Mississippi and played a major role in re-opening the Emmett Till case in 2007. Mike and Tina have been featured on NBC TV several times. Refreshments. Free. (We had many people find the August 2019 program moving and powerful, and heard many from others saying they wish they could have been there -- so we have already rescheduled Mike and Tina to return in April.)


GEHS Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

Tuesday, April 28   6 p.m.

All recent Historical Society volunteers are invited to attend our annual appreciation dinner. We will have dinner at 6 p.m. followed by special entertainment: Martina Mathisen, and a fun program! Please R.S.V.P. to our director, Karen Hall, at director@gehs.org to let her know you are coming. 


​Book Discussion Group

Thursday, May 7     10:00 a.m.

The Other Side of the River: A Story of two towns, a death, and America's dilemma
An Historical Case Study by  Alex Kotlowitz

Discusses the impact on a community's race relations when a young African-American is found murdered near a river which separates two Michigan towns; one predominantly white and prosperous and the other African-American and impoverished.
This group is open to everyone. While it is a lot more fun if you have read the book, if you have an interest in the topic, you are welcome to join in the discussion. Free! Just come!


Storytime and Fun with Aunt Tillie

Tuesday, May 12  10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

This children's time is geared toward 2 - 5 year olds, but anyone young at heart is welcome to attend. Aunt Tillie (Dr. Maria Boundas Bakalis of CurtainUp Classroom) will engage with your young children, read them a story, make a craft, and have fun with them! Adults are asked to stay with their children. Free! No reservations required.


Seventh Annual Vintage Auto Fest 

​Saturday, June 6

10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Come join us at the 7th Annual Glen Ellyn Vintage Auto Fest! The event will be held on Saturday, June 6, 2020 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. And much, much more!

*Free talks on automobile history will be happening in the History Center
*Enjoy lunch by Heavenly Hot Dogs from 11 - 2
*Annual bake sale by members/bakers of the Historical Society
*Annual Sidewalk Sale at Stacy's Corners Store, the gift shop of the Historical Society
*An activity center for children to color drawings of vintage vehicles

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 2020, a discount coupon for Stacy’s Corners Store, and a dash plaque. (Vehicle registration at the gate will be $15.00 and the dash plaque will not be guaranteed.) Local Packard, Studebaker and Cadillac Club members will be attending and 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 18 - 20, Thursday thru Saturday   10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

​(Items may be donated June 10 - 13, 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 18 - 20. Come check out all the unique finds! Stacy’s Corners Store will also have an indoor sidewalk sale!

Would you like to contribute to the sale? Vintage and antique items in good condition can be brought to the History Center June 10 - 13th 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 10th, but furniture and large items will need to be brought on the 10th - 13th. 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

​Thursday, July 9     10:00 a.m.

​The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women
Historical Non-Fiction by Kate Moore


As WWI raged across the globe, hundreds of young women toiled away at the radium-dial factories, where they painted clock faces with a mysterious new substance called radium. Assured by their bosses that the luminous material was safe, the women themselves shone brightly in the dark. As the fatal poison of the radium took hold, they found themselves embroiled in one of America's biggest scandals and a groundbreaking battle for workers' rights. This group is open to everyone. While it is a lot more fun if you have read the book, if you have an interest in the topic, you are welcome to join in the discussion. Free! Just come!


Book Discussion Group

​Thursday, September 3     10:00 a.m.
The Heartland: An American History
Historical/Political Non-Fiction by Kristin L. Hoganson


A history of a quintessentially American place - the rural and small town heartland -- that uncovers deep yet hidden currents of connection with the world. It speaks volumes about pressing preoccupations, among them identity and community, immigration and trade, and security and global power. And food. This group is open to everyone. While it is a lot more fun if you have read the book, if you have an interest in the topic, you are welcome to join in the discussion. Free! Just come!



Pioneer Day: A Living History Celebration of Stacy's Tavern Museum

​Sunday, September 27   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.


Sally Rand and the 1933 World's Fair 

Saturday, October 3rd  2 p.m.

Learn the rags to riches story of Sally Rand, the feather dancer who crashed the 1933 Chicago World's Fair and became famous overnight. Author William Hazelgrove will be talking about the subject of his newest book, Sally Rand: American Sex Symbol. Sally Rand would appear in more than thirty films and be named after a Road Atlas by Cecil B. DeMille. A football play would be named after her. She would appear on To Tell the Truth. She would be arrested six times in one day for indecency. She would be immortalized in the final scene of The Right Stuff, cartoons, popular culture, and live on as the iconic symbol of the Chicago World's Fair of 1933. She would pave the way for every sex symbol to follow from Marilyn Monroe to Lady Gaga. She would die penniless and in debt. In the end, Sammy Davis Jr. would write her a $10,000 check when she had nothing left. Her name was Sally Rand. Until now, there has not been a biography of Sally Rand. She broke the mold in 1933, by proclaiming the female body as something beautiful and taking it out of the strip club with her ethereal fan dance. She was a poor girl from the Ozarks who ran away with a carnival, then joined the circus, and finally made it to Hollywood where Cecil B DeMille set her on the road to fame with silent movies. When the talkies came her career collapsed, and she ended up in Chicago, broke, sleeping in alleys. Two ostrich feathers in a second-hand store rescued her from obscurity. Come enjoy a fascinating story. The author will have books for sale and will sign after the presentation. William Hazelgrove is the bestselling author of ten novels and three works of nonfiction. Refreshments served. $8 Adults, $6 GEHS Members 


Book Discussion Group 

​Thursday, November 5    10:00 a.m.
The First Wave: The D-Day Warriors Who Led the Way to Victory in World War II
Biography by Alex Kershaw


The First Wave follows the remarkable men who carried out D-Day's most perilous missions. The first to fight when the stakes were highest and the odds longest, these men would determine the fate of the invasion of Hitler's Fortress Europe--and the very history of the twentieth century.  For the seventy-fifth anniversary, here is a fresh take on WWII's longest day. This group is open to everyone. While it is a lot more fun if you have read the book, if you have an interest in the topic, you are welcome to join in the discussion. Free! Just come!


Christmas in the Movies

A Leslie Goddard Program

Saturday, November 7    2 p.m.

Nothing brings the holidays alive quite like a great holiday movie. What are the best and most beloved holiday films of all time? Join historian Leslie Goddard for an illustrated lecture and review of the book Christmas in the Movies by Jeremy Arnold. We’ll look back at some Hollywood classics --  including Holiday Inn, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story, Elf, White Christmas, and others -- to explore what makes each one a “Christmas movie”. Learn behind-the-scenes stories about each movie’s production, reception and legacy. It’s a glorious salute to why we love it when Hollywood does the holidays. Refreshments. $10 Adults, $8 GEHS Members, $5 Students 18 and under.


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.

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.

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Glen Ellyn

Historical Society