Glen Ellyn

Historical Society

+1.630.469.1867

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.

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

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​​Upcoming Events


Pioneer Day at Stacy's Tavern Museum

​Sunday, September 26   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, candle making, corn shelling, apple peeling, pioneer games and toys, learn 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. Chief Joseph Standing Bear will open the event with a blessing at 1 p.m. Native American dancers will be performing at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Also new this year: Tim Botts will offer bookmarks with your name written in 19th century style, and artist Wes Douglas will be doing sketches. (This event was previously known as Tavern Day.)

In the event of inclement weather, a decision will be made by 10 a.m. on Sept. 26 if the event will have to be cancelled. Check this website or our Facebook page for weather guidance.


​Lizzie Borden portrayed by Leslie Goddard

Wednesday, September 29    7 p.m.

The story of Lizzie Borden comes alive in this historical portrayal set in 1892. Accused of murdering her father and stepmother, Lizzie looks back on her painful childhood, her life in Fall River, Massachusetts, and her troubled relationship with her father. Was Lizzie a desperate daughter who resorted to murder...or an innocent victim who could never escape her own trauma? Refreshments served. Admission $8, GEHS Members $6, Students 18 and under $5


​Emmett Till: Spark of the Modern Civil Rights Movement

Saturday, Oct. 2      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. They were scheduled to present at the start of the pandemic, and we are delighted that we can finally host them to a public audience again. Refreshments. Free. 


The Great Chicago Fire: A Phoenix Rises from the Ashes

Recognizing the 150th Anniversary of the Chicago Fire

Saturday, October 16  2 p.m.

In October of 1871, the city of Chicago burned for two days, destroying thousands of buildings and killing an estimated 300 people. Commemorating the 150th anniversary of the blaze, Terry Lynch, as Patrick O'Leary, will discuss the theories surrounding the start of the fire, as well as the aftermath. Was Patrick's wife, an Irish immigrant named Catherine O'Leary, to blame? Could it have been someone else? Could it have been a meteorite? In the aftermath of the blaze, the reconstruction of the city quickly led to an era of unsurpassed economic development and population growth. Hear how this growth led to, among other things, the construction of a new urban center, as well as a new style of architecture. Refreshments served. Admission $8, GEHS Members $6, Students 18 and under $5


Salt Creek Civil War Round Table Book Sale

Saturday, October 23   11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Come find interesting historical books at a great value! This annual book sale raises funds for Civil War battlefield preservation. Save money, stock up on your reading, and support a great historical preservation cause!


​Chicago's Memory of the Civil War

Saturday, October 23    2 p.m.

This program is offered in cooperation with the Salt Creek Civil War Round Table. Noted Civil War historian, author, speaker and consultant Robert I. Girardi will be speaking about Chicago and its relationship with the Civil War. This presentation will be about the Windy City's portrayal of the Civil War in its public art, parks and cemeteries and how the memory and significance of these events has changed over time. Refreshments served. Free!


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!


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


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

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

Juliette Kinzie and Chicago Before the 1871 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.


Stacy's Tavern Museum Quilt Show & Market

Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1, 2022

10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

We are excited to be partnering with the Northern Illinois Quilt Study Group for a quilt show and quilters' market at Stacy's Tavern Museum and the Glen Ellyn History Center. Admission $5. Stay tuned -- details forthcoming!​


Eighth Annual Glen Ellyn Vintage Auto Fest 

​Saturday, June 4, 2022

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.


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.


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.

Story Time with Aunt Tillie
Come join Aunt Tillie for this story and activity time geared for 2-5 year olds.

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!