Remembering those who served
Society marks 59th season with Museum Opening Gala June 3
The 2022 exhibit season opens on Friday, June 3rd with the second year of Art of the Past: Viewing History through McHenry County Artists, a complimentary art show and five new displays in the McEachren Annex.
• Art of the Past: Viewing History through McHenry County Artists: With a permanent collection of 150 paintings, drawings and portraits, this exhibit features landscapes and still lifes painted by local artists. It also includes paintings and drawings of historic buildings throughout the county. Learn about these McHenry County artists from a bygone era and the history behind their artwork.
• This Place Matters: Historic Structures and Landscapes of McHenry County art show: Artists were invited to use their creativity and ingenuity to paint or draw historically significant buildings, structures and landscapes in McHenry County. We hope this art show will foster an appreciation for history and create an awareness to preserve these historic structures for future generations.
• Rural Schools of McHenry County: Schoolhouses were the heartbeat of rural McHenry County communities. Besides their educational purpose, schoolhouses also served as important social and political centers. Learn about the three generations of McHenry County schoolhouses built in the 1840s through the early 20th century. View historic artifacts used in McHenry County schoolhouses including Pringle School, owned by the McHenry County Historical Society.
• Waterways & Getaways in McHenry County: The Fox River/Chain O’ Lakes region was a well-known resort area by the mid-1870s. Fishing, wild game and the Grass Lake lotus beds attracted visitors from Chicago and other parts of Illinois. These seasonal residents were the first to develop the shores of Pistakee Bay. Resorts, hotels, summer cottages, hunting and fishing clubs and campgrounds were all built throughout the region. Discover the appeal of the Chain O’ Lakes region, including a short video about its famous lotus beds – one of the most beloved tourist attractions on the chain.
• Pickles Wanted! The Crystal Lake Pickling and Preservation Works was a thriving pickle business from the 1870s through the end of the 1890s. It was a combined vinegar factory, cooper shop for making barrels, and preserving works employing as many as 200 men. Uncover the history behind this business and its connection to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
• Number, Please? Early evidence of telephones in McHenry County can be found in Chicago’s 1883 telephone directory, which listed Harvard, Marengo and Woodstock as being available for toll calls from Chicago at 30 cents for 5 minutes. In the late 1800s, many McHenry County towns established their own telephone exchanges, with private companies started by local businessmen. By the end of 1898 there were 154 telephones in Harvard, 101 in Woodstock and 127 in Marengo. Learn how telephone service was established in McHenry County towns that included Crystal Lake, McHenry, and Woodstock. View a collection of early 1900s telephones on display.
• Batter Up! For young and old alike, sports were the catalyst for town spirit and pride. The first recorded game of “base ball” in McHenry County was in 1865, when Woodstock defeated Harvard. By 1900, baseball was in full swing in McHenry County. Learn about the day the Chicago Cubs came to Woodstock to play the Woodstock Olivers and view early 1900s’ postcards of amateur baseball clubs which played in the county.
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