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Don's parents moved to McHenry County in the late 1940s. His mother served as McHenry County Home Advisor in the early 1950s and, for more than 25 years, taught fourth grade and developed gifted education programs within the Johnsburg School District. His father taught sixth grade in Antioch and other Lake County schools. Don was a McHenry County resident for decades and now lives in Wisconsin. He has contributed to the museum's collection and served as a museum volunteer since 2008. He joined the board in 2011, focused on bringing technology to the table. He coordinates those aspects and provides support as a board and committee member in other areas including strategic planning, research library communications and organizational governance. Don retired from Follett in 2003 after more than 20 years helping school and special libraries throughout the U.S. automate their collections. In the 1970s and ’80s he worked as a professional photographer, later owning a photo-finishing center and camera shop in Crystal Lake. It also housed a commercial studio, rental darkrooms, and a small photographic museum. Today, he's partner with Chuck Follett in their warmer weather antique shop, Bulldog Antiques, LLC in Marengo.
Don has been involved with many organizations over the years, including the Society of American Archivists, American Association of State and Local History, Illinois Association of Museums, Software Publishers Association, Certified Photographic Counselors, Chicago Area Photographic Collectors, Boy Scouts of America, Smithsonian Institution, American Library Association, Chicago History Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, Lake/McHenry Alliance of Historic Groups, Wisconsin Historical Society, Federation of Wisconsin Museums, Association of Midwest Museums, Photopeople, Applepeople, Macadamia and is past President and Director of the Northwest Area Arts Council.
Don is an award-winning photographer and has published articles related to photographic preservation and technology progress. He continues to consult in these areas.
Don was attracted back to our historical society by the opportunity to help educate residents about the significance of local history. His wife, Tracie, served on the McHenry County Historic Preservation Study Committee with former administrator Nancy Fike, working to create the MCHP Commission in the early 1990s. A big focus for him now is editing and designing the museum's quarterly Tracer journal. He's also seeing both the 50th anniversary of the museum's opening during the 1976 bicentennial and America's 250th as excellent opportunities for the museum, still largely unknown to many county residents..
He is energized by our educational potential, our great core of volunteers and the care our staff takes along the way.

Recent Articles Posted:

Division medal winners Bob and Chris Frenz

Estate Planning can benefit future generations, leave a lasting legacy.

Have an original piece of art showing portraying a historic structure, landscape or vista? Contact the Historical Society to find out how we help each other – and further historic preservation.

Watching - 19 x 16 oil ($70) Artist: Betty Schmidt

The city of Woodstock has begun the process for the acquisition, restoration, preservation and reuse of the historic old McHenry County Courthouse built in 1857. It is one of a few remaining pre-Civil War courthouse buildings in Illinois. The sheriff’s house was added in 1887. The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

More than 200 people celebrated golden anniversary of the McHenry County Historical Society