Past Exhibits

Leave Nothing on the Field: A Brief History of Sports in Grayslake

Grayslake Athletics

This limited engagement show explored the stories of past local athletes, from professionals to amateurs and examined how the role of sports in American society has changed over time. Colorful personalities, such as former Chicago Bear Jim McMillen and former New York Mets pitcher Jay Hook were included. A special section of the exhibition focused on the role of Title IX in sports history.

Photograph courtesy of the Grayslake Historical Society

Northern Illinois Quilt ShowChildrens Quilt

The Grayslake Heritage Center & Museum joined other museums to participate in the Northern Illinois Quilt Show in 2011. Working with Sew Bee It, the museum presented stunning quilts from the 1930s to the present, with a special section showing visitors how to make a quilt.

Putting Our Community on the Map

Avon Map

The Grayslake Historical Society's rare maps took center stage in this exhibition representing more than 175 years of history. From the earliest Native American settlements and paths to modern roads and familiar landmarks, visitors saw first-hand how this community grew and changed over time.

Map Courtesy of the Grayslake Historical Society

It's a Wonderful Life in Grayslake

It’s a Wonderful Life Promotion

Local collector Richard Goodson loaned the museum his memorabilia from the iconic film, It's a Wonderful Life, for a stunning holiday display. The exhibition included rare cast photos, call sheets, lobby cards, the story that inspired the film and even Jimmy Stewart's hand prints and bow-tie. A special section of the show compared and contrasted the mythical Bedford Falls with the Village of Grayslake in the 1920s, 30s and 40s.

Cookies, Camping and Community: The Girl Scout Story

Girl Scout Uniforms

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts of America, Cookies, Camping and Community highlighted the history of the Girl Scouts in the Grayslake area. The show featured rare images and artifacts from the collections of the Grayslake Historical Society, Lisle and Vernon Hills Regional Service Centers and former local Scouts. The exhibition included some wonderful candid images from local Scouts dating back to the 1940s, 50s and 60s, uniforms through the years, decades of changing gear and quotes throughout from local Scouts. Visitors could also have their picture taken with a life-sized cut-out of Girl Scouts of America founder Juliette Gordon Low.

Behind the Brush: A Celebration of Three Grayslake Artists

Korell Freedom Flight

This exhibition featured works by three local artists: Charles Oglesby Longabaugh (1884-1944), Willadene L. Nicholas (1910-2007) and Jean Korell, a local artist still painting at the age of 95. The 23 water colors and two pen and ink drawings came from the collection of the Grayslake Historical Society, local collectors and the Korell family.

Where the Fun Grows: 60 Years of the Grayslake Community Park District

View of exhibit with decorative tree, kids play area, and costumes

 "Where the Fun Grows" was a collaboration with the Grayslake Heritage Center, Grayslake Historical Society, and Grayslake Park District to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Grayslake Community Park District. Visitors learned more about Grayslake parks through images, old program books, and more. There were wonderful interactive activities for kids, like designing your own park and trying on jerseys, costumes, and T-shirts from old Park District programs.

Overcoming Disasters: A Community Comes Together 


"Overcoming Disasters: A Community Comes Together". Grayslake has faced fires, tornadoes, floods, and now a pandemic. With original photographs and artifacts from the Grayslake Historical Society and immersive sense though by the College of Lake County’s theater department, visitors were able to be eyewitness to disasters of the past and how we overcame them. 

Remembering 10 Grayslake Stories

rememberingSome stories you may have already known, like Pat’s Pizza or the Grayslake Family Outdoor Theater. Others, like our namesake William M. Gray or Grayslake’s first carnival, you may have wondered about. This scrapbook style exhibit with hands-on carnival games, a silent movie about Grayslake's drive-in theater, artifacts from the Grayslake Historical Society, sets made by the College of Lake County, and more told the stories of Grayslake that the citizens of Grayslake wanted to know more about.

Be True to Your School: 75 Years of Grayslake High Schools

Be True to Your School (1)What do you remember about high school? The Friday night lights? How you made your best friend? Join us for the grand opening of a new exhibit about Grayslake’s two high schools.

Focus on Grayslake

Image of Focus on Grayslake exhibit with mural, frame portraits, and a kids play areaFocus on Grayslake began as a visual art project on social media in celebration of Grayslake’s 125th year in 2020. The exhibit features a variety of photographs and stories captured by photographer, Zee Lacson, about life in Grayslake.