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Diana Dretske
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The Bain Wagon
For museums, an object's story is essential to preserving and telling a community's history. And sometimes an object has more than one story to tell. Take for instance, "The Bain" wagon donated to the museum in 2011. The wagon's story encompasses that of an...

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James T. Bacon (1830 - 1895)
In the early winter of 1834, citizens of the village Hannibal, New York were stirring about the prospect of moving west. James Bacon, who was just a toddler, did not understand the great fuss of the "western enthusiasts" who included his uncle Hudson Bacon....

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One-Room School Teacher, Fanny Hinkston
A picture is worth a thousand words. In the case of Frances "Fanny" Hinkston, her photo was my starting point for uncovering a forgotten life. Fanny Hinkston Bacon (1831 - 1858) Photo circa 1855.  Collections of Lake County Discovery Museum It was difficult...

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Mother Rudd's Temperance Tavern
The historic Mother Rudd House stands on the corner of Old Grand Avenue and Kilbourne Road in Gurnee. The building is a testament to Lake County's settlement period and the county's role in the national Temperance Movement. Mother Rudd House, Gurnee, Illino...

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Historic Minto Home, 1857 - 2016
Nearly everyday I drive past the Minto homestead on Deep Lake Road in Antioch Township. I have spent years researching and acquainting myself with this historic family of Scottish immigrants through the letters, diaries and objects preserved by the Lake Cou...

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Benton Township Families
When Samuel S. Cole and Grace B. Baird married on May 27, 1859, they united two families, who were early immigrants to Lake County, Illinois and Benton Township. James Cole and Nancy Swetnum Cole immigrated with their children from Ireland to America in 183...

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96th Illinois Captain Blodgett's Roster
Asiel Z. Blodgett of Waukegan understood the importance of being a good leader. During the Civil War, he served as the main recruiter and Captain of Company D, 96th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He prided himself on knowing each of the men in his command. Wh...

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The Harness Horse Racing Craze
Harness racing at McKay's race track,  Waukegan, Illinois, circa 1878. (LCDM Glass Negatives Collection) Horse racing, specifically harness racing, was a wildly popular past-time in Lake County from the 1850s to the 1910s. The "farmer's sport" of harness ra...

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John Hobart Jansen - First Waukegan Fireman to Die in Line of Duty
John Hobart Jansen (1861 - 1908) was the first member of the Waukegan Fire Department to die in the line of duty. The son of Prussian immigrants, John was born near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and worked on his family's farm. When he was about 23 years old, he le...

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Bruce Jenner Physical Fitness Trail
The running and fitness craze of the 1970s, and the popularity of Olympic champion Bruce Jenner, led to the creation of the "Bruce Jenner Physical Fitness Trail" at Lakewood Forest Preserve. Named in honor of Olympic decathlon champion Bruce Jenner, the tra...
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