What we're about
The mission of the Highland Park Historical Society is to preserve our community’s past, to inspire an appreciation of our history and culture and share with the community and scholars the rich history of Highland Park, Illinois.
The Society is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and is administered by a volunteer Board of Directors. The Society’s operations, exhibits and research collections are housed in the National Register-listed Jean Butz James house.
The Highland Park Historical Society maintains or preserves three historic structures: the Jean Butz James Museum, the Francis Stupey Cabin and the Robert G. Robinison Bandstand. Click on each image below for more information on each of our sites.
Exhibits and Education
Throughout the year, the Society hosts exhibits, lectures and educational events at our historic sites as well as throughout the community. Educational Field Trips are conducted throughout the year and Teacher Toolkits are available by appointment.
The Highland Park Historical Society Archives and Research Center holds approximately 700 cubic feet of research materials. The repository’s collection documents the distinct, diverse community of Highland Park, Illinois and its citizens. The Museum houses a wide variety of items. Some collections of note:
Highland Park City Records; and local collections documenting business, progressive and vocational education in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, cultural life, and photography.
Architecture records of J. Marion Gutnayer and Robert Arnold
Jesse Lowe Smith Photographic Botany Collection
Highland Park Woman’s Club
Ravina Festival programs
Photographs of Highland Park and environs
100 years of Highland Park High School Yearbooks
In 2010 the Society became the recipient of an $86,000 Basic Processing and Preservation Planning Project matching grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the granting agency of the National Archives and Records Administration. This grant has allowed us to focus on organizing, preserving and making the Collections accessible to the public online.