Lake Bluff summer resort history walk scheduled Sunday

The Hotel Irving will be discussed on one of the Lake Bluff History Museum tours. Now demolished, the hotel was popular with summer guests who enjoyed a bowling alley and billiard room, among other features. | Provided
The Hotel Irving will be discussed on one of the Lake Bluff History Museum tours. Now demolished, the hotel was popular with summer guests who enjoyed a bowling alley and billiard room, among other features. | Provided

The Lake Bluff History Museum will showcase the town’s summer resort past on a docent-led walking tour this weekend.

“Camp Meeting Cottages and Country House” will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday, July 13. The 90-minute tour starts from the Lake Bluff History Museum, 127 E. Scranton Ave., Lake Bluff, and participants are asked to arrive 10 minutes early.

Participants will view first-hand the history of homes and the area developed by the Lake Bluff Camp Meeting Association and summer residents during the latter part of the 19th century.

“There’s a very rich summer history that we have and it’s mostly on the east side of town,” said Kathy O’Hara, who wrote the tours. “There are a lot of things we do today that are very reminiscent of those times.”

Today’s Bluffinia festival on Sundays, for example, harkens back to the summer camp meetings, she said.

The second tour in this series, “Camp Meetings, Chautauquas, Artists and Anarchists,” is scheduled on Sunday, Oct. 5. It will provide additional history of a period in the early 1900s when Lake Bluff was a destination attracting an eclectic mix of writers, poets, musicians, artists and anarchists.

“We’ve always been interested in arts, music and certainly beach activities,” she said.

The third tour, “Uptown, All Around the Town,” will focus on the commercial district and surrounding area. This tour will be held in 2015.

The tours are recommended for children 12 and above and adults.

O’Hara likens learning about a town’s history to studying a personal ancestral tree.

“Characteristics and values are passed down in families, and they’re passed down in towns, too,” she said.

Tickets for Sunday’s tour are $10 each and may be purchased at the museum during regular hours or on the day of the walk on a space-available basis.

Parking is available at no charge in the Lake Bluff Central Business District and in the Metra parking lot adjacent to the train station.

Museum hours are Tuesday and Thursday from 1-4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For information, visit www.lakebluffhistory.org, e-mail events@lakebluffhistory.org or call 847 482-1571.

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