The Wauconda Township Historical Society exists for the study and preservation of the history and the genealogy of the Township of Wauconda Township, in Lake County, Illinois. Wauconda Township forms the southwestern corner of Lake County and includes the communities of Wauconda, Volo, Lakemoor, Port Barrington, Lake Barrington, and the eastern portion of Island Lake, Illinois.
Wauconda Township was settled in the late 1830s by several related families from Vermont. It was formally organized in 1849 by Justus Bangs, founder of Wauconda. Around that same year, Andrew and Mary Cook built the first brick home in this area which still stands today at 711 N. Main Street. Over many years, dedicated volunteers have realized the importance of preserving this home and the rich history it brings to our township.
In 1992 The Illinois State Historical Society designated the Cook House a historic site.
In 2013, current members of the Historical Society approached Wauconda Township Supervisor Glenn Swanson and asked if there was a way that the township could help revitalize the museum. This was the beginning of a wonderful community partnership to preserve and collect artifacts of Wauconda Township and provided a venue for all to see these heirlooms and learn about the history of Wauconda Township.
Since then, over 2,000 artifacts have been inventoried allowing us to catalogue the collection and change displays of township items of cultural or historic interest for future visitors.
The Township and WTHS members and volunteers have worked hard to refresh the Cook House which has undergone much needed repairs and received a fresh coat of paint in all interior rooms and new exterior landscaping.
The house now showcases the history of the original Cook Family and their lifestyle in a farmhouse of that period, but also contains displays of many original artifacts of the Village of Wauconda and the other township communities from years past.
We invite the public to come and be a part of this history and you can do that in several ways:
Take a tour - private or group: (school, scouts, church, or organization). Please call (847-526-9303) and leave a message. Cathy Kulawik, our Tour Director, will be glad to contact you and set up a time convenient for you or your group.
Educational Programs -
On Monday, October 20th , we welcomed Diana Dretske, Lake County Historian and Collections Coordinator for the Lake County Forest Preserves’ Discovery Museum. She delved into Lake County’s history of the place names associated with our county’s communities. Learn how Wauconda really got its name and about how other local communities’ places and names were originated.
On Sunday, November 16th, we welcomed Laurel Mellien of Headstones & History. Laurel presented “The Art of Civil War Commemoration”. The program discussed the origins and symbolic meanings of the icons found on both monuments commemorating the Civil War as well as headstones of soldiers.
A tour of the newly renovated Cook House will also be offered at the end of the presentation.
We look forward to meeting many of you and your families in November and December!
Check out our upcoming events tab for information about our "Christmas with the Cooks" here at the Cook House in conjunction with the Wauconda Holiday Walk - Sat., Dec. 6th.
Are you interested in historical or genealogical research? We can help by making the artifacts, documents and historical materials in our possession available to researchers by appointment by again calling (847-526-9303).
Historical or genealogical research can be facilitated by request by contacting Librarians Lynn McAlister or Julie DeReu at the Wauconda Area Library (847-526-6225).
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Pat Oaks, President
Chuck Black, Vice President
Cindy Graff, Secretary
Roberta Francisco, Treasurer
Lynn McAlister, Library Liaison
Board of Directors: