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updated: 6/10/2013 4:21 PM

Join McHenry County Historical Society for programs

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  • See what it's like to play baseball in proper 19th-century fashion with the McHenry County Historical Society.

    See what it's like to play baseball in proper 19th-century fashion with the McHenry County Historical Society.
    Daily Herald File Photo


Submitted by McHenry County Historical Society

The McHenry County Historical Society will delve into history this summer with an old-fashioned baseball game, its annual meeting featuring a history of the Electoral College, and the Perkins Hall Players presenting "Path to Lakemoor -- The Dissolution of Lily Lake."

On Wednesday, June 12, the historical society examines the topsy-turvy political climate that was Lakemoor -- when it wasn't Lakemoor. The society's Perkins Hall Players present "Path to Lakemoor -- The Dissolution of Lily Lake" at 7 p.m. at the old Seneca Township Hall, now called Perkins Hall, at the corner of Franklinville and Garden Valley roads, southwest of Woodstock.

It is September 1941 and emotions are running high inside Lily Lake. Questions that surrounded the village's incorporation in 1938 -- including the validity of votes and its boundaries -- remain. There have been allegations of assault and political interference, contempt of court and fraud. It has led to what the press described as "riotous behavior."

In fact, the rift is so bad that many of those who backed formation of the village just a few years before now are calling for its end.

On this night, we are gathered at the nearby McHenry Town Hall (actually Perkins Hall -- i.e. the old Seneca Township Hall), where McHenry Township Supervisor Math N. Schmitt has agreed to host a public meeting in an effort to stop the feuding and rancor.

Each year the historical society strives to re-create an interesting and historically significant event from the county's past. Previous topics have included the McHenry County Poor Farm, the rise of women's organizations in mid-19th century, controversy surrounding "dirty dancing" in the 1920s, consternation in 1906 involving newfangled automobiles -- i.e. "devil wagons" -- and, last year, the feud over lake rights on McCullom Lake.

The society's intent is for the public to "sit in" on a meeting between those working to dissolve the village of Lily Lake and those who wish preserve the village.

Period clothing is encouraged for this free event. Keep in mind there are no restrooms and to avoid parking along busy Franklinville Road.

For information, call (815) 923-2267 or visit

Also this month, enjoy a Civil War-era baseball game pitting the McHenry County Independants (an actual team of that era) against the Lake County Athletics at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at Siems Memorial Park, off Highbridge Road in Union.

,Grayslake Heritage Center Executive Director Dave Oberg will umpire and emcee, explaining the rules and teaching the audience to cheer and jeer in proper 19th-century fashion. Bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on. Period clothing is encouraged.

The day features a display of Franklin Mint baseball parks, courtesy of Bill Rose, from noon to 2 p.m. in the West Harmony School on the museum grounds. The exhibit also is available for viewing from 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays, June 16 and 23.

At 7 p.m. Monday, June 24, the historical society will hold its annual meeting featuring Joseph Morton, a Crystal Lake resident, professor emeritus at Northeastern Illinois University. The political historian will explain how the Electoral College works and its role in determining four U.S. presidential elections. The society's annual meeting and light refreshments will follow. Donations are appreciated.

For information about these and other upcoming events, visit or call (815) 923-2267.