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posted: 6/17/2013 8:04 AM

History museum series to look at Elgin Mental Health Center

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  • This month's Brown Bag Lunch Series at the Elgin History Museum will discuss the history and impact of the Elgin Mental Health Center.

    This month's Brown Bag Lunch Series at the Elgin History Museum will discuss the history and impact of the Elgin Mental Health Center.
    Courtesy of Jerry Turnquist


Submitted by Elgin History Museum

The Elgin History Museum, 360 Park St., continues its monthly Brown Bag Lunch Series this summer at noon on the third Thursday of the month. Bring your lunch; beverages and dessert provided.

On June 20, join fellow history fans to explore the history and impact of the Elgin Mental Health Center with local historian Bill Briska. On July 18, the topic will be Elgin in the 1930s. Learn all about what was important to Elgin in that important decade. On Aug. 15, Ken Flaks will give a presentation on American Flyer Model Railroads.

Admission is $3, $1 for students, or free for museum members. For details, call (847) 742-4248 or visit

2013 is the 100th anniversary of the first national motorcycle race in the country and it happened in Elgin. John Arcand and Bill Moring will present a history of the 1913 Elgin race, and motorcycle racing in general, with examples of vintage bikes, images, and other collection material from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 23.

On Sunday, July 28, the museum will host an antique car show from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. An exhibition of restored Thunderbirds and Model Ts will be on display in the museum parking lot. There will be live music by rockin' country band Rural Route One. Refreshments will be provided.

On Sunday, Sept. 22, the 26th annual Cemetery Walk will be from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the historic Bluff City Cemetery on Elgin's southeast side. The cemetery walk was started in 1988 by Jerry Turnquist. For more than 25 years, they have portrayed Elgin citizens from all walks of life.

From the richest of the rich to everyday folks, their stories have educated and entertained all. Visitors are guided to grave sites of former Elgin residents, where actors in period costume portray them and share stories of their lives and times.

Businesses, organizations, and individuals are encouraged to sponsor the cemetery walk. Sponsorship packages range from $25 to $350. Call the museum at (847) 742-4248 for information on sponsoring this year's walk.

The Elgin History Museum is housed in an 1856 landmark building known as Old Main that was once part of the Elgin Academy. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Through permanent and changing exhibits, the museum brings to life Elgin's rich heritage.

Permanent exhibits include Elgin National Watch Company, the E. Maude and Carl Parlasca Native American Collection, and Elgin Road Race memorabilia. Museum hours are noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday.

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