Elgin History Museum





The Museum offers lectures at your facility by members of our Speaker’s Bureau, available on a variety of interesting historical topics. An honorarium is required for each speaker. Discounts are available for Museum members and for programs presented at the Museum instead of at your location. Call the Museum at 847-742-4248 to schedule a program or to request additional information. A list of our current programs is provided below..

Elgin in the 1950s

Elgin historian Jerry Turnquist features Elgin in the 1950s when the Elgin Watch Factory was still producing watches, the Soapbox Derby was held every August on National Street, and everyone went to Elgin High School!

Bicycle Built for Two

With three different bicycle companies in Elgin, Elgin Bike Ambassador Tom Armstrong, has a lot to talk about when he discusses the history of bicycle use and manufacturing in the Elgin area.

Herstory: Stories of Elgin Women

Linda Rock portrays a variety of Elgin women, including: Laura Gifford, Emeline Borden, Jennie Tazewell, Mary Lord, Alyce “Byrdie” Potter, and Anna Schrader in a 45-minute presentation. The program includes four of the listed women and Ms. Rock makes costume changes as she changes characters. Question and answer period.

What’s In A Name: Elgin

A program on the history of Elgin as told through street names and public building names. Participants play a team game of Elgin history with fun and informative answers. Presented by Elgin History Museum Director, Elizabeth Marston.

Elgin National Watch Company

Watch specialist Bill Briska highlights the history of the famous Elgin National Watch Company.

Preservation Workshop

Note: This program is offered at the Museum only. Hands-on presentation on how to care for antique photographs, paper, wood, and fabric items. Participants will learn how to clean, humidify, and encapsulate paper and photos, and how to clean and protect wood and metal. Presented by Elizabeth Marston.