Free Summer Sundays at Colonel Palmer House begins on June 3

Mon May 14, 2018

The Summer Sundays series at Colonel Palmer House is back again for 2018 with three special themes. Travel back in time with each of our Summer Sunday special events where our costumed staff has plenty of displays and hands-on experiences. Each Summer Sunday is from 1-4 pm on the lawn of the Colonel Palmer House. The house will be open for tours during each event. This event will be held rain or shine.

The Colonel Palmer House located at 660 E. Terra Cotta Rd. was built c.1858 by settlers Gustavus and Henrietta Palmer. Located on its original site, the home was entered in the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. Currently the home is maintained by the Crystal Lake Park District and home to the Crystal Lake Historical Society. For information about the Summer Sunday series call Ann Viger at 815-459-0680, ext. 1205 or email

Sunday, June 3

1858: A Foundation is Laid

Celebrate the 160th birthday of the historic Colonel Palmer House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Henrietta and Gustavus Palmer will welcome you to their new, stately home that was expertly crafted by architect and mason Andrew Jackson Simons. Learn about the construction of the home, including ongoing efforts to preserve and restore the cobblestone foundation in a historically proper manner. Meet John Deere (portrayed by historian Brian "Fox" Ellis) to learn about "modern" farm implements and techniques. Join in on a barn raising, wagon rides and farm life.


Sunday, July 15

1838: A Family is Rooted

Visit an era of pioneers and settlers as McHenry County changes from a rugged frontier into a rapidly growing cluster of farms and villages. Experience life on the trail inside a covered wagon and see what the settlers found in this new land. What did they bring for the journey? What did they eat on the trail? Meet some of our earliest settlers - you will recognize their names! Where did they come from? What legacy did they leave?

Sunday, August 12

1818: A Frontier is Forged

When the State of Illinois was established 200 years ago, what is now McHenry County was unchartered and was inhabited primarily by Native Americans, trappers and traders. Join us on a trip from Kaskaskia to Lake Michigan as we follow the rivers in the footsteps of early explorers and adventurers. Collect treasures along the route and match wits with the brave settlers. Learn about famous Illinoisans, discoveries and inventions that were made in Illinois. Presented in cooperation with the Crystal Lake Public Library. In 2018, the Colonel Palmer house will celebrate its 160th year. Our final Summer Sunday of the season will launch this much anticipated event. Enjoy reliving games and toys your ancestors played as we discover childhoods of the past.