Morton Grove Historical Museum and Education Center
Serving a Culturally Diverse Community
A Cooperative Effort of the Morton Grove Historical Society and the Morton Grove Park District
Step back into yesteryear at the Morton Grove Historical Museum. Relocated in Morton Grove's historic Harrer Park, the Haupt-Yehl House is furnished to represent the early years of the century when our village was still young. Our Museum is typical of a farmhouse of the German families that settled here in the mid-1800's, containing many of the household items that would be present in this time period.
The Haupt-Yehl House
The Morton Grove Historical Museum was built in 1888 by Nicholas Haupt as a home for his wife and eight children. His wife, Magdalena, died before the house was complete, leaving behind her husband and eight children. After Nicholas also died two years later, the Haupt children remained together in the house until the youngest was of age. Third daughter Elizabeth married Mathias Yehl in 1901 and they raised their six children in the home. Yehl daughter Dorothy remained in the house until the property was sold in 1984. The Morton Grove Historical Society, in cooperation with the Morton Grove Park District, saved the house from demolition and moved the house from its original location on Lincoln Avenue it to its present site in Harrer Park. Currently, the Historical Society and Park District cooperate in maintaining and operating the Museum and Education Center. The museum collects and displays artifacts of significance to Morton Grove, including those of the original founders and of more recent settlers to the community, all who continue to enhance the vitality of Morton Grove.
English and German families settled the area in the 1840's forming a small community out of the wilderness along the North Branch of the Chicago River. When the Railroad passed through in 1872, Levi Parsons Morton gave his name to the little stop on the Chicago-Milwaukee-St. Paul-Pacific Line. Before the turn-of-the-century Morton Grove had many prosperous businesses such as Miller's Mill, Globe, Henning and Squire-Dingee pickle processing plants and the Poehlmann Brothers Greenhouses. Bingham and Fernald built the first housing subdivision in 1891.
The Village of Morton Grove was incorporated on December 24, 1895, causing great celebration in 1995 for the Centennial Anniversary.
Museum Education Center
Our Museum Education Center, designed to match the architecture of our 1888 farmhouse, opened in 2008. This addition is equipped to meet the growing needs of our technologically-advanced community. The landscaping demonstrates the conservation of natural resources with native Illinois plants and a rain garden. This center has provided us with classroom space for a wide variety of school and community programs sponsored by the Morton Grove Park District and the Morton Grove Historical Society. Equipped with a state-of-the-art archival storage system, the Museum Education Center also serves as a research facility for our local history.
Exhibit and Programs
The Museum annual exhibit highlights a particular moment or theme in Morton Grove's long history and a display of photographs and artifacts documenting the community's evolution. Many of the Museum's volunteers are long time residents of Morton Grove and they provide an interesting commentary for visitors. In addition, the Museum sponsors a number of special programs throughout the year, including Star Gazing, the Old Village Bus Tour and Bird Walks in our local Forest Preserves. See the Museum page in the Park District brochure for current programs and events.
Educational Traveling History Trunks
School and community groups are invited to request Traveling History Trunks, available through our Museum and Education Center. Each trunk focuses on a different historical theme and is available throughout the calendar year. These trunks contain genuine artifacts, exhibit materials and activities that can be used to supplement the history learned in traditional textbook and classroom activities. The Morton Grove Historical Museum curator will bring the trunk to your location or schedule a program at the Museum Education Center, explore its contents with the participants, and guide the group in prearranged activities. Currently, the Museum has program boxes available focusing on the following themes:
- Our Local Native American Past, Our Local Pioneer Past
- The Civil War, World War I, World War II
- Natural History of Morton Grove (includes a selection of themes on local plants and animals, geology, archaeology and more)
- Power House- Sustainable Living in the 21st Century
- Enviroscapes Wetlands and Watersheds
- Toys in History
Call the Museum for more information on this service that is offered at no cost to local schools and community groups. Museum staff will work with educators to meet specific curriculum goals and scout groups to meet badge requirements.
Champion and Heritage Trees of Morton Grove
Champion trees are the finest specimens of their kind. They may be the largest, oldest or finest example of a species, exhibiting health and natural beauty. Heritage trees are important landmarks that commemorate aspects of Morton Grove's unique past.
Click here to learn more
Join the Morton Grove Historical Society
- The purpose of the Society is to bring together those people interested in Morton Grove history;
- To stimulate the interest of new and old residents and other persons as to the value of a historical society in the community;
- To cooperate with other community organizations;
- To continue updating local history and keep it current;
- To search out, collect, and preserve materials and objects that reflect the history of Morton Grove and its immediate area according to the provisions outlined in the Collections Management Policy;
- To jointly operate and maintain the Morton Grove Historical Museum (the Haupt-Yehl House) and Education Center with the Morton Grove Park District as outlined in the Museum Council Letter of Agreement. Museum Staff are employees of the Morton Grove Park District hired to coordinate daily museum operations in cooperation with the Morton Grove Historical Society.
- To locate, research, and properly mark significant historical sites in Morton Grove;
- To strive in the preservation and protection of certain unique historical structures for future generations.
When you join the Historical Society, you become a part of the effort to preserve Morton Grove's Heritage.
- Operating the Morton Grove Historical Museum (Haupt-Yehl House) in cooperation with the Morton Grove Park District.
- Placing brass plaques at significant historical sites throughout the Village.
- Collecting and preserving items related to the history of Morton Grove and its people.
- Presenting the past through museum exhibits, displays, and educational programming.
As a member, you will receive the Historical Society's newsletter and can attend meetings that offer free lectures on local history or historical topics. We hope you consider joining our Society.
|Student (18 and under)
|Family (one address)
|Senior Citizen (60 and over)
|Sponsor - any individual, organization, or corporation donating at least
|Family (one address)
Please make check payable to the Morton Grove Historical Society and mail, along with your name address and phone number, to:
Morton Grove Historical Society Membership
P.O. Box 542
Morton Grove, IL 60053
Your membership card will be sent to you by return mail. Annual membership dues run from April 1 through March 31. All dues and contributions are tax deductible.
For more information, please call the Museum at (847) 965-0203.
Museum Location and Hours
Sundays, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Wednesdays, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
or by appointment.
School and Community groups are invited to call the Museum and arrange a group tour available by appointment.
Admission to the Museum is free. Donations are appreciated.
Location (not the mailing address):
6148-6240 W. Dempster
Morton Grove, Illinois
Morton Grove Historical Museum
6834 W. Dempster
Morton Grove, Illinois 60053