Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

Rewinding LZ’s history

A glimpse into Lake Zurich’s past at the Ela Historical Museum
Photo by Tessa Fabsik
The Ela Historical Museum is located in downtown Lake Zurich. This museum is worth visiting for the insights it gives into the past of Lake Zurich.

From the creator of the rotary phone to Seth Paine’s history as a utopian socialist, the Ela Historical Museum unveils several intriguing secrets about Lake Zurich and surrounding areas.

After visiting and exploring its vast offerings, I believe that the museum is certainly worth a visit because of these valuable insights it provides on the past.           

Upon entry, the museum may appear cluttered and random, but once acquainted with the friendly and informed staff, the artifacts in the museum are transformed into insightful relics of the past. 

The museum outlines the history of Ela Township, from the Potawatomi tribe to present inhabitants. While Lake Zurich may seem relatively mundane, there are a few exciting stories told in the museum. 

For example, my tour guide seemed interested in Seth Paine (the man the Set Paine Elementary School was named after). Paine was a socialist and abolitionist attempting to start a utopian society in Lake Zurich. While this society did not exactly catch on, Paine is credited with founding the town.  

Other stories are depicted in pictures showcased within the museum. For example, one such picture shows the Lake Zurich Golf Course in which doctors moved cadavers onto the fields so they could call it a graveyard, preventing the construction of train tracks on the course.

The museum is also home to old maps and photographs that show how Lake Zurich used to be compared to its present day state. One map details which people owned each part of land in Ela Township originally.  This provides an interesting perspective on how the town grew into what it is today. 

Other artifacts include old cheerleading uniforms and yearbooks as well as a collection of things related to the rotary phone’s inventor who lived in Lake Zurich. 

While there were intriguing details, some “artifacts” shown at the museum such as an old violin and ox yolk seemed unimportant. However, the overall excitement of the museum made up for some of these lacking items. 

The Ela Historical Museum is open from 12-3 p.m. on Saturdays with no admission fees. 

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About the Contributor
Tessa Fabsik
Tessa Fabsik, Staff Writer
This is Tessa’s second year on staff and first year as Bear Facts' Junior Sports Editor. Tessa spends most of her free time playing tennis or soccer. She is also involved in NHS, Freshmen Foundations, French Club, and International Club. Outside of school, Tessa finds herself walking her dog, Finnick; reading; baking; or obsessing over Taylor Swift.    

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