Location

660 E. Terra Cotta Ave, Crystal Lake

Phone: 815.477.5873

Hours

Th-Fri, 11 AM - 5 PM

Sat, 10 AM - 4 PM

Contact Ben Johnson at bjohnson@crystallakeparks.org

colonel Palmer house info in digital guide


Drop-In Special Interest

FREE Open House-just drop in!

Join us for a glimpse into the German heritage of our community as we celebrate Christmas with Gustavus and Henrietta Palmer. Drop by to savor some historic holiday cheer, visit our gift shop and enjoy the special candle lit ambience of the historic home.

Hosted by the Crystal Lake Historical Society and the Crystal Lake Park District

Questions?

special event

Ages 4 & up

The popular Mother/Daughter Tea is back! Enjoy several different teas, sandwiches and desserts as you spend a relaxing afternoon bonding with family and friends while learning about Victorian-era tea etiquette.

Location: Colonel Palmer House, 660 E. Terra Cotta Avenue, Crystal Lake

choice of seating: Sun, Apr 24, 12:30-2 pm or 3-4:30 pm

$29 resident/$38 non-resident

Register online Beginning Dec 10

BIRTHDAY PARTIES

For 1.5 hours, the historic Colonel Palmer House staff will host you and your guests as we celebrate your birthday Victorian-era style. Luncheon includes seasonal fruit, three finger sandwiches, and three delectable desserts (cake not provided) and of course, tea! Victorian dining etiquette will be presented and lively parlor games will be played. Party times available on Saturdays and Sundays. Maximum 25 guests.

FAIRY BIRTHDAY: Be swept away into a fantasy world of fairies with our short fairy presentation and fairy-themed crafts. Available for children 4 & older.

VICTORIAN BIRTHDAY: Victorian dining etiquette will be presented and parlor games from the 1800s-era will complete the party.

Fee: $25 per person (resident or non-resident)

To reserve your party, please contact Ben Johnson, Colonel Palmer House Facility Manager at 815.477.5873 or bjohnson@crystallakeparks.org.


  • General Information

    Gustavus A. Palmer and his wife Henrietta arrived in McHenry County from Nunda, New York by covered wagon circa 1841. As early pioneers to the area they purchased land from the Federal Government to start their homestead. The Colonel, as he was called by his neighbors, would eventually acquire over 300 acres of property. As a successful farmer he hired Andrew Jackson Simons, a local architect, to build this Greek Revival and Federalist style brick home in 1858. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the home and grounds provide the perfect setting for historic presentations.

    The building is now open to the public for tours, special events, and research of local history. The home contains the office of the Crystal Lake Historical Society who maintains records of Crystal Lake history and collections of local artifacts.



    A Unique Partnership

    The Colonel Palmer House is operated and maintained by the Crystal Lake Park District and leased from the City of Crystal Lake. The Park District and Crystal Lake Historical Society partner to bring our area's history to the community. This partnership won the 2009 Small Institution of the Year Award from the Illinois Association of Museums. Our thanks to the many dedicated interpreters, re-enactors, hobbyists and staff who volunteer their time and knowledge to make our programs successful.


    Contact Info

    Ben Johnson, Colonel Palmer House Manager
    815.477.5873
    bjohnson@crystallakeparks.org

  • activities

    The Colonel Palmer House is known for its many programs and special events that bring history to life. Check the Crystal Lake Park District seasonal program guide for the most up to date information. History Happens Here!

  • SCOUT PROGRAMS

    The Crystal Lake Park District provides comprehensive Boy Scout/Girl Scout programs at the Colonel Palmer House.

    CUB SCOUTS

    • $6 per participant
    • Achievement & Electives for Tiger, Bear, Wolf and Webelo
    • 1-1.5 hour of instruction
    • All instructors have completed Youth Protection Training

    BOY SCOUTS

    • Merit Badge Programs
    • Fee based on Merit Badge
    • Programs available any time including evenings and weekends
    • Length of programs vary
    • All instructors have completed Youth Protection Training and are registered Merit Badge Counselors

    GIRL SCOUTS

    • Call to reserve your troop's ideal date
    • All day Journey Activities
    • 1-2 Badge Programs
    • LIA Opportunities
    • Fees based on program/activity

  • VOLUNTEERs

    Volunteer opportunities at the Colonel Palmer House are ongoing, both inside the house and on the grounds. Contact the manager for upcoming events and details.

  • RENTALS

    CATERED TEA

    Looking for something new for one of your club's monthly meetings? Join us at the historic Colonel Palmer House and let us do the work! Costumed staff will make all the arrangements including a program on the Palmer family history and tour of the home.

    Date: Saturdays or Sundays

    Maximum Capacity: 24

    Fee: $25 per person

    Perfect for:

    • Historic Groups and Guilds
    • Bridal Showers Baby Showers
    • Birthday Parties

    BIRTHDAY PARTIES

    For 1.5 hours, the historic Colonel Palmer House staff will host you and your guests as we celebrate your birthday Victorian-era style. Luncheon includes seasonal fruit, three finger sandwiches, and three delectable desserts (cake not provided) and of course, tea! Victorian dining etiquette will be presented and lively parlor games will be played. Party times available on Saturdays and Sundays. Maximum 25 guests.

    FAIRY BIRTHDAY: Be swept away into a fantasy world of fairies with our short fairy presentation and fairy-themed crafts. Available for children 4 & older.

    VICTORIAN BIRTHDAY: Victorian dining etiquette will be presented and parlor games from the 1800s-era will complete the party.

    Fee: $25 per person (resident or non-resident)

    To reserve your party, please contact the Colonel Palmer House Facility Manager at 815.477.5873 or bjohnson@crystallakeparks.org.

    INFO