The Morton Grove Historical Society was founded on September 10, 1970 with a goal to preserve the artifacts and stories of Morton Grove’s past. Our village was just starting to appreciate its rich history while celebrating its 75 anniversary that year. It was also the beginning of a decade that would see many local historical societies established in anticipation of the 1976 bicentennial. The Society began under the leadership a local senior citizen organization, with no permanent home until finding space in the lower level of the Flickinger Center (Morton Grove Village Hall), in the space now used by the Morton Grove Chamber of Commerce.
In 1984, a building company offered the Society the Haupt Yehl building on Lincoln Avenue at McVicker, with the stipulation that they find it a new location. This home had been in the Haupt and Yehl families since 1888, and was now destined to become the Morton Grove Historical Museum. After a massive effort in which the community worked alongside the Society for over two years raising the necessary funds. The Haupt-Yehl Historical Museum opened to the public in June of 1986 representing a fully restored late 19th Century farmhouse depicting local life in the period 1888 to 1918.
The Haupt-Yehl House was later joined by the John & Mary Helen Slater Education Center two decades later adding the museum grounds, which now also includes the outdoor gardens and a statue of a Potawatomi Eagle Dancer, carved from a rescued portion of an Indian Marker Tree. The Society is also the steward of Morton Grove’s cherished “Doughboy” statue which is on the registry of Unites States WWI Centennial Commission. This monument has stood on its original site since 1921 on Lincoln Avenue, to be joined by the Morton Grove Library in 1952.
The Society and Museum continue its partnership with the Morton Grove Park District to look forward in ways to preserve and honor our past using new methods such as the joint program with the Morton Grove Library titled “My Morton Grove” to capture audio and video stories of our residents about their lives and ancestors which have helped enrich the diverse culture of Morton Grove.