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Free program planned at Colonel Palmer House

CRYSTAL LAKE – The 2013 Summer Sunday Series at Colonel Palmer House continues from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

This program will be on the grounds of the Colonel Palmer House, 660 E. Terra Cotta Ave. (Route 176). Summer Sunday programs are free and open to people of all ages.

This month’s theme, “Prairie Life: Its People, Plants and Purpose,” showcases the people who lived and relied on the prairie before the settlers arrived from the east in the 1830s.

Members of the La Compagnie du Pays d’Illinois, a group of living history interpreters, will portray the French and early British period fur trade, as well as French-Potawatomi Métis life ways.

Hands-on demonstrations include food ways and preparation, as well as plant uses in medicines, dyes and ceremonial purposes.

Crystal Lake Park District Nature Center manager John Fiorina will discuss the restoration of the native prairie based on the 1820 survey of Illinois and will share with attendees which plants are native to our prairie and how the prairie has changed over time.

Children will enjoy creating their own Potawatomi headband with the assistance of National Honor Society students from Jacobs High School.

During the series, the Colonel Palmer House will be open to visitors. Exhibits inside the home include Native American artifacts on loan from living history interpreter Jean-Claude St. Martin and the McHenry County Historical Society.

The Palmer family and house history of the Federal and Greek Revival style home, which was built in 1858, will be presented.

Visitors are invited to Mrs. Palmer’s kitchen to enjoy refreshments provided by the Crystal Lake Historical Society.

For information, call Mary Ott at 815-477-5873 or email

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