Kenney: Centennial celebration continues with speaker series

Do you remember Crystal Lake’s first centennial?

How can it be that we are having another centennial? Crystal Lake’s first settlers – Beman and Polly Crandall – arrived in 1836, making way for the 1936 centennial celebration. The four-day celebration included a pageant, a community picnic, an antique display, a musical concert and a parade. Some of today’s longtime residents remember standing on the street corners watching the parade go by.

Our current yearlong centennial celebration marks the 100-year anniversary of when the city of Crystal Lake was incorporated in 1914.

Throughout the upcoming year, local historians will be presenting a monthly speaker series on topics relating to the history of our community. The speaker series kicks off at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Crystal Lake Municipal Complex, 100 W. Woodstock St. I will present an overview of the history of Crystal Lake.

With more than 100 vintage images, I will share information about various topics, such as churches, schools, government, people, military, transportation, businesses, buildings and more. Learn about the bickering between our two original villages of Crystal Lake and Nunda, the construction projects that brought them together, and their decision to merge and form the city of Crystal Lake in 1914.

Each month, the Historical Speaker Series will provide details on another aspect of Crystal Lake’s history. Here’s the rest of the speaker schedule; all events are at 1 p.m. at the Crystal Lake Municipal Complex unless noted:

• Nov. 10: Swedenberg – A Community Within a Community (Ann Wells).

• Dec. 8: History of the Crystal Lake Fire/Rescue Department (Chris Williams).

• Jan. 12: History of the Crystal Lake Public Library (Sue Riegler).

• Feb. 9: Architecture in Crystal Lake (Tom Nemcek).

• March 9: American Terra Cotta & Ceramic Co. (LeeAnn Atwood).

• April 13: Historic Congregations of Crystal Lake (Ryan Pettit).

• May 4: Railroad History of Crystal Lake/Nunda (Craig Pfannkuche), 1 p.m. at Crystal Lake Country Club.

• June 8: Historic Preservation Commission Trolley Tour, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Downtown Gazebo.

• July is to be announced.

• Aug. 10: Schools (Bob Frenz).

• Sept. 14: Union Cemetery (Laurel Mellien).

You can visit to find out more information about these and other events planned throughout the year.

• Diana Kenney is president of the Crystal Lake Historical Society.

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