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'Dearly Departed' event planned at Colonel Palmer House

Published: Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 2:11 p.m. CDT

CRYSTAL LAKE – The Crystal Lake Historical Society will present its fourth annual "Dearly Departed,” program featuring a new story based on real-life circumstances, on Oct. 25 and 26 at the Colonel Palmer House.

This event has sold out each year, so tickets should be bought early.

Guests will enjoy a 45-minute presentation through the Colonel Palmer House as historians reveal the "Tragedy at the Ice House." 

The crystal-clear water of the city's spring-fed lake produced some of the finest ice in northern Illinois. During the winter months, ice was cut from the lake and stored in large ice houses.

Each winter, the ice harvest at Crystal Lake employed hundreds of local men. These men risked their lives by using dangerous tools and equipment in sub-zero temperatures on the frozen lake. Many accidents occurred.

The Crystal Lake Historical Society will re-create one such tragic accident. Attendees will become part of the story as the move through the Colonel Palmer House and meet with early 20th-century residents as they reveal the story.

Tickets cost $8 for adults, $5 for seniors 65 and older, and $5 for children 12 and younger.

The performances are scheduled to start every 15 minutes from 6 to 8 p.m. both evenings at the Colonel Palmer House, 660 E. Terra Cotta Ave.

Each performances lasts about 45 minutes.

For tickets, call 815-455-1151 or visit

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