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Ela Township Historical Society and Museum

Our mission is collecting, preserving and sharing the history of Ela Township.

95 E. Main Street, Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
Phone: 847-438-2086
Email:  ElaHistorical@gmail.com
Website:  www.elahistoricalsociety.com
Hours:  Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Open meetings are the third Sunday of each month at 1 p.m.
President:  Nancy Schumm


Ela Township is proud to support the mission and goals of the Ela Township Historical Society and Museum. Please visit www.elahistoricalsociety.com for more information

While early settlers began arriving in the Ela area in 1835.  The first town meeting was April 2, 1835.  The Town Hall was built in 1865 on one acre deeded to the township by Isaac Fox.

The first meeting was held in the second floor meeting room of our current building in 1976.  Exhibits were kept in the basement Ela Township Auditor Mary Ann Davis lead Ela Township’s celebration of the Bicentennial of the US Constitution and was elected the first president of the society. Since those days We have had a variety of presidents and moved our exhibits to the main and second floor but nonetheless this society remains a lasting memorial to the Bicentennial Era.

Starting in member’s homes, then in the basement of Town Hall, and now on the main and second floors, the society is completely run by volunteers.  Dues are kept to a minimum to encourage membership for all.

1850+elected officials

Facts About Ela Township

Become a Member!

Stop into the museum or fill out a membership form below and begin receiving benefits!

In order to join you must pay a small fee per year.  Our membership types are as follows:

$10 Active Individual Member
$20 Family Membership (Members of one family at the same address)
$5 55+ Membership (Includes individuals over 55 years of age)
$100 Sustaining Membership (Person, group or firm interested in both the history of Ela Township and giving financial support to the historical society)

Join Us

Our Volunteer Staff

Every year we elect a new board as things continue to improve around the museum. All of our staff is volunteers who work very hard to make the museum what it is today We have countless volunteers but are always happy to see new faces.

President:  Nancy Schumm
Vice President:  Julie Vollbreacht
Treasurer:  Dick Price
Secretary: Amanda Dickson

Board of Directors: Dale Blau, Diane Kostick, Mark Hay (also serves as Technical Director)

Our members volunteer time to answer questions, to collect, process and preserve donated and collected photos, memorabilia and family histories.

Individuals come in to research information on their families and to donate photos and memorabilia.  Numerous people searching for their family history and students searching for local history have contacted us.

It is our hope to make the history of Ela Township available to everyone.  We strive for this by hosting topical programs, displays of historical photographs  and memorabilia as well as timely tours.

1850+elected officials

Facts About Ela Township

Nancy Schumm

Nancy Schumm


Nancy is the award-winning author of five books on regional history and she has written numerous articles for magazines and news media. As a self-professed history geek, Nancy has been lecturing and presenting professional papers on historic topics nationally and internationally since 1997, including two programs on historic studies for the Journey Through Hallowed Ground in Manassas, Virginia.

Schumm Consulting LLC conducts property studies for owners of historic properties, writes family histories and produces family legacy videos. Nancy has been featured in four  national videos on Midwestern history and interviews on Wisconsin Public Radio and WGN news.

In addition to her role with the Ela Historical Society, Nancy serves as an advisory member of the Lake-McHenry County Alliance to build strong partnerships between historical societies, the Wisconsin Barn Preservation Association to protect the rural heritage of Wisconsin, and the Landmarks Suburban Alliance to network on activities that promote our heritage in northeastern Illinois.


Julie Vollbrecht

Julie Vollbrecht

Vice President

I moved to Ela Township in 1984. I’ve been around antiques and historical things most of my life. I enjoy genealogy and sharing history with others. I have been around some of our great historians of Lake Zurich Spencer Loomis, Dale Blau, Ron Frank and others, learning and seeing how Lake Zurich and Ela Township have changed through the years. The important thing is to keep history alive, we learn from our past, present and want to hold on to the future. Come and see what we are all about, ask questions and bring your memories to pass around!

Dick Price

Dick Price


Dick has been interested in history since high School and has a strong farm background. He grew up in Lake Zurich during the 1940’s and 50’s when everyone knew each other. He joined the Ela Historical Society in 2003 and has been a very  active historian.


Amanda Dickson


Amanda is a sixth generation resident of Lake Zurich and a descendant of the Fox, Meyer, Clark and Pomeroy families of Ela Township. She grew up with bedtime stories about what life in Lake Zurich and surrounding areas was like back in the 1800 and early 1900s from her paternal grandmother. Being part of the Historical Society brings her closer to her own ancestors while giving her an opportunity to encourage and assist others in discovering their family histories. She is currently raising her children and hoping to spark their interest in history. Amanda is most excited about helping to strengthen the Historical Society’s presence and connection to Ela Township.

Harold Chisamore

Harold Chisamore

Past President (Deceased)

Harold passed away on Sept. 27, 2015. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and worked with him.

Harold had moved to Lake Zurich in 1974 to be closer to his job, but stayed here and joined the society after he retired. He was a retired Northorp Gruman engineer who graduated from Purdue University. His interests included history, gardening and fishing.


Ronald G. Frank

Board of Directors (Deceased)

Ron passed away on Sept. 27, 2015. He was a lifelong resident of Lake Zurich. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and worked with him.