Ela Township has a rich history dating back to 1835, when the first settlers began arriving. The Township was surveyed by the federal government in 1838, and in early 1850 it was organized as a proper Township and given the name Ela in honor of early settler George Ela. The original Ela Town Hall, located at 95 E. Main Street in Lake Zurich, was built in 1865 on land donated to the Township by Isaac Fox. For many years it stood service as a town hall and also as a school. Today, this building is the home of the Ela Historical Society & Museum.
The first meeting of the Ela Historical Society 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 United States Constitution and was elected the first president of the historical society. Since then, 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.
Today, Historical Society members volunteer their time to answer questions, collect, process and preserve donated and collected photos, memorabilia and family histories for all the enjoy through our museum exhibits, tours and special events. We also enjoy helping residents and students conduct research and invite you to stop by during museum hours or contact us for an appointment.