Hours of Operation
Open May through September
Thursday & Friday :: 3-6 PM
Saturday & Sunday :: 2-6 PM
Special Group Tours May-October by Appointment
> Group Tour Booking Inquiry
Free general admission during regular hours.
Special group tours by appointment for a nominal fee.
The Cedar Lake Historical Association is an indispensable educational entity which operates its Museum to allow visitors physical and intellectual access to exhibits and research materials. The Museum houses many interesting exhibits of Cedar Lake and the surrounding area. Included among these are the ice industry which flourished in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Several period rooms depict the lifestyle of the early century. The museum maintains a 1920's flavor in keeping with Cedar Lake's tradition as a resort destination for Chicago's high society during the Prohibition era. Take our guided tour and learn how Dr. William Scholl started his famous shoe making business as an apprentice of his grandfather here in Cedar Lake. Walk into our 1940's doctor's office to test your eyesight and find out why the operating room walls were green. View our expansive fashion collection from an 1870's mourning gown to a 1920's flapper dress.
The Museum is a 60-room, "T" shaped building. The east/west base of the "T" was originally located on the west shore of Cedar Lake. It was built in 1895 by the Armour Bros. as a boarding house for "ice farming" employees who cut and harvested ice on the lake. In 1919, Jonathan and Philip Armour sold their ice business and Chris Lassen, who owned a thriving dance pavilion, purchased the boarding house and wood from the ice barn. During the winter of 1919 he moved the entire building over the frozen lake to its present site on the east shore. He then remodeled it into a hotel and built the lakeside wing with wood from the ice barns.
The Lassen Resort was well known in the region for its hotel, restaurant built out over the lake, and its dance pavilion featuring live band performances. The Lassen family used the unique building as a hotel until shortly after World War II. The historic building was later sold to the Lake Region Christian Assembly and used as a church camp. The 20-acre property, including the hotel, was purchased by the Town of Cedar Lake from the Assembly for use as the Town Complex. When it became evident town officials were considering tearing down the decaying hotel, the Cedar Lake Historical Association, Inc. was formed and rallied to save the structure. In 1981 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Association now operates the old Lassen Hotel as a Museum.
September 29, 2012 The Cedar Lake Historical Association commissioned Mitch Markovitz, founding artist of the new south shore poster series, to depict a significant historical scene from Cedar Lake incorporating the Lake and the Lassen’s Hotel property. Lassen’s Hotel became the Lake of the Red Cedars Museum in 1977. Mitch chose to depict the Lassen Bros. Dance Pavilion on a starry Cedar Lake evening. Mitch was on hand for the unveiling and signed and numbered the first 100 copies of the print. All proceeds from the sale of the poster reprints will be used to restore and preserve the Lake of the Red Cedars Museum along the shores of Cedar Lake for generations to come. > Order your poster!
September 29, 2012 At Noon a ribbon cutting opened Woody’s Barber Shop for public viewing. The building was built in 1931 and was recently moved for the fourth time as part of an Eagle Scout Community Project. Brad Brown with Troop 105, Cedar Lake selected the Moving and Restoration Project as his community contribution required to obtain the Eagle Scout rank. Over 600 man hours have been spent by many volunteers to complete the restoration. The shop setting will be primarily focused on a 1940’s barbershop with posters, calendars, ads, equipment and furnishings. Mr. Burdette Wood operated the shop from 1931 to 2002 as the oldest commercial business in Cedar Lake.
Read more about Woody in a 1994 newspaper article.