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American Association for State and Local History


Lake of the
Red Cedars Museum

Museum Hours

Open May through September
Thursday & Friday :: 3-6 PM
Saturday & Sunday :: 2-6 PM
Special tours May-October by Appointment


Adults $2 :: Children $1
> FREE Admission for Members!

Volunteers Needed

The Lake of the Red Cedars Museum consists of 14 rooms featuring settings from the past and 11 special exhibits highlighting the history of Cedar Lake. The museum is staffed solely by volunteers. Tour guides are always needed. Please contact us at 219.390.9423 or if you are available to give tours during museum hours or sign-up below.

Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on

2017 Orientation & Training Day

Saturday, April 29, 2017 :: 1:00 PM Have you ever considered volunteering for our Association? We are training new volunteers this season on Saturday, April 29th from 1:00-3:00 PM in the Lake of the Red Cedars Museum conference room. Come out to learn the many ways to contribute your time and talent to our growing organization—from tour guide training to serving on our committees: Building Restoration, Collections & Programs, Publicity & Marketing, Funding and Governance & Volunteers. Please contact us at 219.390.9423 or with questions.


The Lake of the Red Cedars 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 Lake of the Red Cedars 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 to John Shedd, who later helped finance construction of the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. 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 top section of the "T" 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.

Come sit on our wrap-around porch and enjoy the scenic view. Learn about our past at the Lake of the Red Cedars Museum on the shores of Cedar Lake.