UPDATE JUNE 22, 2020: The Lake Bluff History Museum is selling mugs, notecards, posters and glicee prints of the Lake Bluff map created by artist Mark McMahon. The map-themed mugs have been especially popular and are now on back-order until sometime in July. We are still taking orders, and will let you all know as soon as they arrive!
Here’s the story of how the map came to be:
Joanna Rolek’s love for Lake Bluff runs deep. She moved to the village with her husband in 1980 and raised three children here – Brandon, Kristen and Stefanie. From the start, Joanna and Bob dove into the life of the community, including helping create what later became the Lake Bluff History Museum. Bob also was very involved in the schools, including being District 65 president.
So when Joanna was asked to join the Lake Bluff 125 Committee in 2020, she immediately said yes. She also started thinking about ways her family could help celebrate the village’s 125th anniversary while also honoring Bob, who passed away in 2005. The end result is a beautiful map of the village by artist Mark McMahon and commissioned by the Rolek family.
“I have known of Mark’s wonderful work with maps for other communities. I love the way he colorfully infuses charm and spirit into his work, and I thought it would be the perfect way to capture the energy of Lake Bluff,” said Joanna. “We wanted to do this to honor the town we all love, as well as the legacy of my husband, who was instrumental in the original organization and establishment of what later became the Lake Bluff History Museum.
So what’s on the map? It’s a lively visual romp through many of Lake Bluff’s landmarks and iconic places. Mark collaborated with Kathy O’Hara, village president and a co-founder of the Lake Bluff History Museum, who knows more about Lake Bluff than anyone around.
“I just set things up and got out of the way,” Joanna said. “My only involvement was to ask for one indulgence – that the street the Roleks lived on, Ravine Forest Drive, be included.” (Spoiler alert: It was.)
The map eventually will be displayed at Village Hall for all to enjoy, but you don’t need to go to Village Hall to see it. You may purchase a poster of the Lake Bluff map as well as map-themed mugs and notecards. These make excellent gifts for Father’s Day, graduation, birthdays, anniversaries and/or just to let people who love Lake Bluff know you’re thinking of them.