Local history and microbrews on tap at Raupp Museum

The Raupp Museum in Buffalo Grove. | Provided
The Raupp Museum in Buffalo Grove. | Provided

It has a lot to do with local history and a little to do with new local beers. In some cases, it may have been caused by historical figures drinking too much beer.

“More or less,” said Debbie Fandrei, curator of Buffalo Grove’s Raupp Museum. “It’s sort of our version of an adult field trip.”

The Raupp is experimenting with History on Tap, which will tell the tales of more than century-old criminal cases from this part of Lake County as participants taste fresh microbrews, also from this part of Lake County.

The event will run from 7:30-9 p.m. on Sept. 9 and 16 and Oct. 7 at the museum, 901 Dunham Lane, and will feature samples of Tighthead Brewing Co. of Mundelein, the Lake Bluff Brewing Co. and Light the Lamp Brewery of Grayslake.

“We always want to do something for adults, too, because history isn’t just for kids,” Fandrei said.

Especially not this particular brand of history. The three nights will focus on:

• A notorious homicide-suicide on a Buffalo Grove farm that involved an intensely hot summer and an intensely heated mother-in-law, and a discovery by the undertaker that led to the first famous trial in county history.

• The Volo Vigilantes.

• The county’s first public hanging, which was the result of a love triangle.

Fandrei said the idea first began when she attended a museum officials conference in Madison, Wisc. The event included an after-hours microbrew-sampling history lesson at the local children’s museum.

“They had to shut the doors because of fire marshal codes, and actually leave people waiting on the street, which surprised the heck out of the organizers,” Fandrei said.

Back at the Raupp, Fandrei paid closer attention to a recent Boy Scout tour. A conversation got sidetracked into a discussion of the murder-suicide, and Fandrei watched as all the parents in the back of the room perked up and started chatting about what they just learned.

“People are interested in old-fashioned crime,” she said. “This is our test, to see what happens.”

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