North Shore Chapter NSDAR

Lake Forest, Illinois

Our Chapter

As the second DAR chapter organized in Illinois, the North Shore Chapter NSDAR has a proud history of outstanding leadership and service to the National Society and our local communities. Organized by twelve charter members on April 20, 1893, the North Shore Chapter NSDAR chose its name at its first meeting.

North Shore Chapter NSDAR was the 130th chapter organized in the National Society, and early regents were instrumental in the planning, financing, and building of Memorial Continental Hall in Washington, D.C. The first Illinois State Regent, Laura Dayton Fessenden, served as the North Shore Chapter NSDAR organizing regent. She authored children’s books and poetry collections and helped found the Chicago Chapter NSDAR, the first chapter organized in Illinois. She later founded the Kaskaskia Chapter NSDAR.

Originally chartered in Highland Park, Illinois, the North Shore Chapter NSDAR charter was transferred to Lake Forest, Illinois, in 1988.


Charter Members

Laura Dayton Fessenden
Mary Rhees Hammond
Annie Rhees Hammond
Mary Howard Gridley
Jennie Little Jones
Erminia Gridley Kirk
Henriette Ord Flint
Sarah Chandler Egan
Cornelia Barlow
Albina La Bar
Mary Lyman Bingham
Elizabeth Boynton

Laura Dayton Fessenden

Laura Dayton Fessenden
Organizing Regent


God, Home, and Country

Chapter Engagements (partial list only)

Today’s North Shore Chapter NSDAR Daughters continue to be actively engaged in our founders’ enduring mission. The past year has lent itself to memories equally dear with Daughters who have been ultimately gracious, generous, and kind. Our chapter can take great pride in each other’s efforts, purpose, and passion for DAR at the national, state, and local chapter levels.

Most recently, our chapter:

  • Celebrated the grand re-opening of the East Lake Forest train station following its historic rehabilitation that was aided by our chapter-endorsed Special Projects Grant award
  • Facilitated another Special Projects Grant award toward a new computer lab at Lake County Family Services’ Nuestro Center
  • Submitted two successful nominations for the NSDAR Excellence in American History Book Award presented at the 127th and 128th Continental Congress:
    • Scars of Independence: America's Violent Birth by Holger Hock
    • The Indian World of George Washington: The First President, the First Americans and the Birth of a Nation by Colin G. Calloway
  • Nominated Gary Sinese for our national DAR Medal of Honor, which was presented in 2016, celebrating all the amazing ways he has dedicated his life to helping others.

Additionally, NSDAR’s historic properties include Lake Forest’s historic Market Square plaque on NSDAR’s website. Read more.

Historic Preservation

  • Dunn Museum of Lake County, Libertyville, Illinois
  • Fort Sheridan Historical Society, Highland Park/Highwood, Illinois
  • History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Illinois
  • Lake Forest Preservation Foundation, Lake Forest, Illinois
  • Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, Evanston, Illinois
  • Mount Rest Cemetery, Newport Township, Lake County, Illinois


  • American History Essay Contest
  • Bacone College Scholarship
  • Book Club for patriotic bibliophiles
  • DAR Good Citizens
  • DAR Youth Citizenship Medal and Certificate
  • Lake Forest Academy scholarship fund for students from North Chicago and Waukegan, Illinois
  • North Chicago Community High School: scholarship awards for fine arts, mathematics, science, and social science (history)
  • ROTC Bronze Medal and Certificate


  • Fallen Hero Wreaths
  • Lake Bluff’s 125th Anniversary: Dogs on the Bluff
  • Lake Bluff Fourth of July Parade
  • Lake County Honor Flight
  • Lake Forest Day Parade, American Legion Post #264
  • Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center: annual summer carnival; bingo party for patients, gift cards for veterans, Valentine’s Day cards and gift bags for veterans, and Women Veterans Fund
  • United Service Organization (USO) Center at Naval Station Great Lakes
  • Veterans Day: Reception and Wreath-laying Ceremony at Fort Sheridan, Illinois

If you are interested in DAR membership in our chapter, please contact us.