The Dole connects people to arts and history in McHenry County. It is an awesome responsibility to care for the mansion. Our goal is to raise $50,000 in preservation funds by the end of 2020. We need your financial support to help maintain the mansion’s rich history, safety, and historical significance within the community.
Did You Know…
Nearly two decades ago the Lakeside Legacy Foundation was established as a 501c(3) non-profit organization entrusted to preserve and protect the historic integrity of The Dole Mansion; keeping it open for the public to enjoy.
- 1865, the mansion was originally used as a summer home for Chicago businessman and wheat grain manufacturer, Charles S. Dole and his family.
- 1922, the property was purchased by Mrs. Lou Ringling, the widow of Al Ringling, the oldest brother of the famous circus family. She built the adjoining annex and opened the first country club and 18-hole golf course in Crystal Lake.
- 1944, the Franciscan Order of Lake Forest purchased the property and converted it into St. Mary Minor School for Boys.
- In the mid-1970s, the property was sold to the First Congregational Church and the facility became known as Lakeside Center. Thousands of volunteer hours were used to renovate the annex to make way for a community center, meeting rooms, church offices, and the Friendship House Day Care Center for Children.
Today the property is known as The Dole.
- The mansion is deemed a historic landmark and is a valued treasure to the community and citizens of Crystal Lake.
- The annex now serves as an arts center and features an art gallery, a professional chef’s kitchen, and an intimate 150-seat music venue.
- The former offices and meeting rooms on the garden level and second and third floors are now resident artist studios and home to photographers, painters, musicians, writers, and artisans.
- Both the mansion and the annex host monthly art events, community gatherings, weddings, concerts, and so much more!
THANK YOU for supporting The Dole.