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DuPage Forest Blog

Read the latest blog story from the Forest Preserve District, and connect to nature in DuPage.


February 2, 2023

Valentine’s Day and Courtship on an 1890s Farm

Wayne Hill

Valentine's Day had already gained popularity with American school children by the early 1880s, and many of the traditions from the time we still hold true today.

December 20, 2022

Candy as Medicine in the 1890s

Wayne Hill

In the 1890s, medicine was largely unregulated in the United States. While professional organizations for doctors and nurses existed, many Americans, including most rural farmers,...

December 9, 2022

Among the Leaves So Green: Victorian Holiday Traditions

Emaly Allison

Many of the holiday traditions we follow today have come from around the world as emigrants moved to the U.S. or were created here during the 19th century as part of an...

November 17, 2022

1890s Holiday Candy Making

Wayne Hill

Candy confections were a sweet part of historic holiday farm life. In 1895, both the Sears and Roebuck Co. and Montgomery Ward Co. catalogs had candy departments where families...

August 1, 2022

Hidden History of the East Farm Barn

Wayne Zaininger

Looking at the east side of St. James Farm today, visitors might not fully appreciate the transformation it has gone through over the years. Let’s turn back the clock to the early...

June 30, 2022

Hidden History of the Baker House

Keith McClow

It’s hard to fathom the connections a little old house on St. Charles Road has to the history of DuPage County, Illinois and the nation.

May 25, 2022

Hidden History of McDowell Grove

Jordan Countryman

Sometimes the history of a DuPage forest preserve is simply forgotten, but other times it is purposely kept secret. In the 1940s, McDowell Grove Forest Preserve in Naperville...

April 20, 2022

Hidden History: Burlington Park as Chicago's Recreation Destination

Dennis Buck

Railroads were crucial to the development of the United States, sparking economic and industrial expansion all around them and carrying people and goods across the country. One of...

April 15, 2022

Dying Easter Eggs in the 1890s

Wayne Hill

Natural dyes were used in a variety of ways in a colorful Victorian life in the 1890s.

March 25, 2022

Hidden History of Mammoth Spring Icehouse

Dave Andrusyk

If you look closely while walking along the Night Heron Trail at Fullersburg Woods Forest Preserve in Oak Brook, you can find a little piece of history.

February 24, 2022

Hidden History of Dunham's Equine Legacy

Jordan Countryman

Most people know that “in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” But did you know that in 1893 Christopher Columbus took a train to Dunham Forest Preserve in Wayne?

January 12, 2022

Hidden History of the Blackwell Mammoth

Dave Andrusyk

It started like a normal day for Gary Jones, a heavy equipment operator for the DuPage Forest Preserve District.

November 23, 2021

The Hidden History of Ancient Artifacts

Keith McClow

People have lived in DuPage County for thousands of years, so it’s no surprise that some of the tools and objects they used are still being found in many DuPage forest preserves.

October 26, 2021

Hidden History of Waterfall Glen's Lincoln Park Nursery

Dave Andrusyk

Many people visiting the city of Chicago spend time in Lincoln Park, but few know the connection that DuPage Forest Preserve District’s Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve in Darien...

October 12, 2021

Nature's Tricks Are a Nature Lover's Treat

Stephanie Touzalin

Wildlife have long embodied the spirit of Halloween using tricks, treats, and costumes. These strategies are essential for wild animals to survive, find food, and attract mates.

October 6, 2021

Hidden History of the Steeplechase

Wayne Zaininger

What happens when you combine a love of horses with a passion for philanthropy? At St. James Farm Forest Preserve in Warrenville in the 1980s and 1990s, it resulted in an annual...

September 21, 2021

DuPage Through the Lens of My Nikon

Daniel Walker

The pandemic has affected us in varying ways. Early on, many believed it would be over quickly and be nothing more than a minor historical footnote.

August 23, 2021

A Gateway to History, Golf and a Healthy Environment

Jordan Countryman

When an 11-year-old Randy Cochran snuck into Salt Creek at night to pilfer lost golf balls at the private Elmhurst Country Club in Addison more than 50 years ago, he never...

July 21, 2021

Hidden History of the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin Railroad

Wayne Zaininger and Jordan Countryman

Imagine commuting to Chicago by train in the morning only to discover without warning that same afternoon that your Metra line had closed and would never operate again.

June 14, 2021

Hidden History of Hidden Lake Bridge

Keith McClow

On a breezy May afternoon, I stood on an old bridge that spans the East Branch DuPage River at Hidden Lake Forest Preserve in Downers Grove, talking to people as they crossed the...

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