From roughly 1835 to 1865, this site's large forested areas were divided into smaller parcels used by local farmers as a source of firewood and lumber. After the Civil War, small farms dominated the property. Learn more »
In 1937, Malcolm Boyle, a general contractor from Chicago, made his first of many purchases here and created Lakewood Farms, a country estate. Over the next 20 years, his farm became one of Lake County's largest, with livestock, orchards, gardens and crops. Boyle landscaped the ponds, dug Banana Lake and built 16 major buildings.
In 1961, Howard Quinn purchased the 1,250-acre farm and converted it into a large dairy ranch, which operated until 1965. In 1968, our acquisition at Lakewood began and has continued in stages for more than 30 years. You can still identify the large show barn, the chicken coop and the bull barn.
Lakewood is home to 24 threatened and endangered species. On the west side of the preserve is the 70-acre Wauconda Bog. It is ringed by poison sumac and a natural moat, and is so ecologically valuable it is designated as a National Natural Landmark and an Illinois Nature Preserve. Learn more »
Another area of note is Broberg Marsh, home to a variety of wetland birds. Its habitat provides one of the best breeding spots in the county for birds.
This landscape is a mixture of oak woods, wetlands and fields. You'll also find farmlands and groves of evergreens. A lot of wildlife lives here and if you're observant, you may even spot one of the bats from the colony living near Shelter E. These shy mammals sleep while picnickers have their fun, and then awake at dusk to eat thousands of mosquitoes and other bugs.