From roughly 1835 to 1865, this site's forested areas were divided into 5- and 10-acre parcels used by local farmers as a source of firewood and lumber. After the Civil War, small farms dominated the property.
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 that are part of the Museum complex.