Bonner Heritage Farm

201 Country Place
Lindenhurst,IL 60046
8 acres
6:30 am–sunset, daily.

Bonner Heritage Farm

The 8-acre farm is part of McDonald Woods Forest Preserve with a separate entrance on Sand Lake Road. The Millennium Trail runs through the farm and connects to preserve trails. From Bonner Farm, the 1.9-mile section of Millennium Trail that runs north through McDonald Woods is open for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing and has benches along the way for resting and wildlife observation. Trail users can also head south on the Millennium Trail through Fourth Lake and Rollins Savanna forest preserves to extend their recreation experience. Please keep dogs leashed and on trails at all times, and pick up after them. Learn about our Off-Leash Dog Areas (permit required).

About the Farm

The farm was originally homesteaded in 1842 by Scottish immigrants William and Margaret Bonner. Around 1850, William Bonner built two farmhouses on the site. William's family lived in the west house while his older brother, James, and his family lived in the east house. Prior to the homes being built, the families resided in the township of Bristol, Wisconsin. By 1861, James had purchased his own farm off Route 45. In 1995, the Bonner family donated to us an 8-acre cluster of buildings from this farm.



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More About This Facility


School & Scout
at Bonner Farm


The most historically significant structure on the property is the main barn. The original oak and hickory structure was built in 1848. Measuring 40 by 44 feet, it held just five cows. This portion of the main barn is among the oldest surviving intact great barns in Lake County.

As the family prospered over the century, the barn reflected that with the addition of four expansions and two silos. The first was a white pine sawn timber bay added to the north end around 1890. The second was added to the north of the first addition. The third barn addition was probably constructed in the mid-1920s. It is a combination timber frame with gambrel trusses and was used for dairying on the ground level and hay storage on the upper level. The final addition became the milk house and was constructed on the west side of the barn. Two concrete stave silos were constructed on the north end of the main barn. They are a representative architectural feature of any dairy farm.

A two-story granary barn sits on the western edge of the property and measures 24 by 40 feet. It was probably built around 1943. It is a fine example of the type of granaries built on farms in the first half of the century.

In addition, a 1920s gambrel roof hay barn occupies part of the site. It was constructed at the end of the great barn building period. It includes some timber from older buildings, but the primary timber is yellow pine, probably shipped from the west coast. By this period, most of the great Midwest pineries had already been logged off.

Also around 1850, William Bonner erected a building as his carpenter's shop. In addition to the farmhouse and original portion of the main barn, this is the only other existing structure built by William Bonner. A portion of the building, once used as a granary, has old blacksmith forged iron hinges and handmade nails reaffirming this as one of the oldest buildings on the site.

The farm also includes a pump house, chicken coop, hog house, and storage shed. The smallest structure on the property is a 19th century outhouse.


The Farm is part of McDonald Woods Forest Preserve with a separate entrance and parking area located on Sand Lake Road just west of Route 45 in Lindenhurst. Turn north from Sand Lake Road onto Country Place. The parking lot is located on the right, just past the bend.