On Sunday, May 4, 2014, I had planned to ride to a particular bridge I like near St. Charles, but I happened to see this park along my way and stopped in. I’m so glad I did! Great view of the river and…a Japanese tea garden? Okay, I’m game.
According to a few signs posted throughout the area, the couple who owned the land decided to build a Japanese tea garden. Because why not? Let’s explore…
Really neat! Definitely something I wasn’t expecting to see in northern Illinois.
After I got home I searched for more information about this place. Apparently, the land was purchased by George Fabyan and his wife Nelle in 1905. Two years later, they hired Frank Lloyd Wright to remodel the farmhouse. (I didn’t get a chance to see the farmhouse when I was there as it started to rain, so I had to scoot home! But I’ll go back this summer and check it out.) Through 1939 they built a variety of things on their land including the windmill, garden, and zoo. The Japanese garden was installed around 1910. Check out the Preservation Partners of Fox Valley website if you’d like more history on the place.
One thing I really love about riding is all the random locations you’ll find when you’re just roaming around. I had no idea this place was even there! In fact, I had actually been to the windmill side last year, but didn’t realize this little oasis was tucked away just across the river. It’s so exciting to discover something you never knew existed!