Stellwagen Farm: 2019 Award for Restoration

Orland Park

The restoration of numerous buildings at Stellwagen Farm maintains the original character and history of the agricultural beginnings of the Orland Park community. It is now the only farmstead remaining in the village, located 22 miles southwest of Chicago. In 2002, Harwood sold the farm, which was purchased by his great grandfather in 1860, to the Village of Orland Park as part of its Open Lands program. It was his dream to preserve the rich agricultural heritage of the area for future generations. The restoration project was made possible thanks to the inspiring collaboration between the Village and the Stellwagen family. Those involved in the project relied on historic photographs, period materials obtained from Europe and a tremendous amount of research to return the farm to as close to its original, 1860 appearance as possible. The buildings provide a step back in time for those who visit the farm, which is open to the public educational purposes.

Project Principals

Village of Orland Park

Dave Maue, Maue Construction Company, Inc.

Brian Louder, Louder Enterprises Inc.

Tim Narkiewicz, Trillium Dell Timberworks

Molter Corporation

Apek Inc. Roofing

Aermotor Windmill Company

 

 

LI Asks: Why is this place important to you?

Stellwagen family and Stellwagen Family Farm Foundation

It is one of the very few original farmhouses with outbuildings in its original location left in Orland Park. We need to preserve our agricultural history, and this farm allows us to show and educate the community about farm living in the Orland area. We do not want to lose pieces of our past, and we want to ensure that new and young generations who make Orland their home understand and learn what life was like prior to the shopping, restaurants and entertainment that is now Orland Park. What also makes this farm so important is the family’s history and the family’s current presence in the preservation projects. The Stellwagen family first inhabited the farm in 1860. From then until present day, there has been eight generations of the Stellwagen family who have had a part on the farm, whether it was first starting the farm, growing up there or assisting with preservation projects. The Stellwagen family was an early family who made Orland Park their home, and it is an honor to continue to work with them to preserve this piece of history.”

How will saving this place impact people in your community?

“There will be a physical presence of our area’s agricultural history! By preserving the farm, the community and visitors will have a gateway into the past. Not only will this be a place to learn history, but the historic site can be used for future exhibitions, programs, tours, special events, etc. The site has so much potential for growth, and that is what we hope to do in the future. We want the Orland community to enjoy this site, and the preservation of the outbuildings is just the beginning. We have also completed a prairie restoration project, preserving the community’s environment and incorporated a walking path that brings more people to the farm site for them to enjoy the outdoors and history.”

Learn More about the History of the Farm

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