One Illinois Town Is Packed With 4 Cool Historic Landmarks
This far western suburb of Chicago in the Fox Valley has enough historic landmarks to plan an entire day around.
If you head east down I-90 from Rockford for about an hour and then head south on Randall Road. You'll eventually come across the town of Batavia, Illinois.
I personally have come across Batavia, Illinois many times in my life because that is where my dad grew up and where my grandparents lived when I was a kid. We made a lot of trips to Batavia, and I was only aware of one of these historic landmarks.
The Fox Valley is a great place to visit. Lots to do and plenty of scenic views along the Fox River.
There's a lot more to do in the Fox Valley than check out historical sites but if you're in the area, you might want to check out all of these that are in Batavia, Illinois.
1. Frank Lloyd Wright - A.W. Gridley House
It's amazing where Frank Lloyd Wright houses pop up. We have one here in Rockford and there's another gorgeous one in Batavia. The Gridley house was built in 1906. The eponymous "Gridley" had financial trouble and had to sell the house shortly after in 1912. It was a private residence until 1981. In 1993, the Gridley house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
2. Batavia Depot Museum
This is the site of the original Batavia train depot that opened in 1854 and was the main hub between Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy. It remained in its original location until 1973 when it moved to its current location in another part of town. Two years later in 1975, the original depot was turned into a museum and listed on the National Registry of Historical Sites.
3. Fabyan Windmill
This un-miss able Batavia land mark sits proudly on the East side of the Fabyan Forest Preserve off Route 25. Years ago, the windmill fell into disrepair and the city hired a millsmith to repair it, a third-generation Dutch Windmill Maker Lucas Verbij. Verbij got it up and running again and then said this about the Batavia windmill:
The Fabyan Windmill is the best example of an authentic Dutch windmill in the United States. Actually, it's a treasure, and would be the most popular windmill in the Netherlands (we currently have 1,000 windmills). Restoring Fabyan Windmill was as much honor as it was duty.
A massive compliment from someone who knows what they're talking about. You'll want to check it out.
4. Fabyan Villa Museum & Japanese Gardens
We're very familiar with Japanese Gardens here in Rockford. Anderson Japanese Gardens are some of the best in the world and this one in Batavia is good enough to be listed as a National Historic Site.
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