Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cantigny Estate

Last month we made a visit to Cantigny Estate in Wheaton, Illinois. 



Cantigny was the farm and estate of Colonel Robert McCormick.  Colonel McCormick was an important man in the history of Chicago and was the editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune for 44 years.  Colonel McCormick was a full colonel in the US army during the first World War.  He took part in the capture of Cantigny during the war and he named his estate in honor of the battle.






We have an interesting connection to Colonel McCormick.  My dad's uncle, William Bockelman, was a tough ex-cop who was McCormick's personal driver and body guard.  My dad said he remembers being at Uncle Bill's house when he was a small boy and finding William's hand gun stuffed behind a pillow on the sofa.  Uncle Bill usually drove McCormick to work each day in a bulletproof automobile and one day he brought the car home and took the family, including my dad, for a ride.


When McCormick died, his charitable trust established Cantigny as a public park and over the years 29 acres of his property have been transformed into 22 individual spectacular gardens and his home is now a museum.













The house itself is massive and impressive looking.  I would have loved to take a tour but we had just missed the starting time and couldn't wait around for the next tour to start.  Maybe next time.  We wandered around with our jaws hanging at the size of this house.  Can you imagine living here???

 




 

 
Also on the grounds is The First Division Museum.  I'll be doing another post about that soon.

16 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It was and we visited at a great time of year. I want to go back for the house tour.

      Delete
  2. That place is amazing. Love walking thru the rose garden. The tour of the house was awesome! It starts in the movie theater in the basement where he hosted many first run private screenings for famous Hollywood stars. An incredible library, what we would call a Man Cave. Take the tour as soon as you can!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crap - Now I'm really mad we missed it. We definitely have plans to go back sometime. Thanks for leaving a comment about it. Nobody else I know has been there.

      Delete
  3. What a pretty place. You go on such cool 'field trips'! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always was a fan of field trips when I was in school too.

      Delete
  4. How gorgeous! I can see myself living in a place like that! heehee! Is that a mermaid in one of the last photos? Beautiful! Sweet hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She reminded me of a mermaid too. I need a florida trip!

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. Thanks John - It was very interesting and I'd go back.

      Delete
  6. Always more fun when you have personal connection to history! Looks like a nice garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The gardens were beautiful, especially for so late in the year.

      Delete
  7. A very interesting place and story. I love the Uncle Bill connection.

    Oh and those gardens...breathtaking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The roses were stunning! I like the Uncle Bill connection too. We have lots of newspaper clippings about him too.

      Delete
  8. It is crazy how I lived in Winfield for ten years and have never been there. Thanks for the pictures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Daniel - you should stop by there sometime. It's quite interesting. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment!

      Delete

Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Please leave a message because I love to hear from you!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...