Glenview Illinois

Kennicott’s Grove Nature Preserve

Kennicott Grove is a grassland and woodland region that contains the residence of John Kennicott (1802–1863) and his family, notably his son Robert Kennicott (1835–1866). John Kennicott was a physician and an agriculturalist. The Chicago Academy of Sciences was founded by Robert Kennicott, a naturalist and explorer. The grove has an area of 123 acres (0.50 km2). It is located in Glenview, Illinois, near the junction of Milwaukee Avenue and Lake Avenue. In 1976, Kennicott Grove was designated a National Historic Landmark. The Glenview Park District manages the site as The Grove National Historic Landmark or simply The Grove. The site includes a nature interpretive center, historic structures (some original, some recreated), and nature trails.


John A. Kennicott was born in 1802 at Saratoga Springs, New York. Kennicott began his career as a teacher in Buffalo, New York, and then attended Fairfield Medical College. He taught for a year in Mississippi after graduating and then started a medical practice in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1829. Kennicott relocated with his wife and two sons to Northfield Township in Cook County, Illinois, a nearly undeveloped region. He claimed several hundred acres between Lake Michigan and the Des Plaines River, 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of Half Day. Kennicott named his farm “The Grove” because of the number of trees on it. In 1856, he constructed a house on it.


The Grove Heritage Association has been instrumental in ensuring the property’s preservation. In 1983, the old home was restored, followed by the schoolhouse in 1987. To enhance the educational value of the property, new structures were constructed in 1989 and 1997: an interpretative nature center and a replica Potawatomi log house. Most recently, a fireproof and waterproof archives building was added to house family papers and artifacts. Each year, around 200,000 people visit The Grove. 


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If you like Kenniscotts Grove Nature Preserve, you also might like to visit Kohl Children’s Museum.

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