Crab Tree Farm: An Outdoor Tour for 2020

LAKE BLUFF –The Lake Bluff History Museum tour of Crab Tree Farm on September 19, 2020 is sold out. Thank you for your interest. We hope to see you next year!  Several other local organizations will host tours in September as well and they may still have space. For information on the September 12 tour hosted by Lake Forest Preservation Foundation, visit their website: lfpf.org

Crab Tree Farm was built as a model dairy farm in 1910 for owners Scott and Grace Durand, after fire destroyed the original farm buildings. The barn and adjacent buildings were designed and built by Chicago Architect Solon Spencer Beman, architect of Pullman Village. Fruit, vegetable and flower gardens and orchards were designed by landscape architect Jens Jensen but only partially executed.

Grace Durand was a successful businesswoman who was trained in agricultural science and was well known for her modern methods of dairy farming. The dairy was operational until her death in 1948.

The farm buildings have undergone extensive renovation since Durand’s time, especially in the past 35 years when they were transformed into a private museum of Arts & Crafts furniture and decorative arts. An existing farm building was converted into a lodge to house a collection of Gustav Stickley furniture, which will be included on the September 19 tour.

The Museum’s September 19 tour will include:

  • A brief overview of Crab Tree Farm’s social history by Lake Bluff historian Kathy O’Hara
  • Access to the main room of The Lodge, which houses the farm’s impressive collection of Stickley Furniture, pottery and western art
  • Walk the grounds around the buildings, gardens and pond and learn about the history and significance of them via a Crab Tree Farm tour on the new Lake Bluff Walking Tours app, which is available for free on smart phones and tablets.