The Lake Bluff History Museum is thrilled to offer an early autumn tour of Crab Tree Farm at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 25, 2021.
Each tour begins with a brief overview of Crab Tree Farm’s social history by Lake Bluff History Museum co-founder Kathy O’Hara. Guests will then have the opportunity to take a self-guided walking tour of the Farm’s architecture and gardens. Markers with QR codes will be placed at strategic points of historical interest—so be sure to bring your smart phone or tablet!
This year’s tour includes some added perks, including an exhibit called Marking Time, which features British pieces from the Crab Tree Farm Collection dating from 1500 to 1800. It is housed in one of the restored 1911 farm buildings.
Guests also will be able to take a rare peek into the Pump House. This building is the oldest structure on Crab Tree Farm and is rarely opened for tours, though passersby will be familiar with the exterior backside that is visible from Sheridan Road. The Pump House is furnished with Gustav Stickley furniture and decorative arts from 1900-1920, as is The Lodge, and visitors will be able to tour the interiors of both on September 25.
Also on the tour is the workshop of Master woodworker and artist Mike Jarvi, who will be on hand to show guests some of his latest creations and techniques used to steam bent wood into art and furnishings. These are housed in his workshop and in the original 1911 grain silos.
Crab Tree Farm is the crown jewel of the North Shore. It was built as a model dairy farm in 1910 for owners Scott and Grace Durand after fire destroyed the property’s 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.
Scott Durand was a sugar broker in Chicago while Grace managed the farm. She 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 the current owners transformed them into a private museum of Arts & Crafts furniture and decorative arts.
The Museum will offer two tour sessions, one in the morning at 10 a.m. and another in the afternoon at 1 p.m.
Tickets sell out fast! They cost $35 and may be purchased below: