IRISH-IN-CHICAGO-L ArchivesArchiver > IRISH-IN-CHICAGO > 2007-08 > 1187225364
Subject: Re: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] Fw: elijah peacock Passenger Look Ups
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 20:49:24 EDT
I was also curious about the origin of Thatcher Woods & the
Peacock/Thatcher names. I lived near the woods & had gone there several times when I was
growing up. Even brought an injured woodpecker to them which they kept for
awhile. Here's what I found on the history of Thatcher Woods:
The Thatcher Woods unit was originally the homesite of David Thatcher who
established a mercantile business in Chicago in 1838. It was so successful that
after 16 years, in 1854 at the age of 44, he retired to River Forest and
built the house that now serves as Trailside museum.
Subsequent owners sold 182 acres of Thatcher's original estate to the Forest
Preserve District in 1917.
The land comprising the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) and Thomas
Jefferson Woods was part of a 117 acre parcel purchased in 1837 from the federal
government by Ashbel Steele, a merchant from Derby, England who became River
Forest's first permanent settler.
In 1917 the Steele family sold 55 acres to the Cook County Forest Preserves.
Steele, Thatcher, and later owners of the Thatcher site who converted the
home to a school never plowed the soil or allowed cattle to graze. As a result
the area's ecological landscape remained largely in its pre- settlement
condition at the time of purchase by the Forest Preserve District.
Karen J Richman
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