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Hawthorn-Mellody Farms

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Hawthorn-Mellody Farms


One of the largest dairy farms in Lake County, Hawthorn-Mellody served the North Shore as far South as Evanston. The farm occupied more than 1,200 acres of land owned by the Cuneo family at the height of its popularity and production. Though it was torn down in 1970 due to a decrease in attendance and an inability to compete with more modern facilities, it still holds a place in the memories of Chicago and Lake County residents. Beyond functioning as a state of the art dairy farm, Hawthorn-Mellody also ran a successful, if small, amusement park including a petting zoo, a small western town, and even a steam train. John Cuneo Sr., the owner of the farms, hoped it would serve as a fun, educational center for adults and children alike to learn about agriculture and the dairy industry. If the impressive machinery and "free of human touch" production process convinced visitors to try Hawthorn-Mellody milk, Mr. Cuneo was only too happy.

Collection Items

Hawthorn-Mellody Farms milk truck
A milkman from Hawthorn-Mellody Farms Dairy delivers milk to Highland Park residents.

Children at Hawthorn-Mellody Farms Petting Zoo
A group of children gather around Hawthorn-Mellody's Petting Zoo llama.

Champion Bull at Hawthorn-Mellody Dairy Farms
Portrait of a champion bull at the Hawthorn-Mellody Dairy Farms.

Steam Train Ride
Children ride the steam train through the Hawthorn-Mellody Farms grounds while visiting the amusement park.

Noah's Ark
Children climb atop the Noah's Ark construction at Hawthorn-Mellody Farm's amusement park.

Original Hawthorn School building
Founded on Hawthorn Farm--land purchased by Samuel Insull--the one room schoolhouse served children of employees and servants for the Insull home in Lake County. It was demolished in the 1990s, but it had been out of use long before this time.

Insull Farmhouse
In 1907, Samuel Insull purchased 132 acres of land called Hawthorn Farm and the farmhouse which occupied this space. Construction on a new house began in 1914, but the original structure stood for some time.

Hawthorn-Mellody Country Store
Boys interact with a turkey from the Hawthorn-Mellody Farm's Petting Zoo outside of the Country Store, an element of the western town attraction.

Girl with Elephant
A young girl gives an elephant from the Hawthorn-Mellody Farm's Petting Zoo a drink from the water fountain.

Milk Parlor Mosaic
Children view the mosaic depicting a field of cows in the Milk Parlor at Hawthorn-Mellody Farms.
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  • Hawthorn-Mellody Farms