Print Friendly and PDF With Strings Attached: Hawthorn Hollow

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Hawthorn Hollow

We don't always walk at Illinois Beach State Park! This afternoon we went to Hawthorn Hollow on the far west side of Kenosha.  It is a privately-operated arboretum and nature preserve.  As the website  explains,
 In 1935, Ruth Teuscher purchased 40 acres of land in the Town of Somers in northern Kenosha County. Inspired by a grove of native hawthorn trees growing along the Pike River, she and her sister, Margaret, both teachers  in Racine, named the property Hawthorn Hollow. They soon posted the land as a wildlife refuge, the first step toward developing what is now Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum.  
Reflecting the Teuscher sisters’ interests, Hawthorn Hollow today combines nature, history and horticulture. Two miles of nature trails wind through the woods of the Pike River Valley. In spring, the forest floor is covered with native wildflowers. During the spring and fall migrating seasons, many songbirds stop at Hawthorn Hollow. Others remain year ’round, making Hawthorn Hollow one of the finest bird watching spots in the area. Unique to Hawthorn Hollow is a small but valuable area of original prairie, reflecting the type of vegetation that once covered much of the Midwest. Hawthorn Hollow also boasts a restored prairie, perennial gardens, a butterfly garden and a dwarf conifer collection. 
To assure the preservation of Hawthorn Hollow, the Teuscher sisters deeded their property to the Hyslop Foundation in 1967. Since then, its Board of Trustees has made many significant contributions to Hawthorn Hollow.
As we were starting on the trail, a small group of people were finishing. We saw no one else until we, too, were ready to leave.  How wonderful to have the preserve to ourselves!

Pike River Schoolhouse-- used 1906-1962
 The three historic buildings are open to visitors.  These are the Somers Town Hall (1857-1962) and the First Pike River Schoolhouse (1857-1906, replaced by the larger building). They have been relocated to Hawthorn Hollow.

Part of the original prairie

Jewel Weed (touch-me-not)

White Baneberry or Doll's Eyes
 Here is more about the baneberries:
Red Baneberry 


  1. Thank you for identifying the baneberry. I see the red ones often, but never knew what they were.

  2. beautiful-didn't know this was there


Thanks for stopping to read my blog. I can't respond to every comment, but be assured that I appreciate each one.