The Windings of Ferson Creek known for natural surroundings

The Windings of Ferson Creek in St. Charles is known for its natural surroundings

  • The Windings of Ferson Creek in St. Charles.

      The Windings of Ferson Creek in St. Charles. Rick West | Staff Photographer

Updated 6/6/2018 2:48 PM

It would be difficult to choose a recent event or occurrence that marked a significant change in the Tri-Cities region, because there have been so many over the years.

Though familiar with this area during the 1960s, I did not come to stay until the late 1970s -- and did so as a reporter covering the townships and school districts west of Randall Road.


With that as a backdrop, The Windings of Ferson Creek subdivision on the west side of St. Charles will always be a symbol of sorts to me. The 400 acres of beautiful trees and the ecosystem of Ferson Creek represented a change in the rural landscape of the county and for all of the government bodies serving that region.

The longtime farm families to the west and those "newbies" coming into The Windings began to interact at many levels -- sometimes quite nicely, other times in conflict over what should be occurring with the schools and township services.

Regardless of the political winds of the past, The Windings still stands as a unique place, having molded itself into a tight community of neighbors who understand their place in an area that still clearly belongs to the nature around it.

"The folks who live in The Windings love it," said resident Bill Miller. "A drive down our Jens Jensen Lane to Hidden Springs Drive is all most people need to start shopping for a home here."

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This is also a subdivision not afraid to take on a challenge. After all, the unpleasant news about the emerald ash borer in our state was uncovered in part because Windings residents discovered them in 2006 and kept working with the Illinois Department of Agriculture to secure the money needed to remove 160 infected trees.

In addition, the subdivision's homeowners association continues to work with civil engineers and Kane County to find ways to better manage rainwater from adjacent farm properties and the creek that flows into nearby ravines.

It has come a long way since the Branigar Organization purchased the property in the late 1960s from the CEO of Inland Steel Company to begin subdividing the area for single-family homes and townhouses.

A lodge built by that CEO operates as the clubhouse, nicely located near the Great Western Trail.

"Last, but not least, the original habitats of The Windings -- deer, squirrels, raccoons, opossums, birds, turtles, fish, fox and a few skunk -- are all alive and well," Miller said.


Miller speaks like a fellow who knows his nature -- and has lived amongst it for a long time.

"Our woods, pond and creeks are home to colorful and melodic birds such as blue heron, egret, cardinal, woodpecker, oriole, blue bunting and finch," he added. "We strive to accommodate all of these animals, as they will be here long after we are not."

Of Kennedy and Johnson:

Reader Tony Purkart sent along his thanks for my column about the various statutes and plaques in the region that pay tribute to the local veterans who fought in the various wars throughout our history.

He is surprised how many people are not aware of the names listed at these sites, and also that many residents don't know about the plaque commemorating John F. Kennedy's Oct. 25, 1960, visit to the Tri-Cities area and his short speech on the steps of the county courthouse on Third Street in Geneva.

It just goes to show there is much to learn regarding local history, including the fact that the courthouse on Third Street also served as the county jail at one time.

And we had another well-known historic figure spend some time in that jail in the summer of 1920.

When President Trump recently pardoned the first black boxing champion, Jack Johnson, for the 1913 and 1920 crimes of transporting a white woman across state lines, Geneva History Museum Director Terry Emma thought she had come across that name in the museum's archives.

She was right. Johnson was moved from Joliet Prison to Geneva's county lockup in 1920 and spent a summer here.

"We had newspaper clippings from the Geneva Republican that he was removed from Joliet and brought here because they were serving him ice cream and driving him around in a car there," Emma said.

The museum has a wooden casting of Johnson's shoe in the museum with his name on it. "He must have gotten new shoes from Peterson's Shoe Store when he was here," Emma said. "The shoe casting is dated August 31,1920, and that is when he was here."

Menu goes to dogs:

If animals could read, our dog would surely like the notes coming from The Lodge on 64 restaurant in St. Charles.

They are offering a new Doggy Diner menu for its dog-friendly patio area. The doggy menu offers a bowl of chicken and rice, beef and rice, or just plain rice, as well as a complimentary bowl of water.

Our dogs of the past would certainly be jealous if they saw what was available to the four-legged friends of today.

It's Palooza time:

Batavia Moose Lodge 682 has what one might consider a summer dream event unfolding Saturday.

After the CASI Chili Cook-off event from 1 to 3 p.m., the lodge's "Moose-a-Palooza" kicks in for a day of music, thanks to the work of the Women of the Moose.

The community is invited to attend the 3 to 9 p.m. event, with a suggested $10 per person donation. Net proceeds go to the Moosehaven Centennial project.

Those attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to watch local bands Sioux Summer, Dirty Water, and the Tin Fiddle Band.

Hamburgers, hot dogs, brats and ice cream will be available.

As noted, this has all the ingredients of a great summer event.

Dinner back on:

Fans of Lumes Pancake House and Restaurant in Batavia were happy to see the site is again open for dinner until 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays.

The place, located just behind Walgreens in the Fabyan Parkway retail strip at Randall Road, almost always has a nice crowd for breakfast.

But the move for bringing back evening dining has some solid logic behind it. The retail strip is pretty active these days with Trader Joe's, Sierra Trading Post and the Dollar Tree bringing far more consumers in on a regular basis.

Welcome to 1910:

Sergio's Cantina is letting everyone know that the project to build another bar on top of the restaurant at 30 W. State St. is complete and now open after nearly nine months of work.

Called 1910 Geneva, the spot is set up for a more upscale feel and a lounge setting.

Owners Sergio and Lindsey De Los Santos have been anxious to debut this addition to their restaurant business. And it has some historical significance in that, while the building it is all located in was built in 1907, the first tavern appeared in that spot in 1910.

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