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Daley's River Bend
Abbott's Grove was located on the Fox River, two miles east of Cary. During its time as a summer resort, it was also known as Abbott's Bend, Abbott's Woods and Abbott's Resort.
Abijah Conger Abbott and his family came to Cary in 1856. In 1872, he purchased approximately 120 acres of land east of town, on the south side of what would later become East Main Street. He built a house and barn and established a dairy farm of 25 cows. In 1882, he purchased adjacent land on both sides of East Main Street, which added another house and additional acreage to his homestead.
Abijah farmed the land until 1897, when he went into semi-retirement and leased the land to new tenants. He continued to live on the grounds and keep an active interest in farm affairs. His wife died in 1898.
In the 1900s, it was common for farmers to take in summer boarders from the city and to allow their wooded areas to be used for picnics. Abijah had a very pleasant grove along the river, and he began to rent it to various organizations for their annual outings. The Methodist Church Ladies Aid Society and the Milk Producers Association were frequent patrons. In 1903, he built a three-story addition to his house for the accomodation of his city boarders. This hotel had a large wraparound porch and room for 50 guests. His land became known as Abbott's Summer Resort and Abbott's Grove.
In 1906, Abijah's son Albert purchased a portion of the land, and in 1907 his family moved onto the property and took over running the farm and summer resort. Albert's wife Wellia ran the hotel, which welcomed vacationers during the summer and hunters and fishermen during the off-season.
Abijah died in 1908 at the age of 81. Albert inherited the remainder of the land, which now encompassed 133 acres. In 1909, he began to rent the farm to various tenants, including his son, while he and his wife took up traveling and wintering in the south.
In the 1910s, Albert decided to place more emphasis on the resort portion of the property. A dance pavilion was built in 1913, and the picnics became more numerous and more elaborate. A typical outing included games, refreshments, bathing, boating, dancing, and sometimes even a rented carousel. The dances lasted until early in the morning, when taxicabs from town and boats from Fox River Grove came to pick everyone up. In 1914, sportsmen and sporting clubs from Chicago began to rent parcels near the river, where they built summer cottages. The grove continued to host picnics as late as 1922.
Portions of the land were subdivided beginning in 1920. A piece of land located at the corner of East Main Street and Hickory Nut Grove Road was sold in 1917, and in 1921 it became Svoboda's Subdivision. In 1919, a group of sportsmen renting a cottage on the river persuaded Albert to subdivide some pasture land running down the hill to the river. The result was Mount Moriah, which was recorded in 1920. The dance pavilion was located on this parcel, and in 1923 it was purchased by a private party and remodeled into a two-story home.
In 1920, Paul and Mary Wium purchased the parcel on which the hotel was located. They continued to host picnics and operate the hotel, which they renamed Wium's Grand View Resort. In 1926, they closed the resort and sold the land to Charles and Vera Allen. The hotel was converted into apartments and the land became Allen's Grand View Subdivision.
During the 1920s, at least eight more subvisions were formed from the Abbott estate. These will be described in a separate section of this site in the future.
The land across the road, where the second farmhouse was located, was sold to James and Elizabeth Novak in 1946. It became known as Apple Creek Farm. In the 1950s, this land was further divided into several smaller parcels and sold. The farmhouse parcel became a victim of foreclosure in 2009 and the house was torn down.
According to local history books, the original hotel building burned down, which I believe happened in the 1950s. A private home is located there now, at the corner of East Main Street and Wium Road. The barn, which was located on the south side of the road, directly across from Apple Creek Farm, stood until 1998, when it collapsed in a storm and was torn down.
The view from the Norge Ski Jump, showing the
Abbott estate (left side of river) before being subdivided
Daley's River Bend
Daley's River Bend Resort was located on Rawson Bridge Road, just north of Hickory Nut Grove Lane. The land originally consisted of 80 acres and a small strip of river frontage on the Fox River. In 1860, John and Julia Daley built a 19-room house on the property and opened it as the River Bend Resort. The remainder of the land was worked as a farm, which supplied meat and vegetables for the hotel.
John Daley was killed in 1882 when his wagon tipped over while hauling lumber from town. Julia Daley died a year later. Their son Thomas and his wife Josephine ran the resort following their deaths.
The 1900s and 1910s were peak years for the River Bend Resort, and for Cary resorts in general. The summer months brought multitudes of visitors from the city, and the hotel was often filled to capacity for the entire season. Regular guests kept their boats docked at the resort year-round. The hotel hosted dances and a yearly wild duck dinner that was famous throughout Chicagoland. In 1908, when the new bridge over the Fox River at Rowson's (Rawson Bridge) was completed, Daley's hosted a dinner for 75 dignitaries following the dedication ceremony.
A blind pig is a bar or saloon that sells alcohol illegally without a license. When new liquor laws went into effect in 1914, the bar at Daley's was shut down for a time, along with several other blind pigs in McHenry County. Prior to this, selling alcohol without a license was punishable by a fine only.
Thomas Daley built a modern gas heating plant in 1902 and a new addition to the hotel in 1906. According to a 1914 guidebook published by the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, Daley's had accomodations for 50 guests, and charged room rates of $2 per day and $5 per week. During this time, the resort was also known as the Fox River Bend Summer Resort, River Bend Farm and Daly's River Bend. In fact, most postcards of the era erroneously refer to the resort as Daly's.
In the 1900s, when people started to build summer cottages on the land known as Hickory Grove, a dirt road was built along the southern edge of the Daley property to provide access. The intersection of Rawson Bridge Road and this dirt road became known as Daley's Corners. Today, this is Hickory Nut Grove Lane.
Thomas Daley died in 1916. Josephine Daley continued to run the hotel until 1921, when the entire property was leased to Ben and George Lando. The Lando brothers farmed the land while their sisters ran the hotel, which they renamed the Lando Brothers River Bend Resort. New features at this time included a tennis court and areas for croquet and horseshoes.
In 1922, a dance pavilion was built south of the hotel and was known as the River Bend Pavilion. Saturday and Sunday night dances were held there for many years.
Josephine Daley lost the land to foreclosure in 1939, and in 1941 it was purchased by Walter and Violet Graf. They established the Graf Mink Ranch, and in 1945 they tore down the dance pavilion and used the lumber to build a new house. The hotel was converted to apartments.
In 1989, the land was put into a trust, and in 1990 it was subdivided and became the River Pointe Subdivision. The original hotel building still stands today, and in the late 2000s it was put up for sale, but as of 2011 it remains in the land trust.
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