Historical Photo Answer: This is the First Deerpath Inn

Weekly photo posting celebrates city's sesquicentennial.

This one was tough.

Didn't provide a lot of clues other than the first Deerpath Inn, which was originally the house of the William Sage Johnston family. The house was initially located on part of the site of today's Gorton Community Center on Illinois, according to information from the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society.

Gail Hodges had it right. Art Miller was also helpful in expounding on the property and the era.

The City purchased the property in 1894 to erect a school, and the Johnston house was moved north to Deerpath where it became a hotel. With a rapid growth in summer seasonal recreation, necessity for more weekend lodgings had grown as well.

In 1901 the new owners of the Deerpath Inn, the Pattersons, remodeled the building. Mrs. Patterson sold the hotel to Edwin Burgess in 1925. By June 1928, the plan for a Lake Forest Hotel Co. proposed to erect an inn at Bank Lane and Illinois Road where theis currently situated.

Appreciate your continued participation. Don't forget Tuesday night is the re-enactment of the at 7:30 p.m. at .

We'll be back again Sunday with a historical photo.

Gail Hodges February 20, 2011 at 05:16 PM
The Johnston house was located at 400 East Illinois Road, where Gorton Community Center is located today. Acording to Edward Arpee's history of Lake Forest, when the Central School (later renamed after Mayor Edward F. Gorton) was built in 1895 the Johnston house was moved north to face Deer Path. Later, the house became the Brewster House hotel, then served as the first Deer Path Inn until the new Inn was built on Illinois Road. Colonel Johnson served as Mayor of Lake Forest, 1865-1866. His original property included the present Gorton Community Center site and the parking lot at the southeast corner of McKinley Road and Deer Path.
Arthur H. Miller February 21, 2011 at 02:20 PM
I would like to add only that this was a handsome Second Empire French, Mansard-roofed residence from he 1860s, a style now rare since any other other examples but one of this style house locally have been significantly altered (404 E. Deerpath) or lost, but one: Patterson Lodge, Lake Forest College (Middle Campus). to see this style up close you can visit the building, now the admissions office, with its intact Eastlake front door, and fine details on the marble fireplaces, etc. in an Aesthetic Style manner (art of art's sake) inside. The structure at the College was built as a President's House in 1880, and served in that capacity to 1917. It was renovated in 1993 and its piazza restored (ADA compliant), with much interior detail and millwork in place.


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