I was a student in the University of Michigan School of Music Contemporary Directions Ensemble and came to perform at Krannert Center for the Midwest Composers Symposium in 1973 or 1974. For whatever reason, we were housed at Allerton, a bit of a shock for college students looking for adventure, but now stuck in the middle of nowhere for the night. Nevertheless, I have fond memories of a romantic evening in the Fu Dog Garden with one of my fellow students. Twenty-five years later, I came back to … [Read more...] about William M: Since 1973
One my parents' favorite embarrassing stories to tell takes place at Allerton: they were taking turns carrying me on their shoulders and, unfortunately, when it was my mom's turn, I got sick in her hair. Even more unfortunately, this was in the early '80s and before resources to clean up were as available as there are now. We would visit when the bulbs and wildflowers were in were bloom, and then when the peonies were in bloom every year. As a small-town kid, the formal gardens and statuary … [Read more...] about Luke T: Since 1982
A few favorites: 1. On our first visit, winding through a trail and coming out in the Fu Dog Garden. It was entirely unexpected! 2. Getting lost coming from Springfield and ending up in Cerro Gordo. How, you may say? To this day, I have no clue... 3. Rusted Root concert in the Allerton Meadow. I felt like the meadow was MADE for such events. Visit the Since 1946 homepage here. Share your story here. … [Read more...] about Stephen H.: Since 1970
I was a frequent visitor to the park in the late 1940s and early 50s on outings with my family. Fifty years passed before I visited the park again when I retired and lived in Monticello for a few years. It was wonderful to find the Park well kept, and little changed from my childhood. I became a Park volunteer and spent two enjoyable years tending the Brick Wall Garden and helping with outdoor maintenance in wintertime. In the Peony Garden in March 1953 my sister, age 5, poses with a stone … [Read more...] about “Old Timer”: Since 1948
Terry joined the UI faculty in 1967. In those early years, his Division at the University held its annual Christmas party at the Allerton Mansion. In subsequent years, Terry attended numerous U of I events at Allerton, that included several overnight stays. Later, after Judy and Terry first met in 1977, Allerton became a favorite place to take visiting family and friends. In April 1978, Judy's Mom and Aunt traveled from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to Champaign to "check Terry out." We took them … [Read more...] about Judy & Terry: Since 1967
My wife Nancy and I first visited Allerton in September 1978 on one of our first dates, when we were both students at the University of Illinois. Nancy was a horticulture student and one of her classes took a tree identification field trip to Allerton. She wanted to share Allerton's beauty with me, hence one of our early day trips. Forty-two years later (September 2020), we took photos of each other at the same locations within the Park. We live in Gurnee, Illinois, three hours north of … [Read more...] about Nancy & Jay: Since 1978
I don’t remember my very first visit to Allerton, but I started working at Science & Nature Day Camp in high school. Among other things, I remember building solar ovens out of pizza boxes (or attempting to), playing speed Uno in the Meadow, sketching in the Fu Dog Garden, and learning right along with the campers (I still think about Camp every time I hear a barred owl hoot “Who Cooks for You?”). I always said it was the best job, and I couldn’t believe it when twelve years later I got the … [Read more...] about Bridget F: Since 1999
Although it existed as a private estate for many years prior, the story of Allerton Park as we know it began in 1946. That year, Robert Allerton generously donated his home and surrounding property to the University of Illinois. For the first time, the public was welcome to visit this vast, unforgettable landscape, and the story of Allerton Park and Retreat Center began…. continue reading here. … [Read more...] about Since 1946: 75 Years of Allerton… 75 Years of You!