Midway Village announces 11.36-acre land acquisition
A new 11.36-acre land acquisition at the corner of Perryville and Guilford roads by the Rockford Park District Foundation will add new recreational opportunities for residents and benefit the Midway Village Museum campus and visitors. Midway Village is at 6799 Guilford Road, Rockford.
The land is the former family residence of the Eyster family of Rockford.
In the 1950s, before Guilford Road was paved or Perryville Road even existed, Marvin and Joanne Eyster purchased the property because they fell in love with the beautiful oak trees and natural setting. For more than 50 years, they continued to enhance the natural beauty of the land and raised a family of two daughters and a son while Rockford’s expansion built up around them.
Reaching their golden years, Marvin and Joanne sought to preserve the property’s natural beauty by offering it to the Rockford Park District. They also wanted to continue as good neighbors to Midway Village Museum, whose 19th-century village bordered their back yard.
Acquisition by the Park District Foundation will ensure the property’s natural beauty will be preserved. It will also be a natural buffer and maintain the integrity of the 13-acre Victorian village.
Midway Village is on the east side of the museum campus and includes 26 structures and gardens interpreting life in northern Illinois from 1890 to 1910.
The land acquisition also provides a link between the Perryville and Midway Village recreation paths. These two paths are a popular recreation destination in Rockford with more than 200,000 visitors annually. The natural habitat will also provide additional recreational opportunities such as bird-watching, walking and picnicking.
“The long-range plan to acquire this property was a high priority for the museum and the Park District for many years,” said David Byrnes, president of Midway Village Museum. “This acquisition was made possible by the Rockford Park District Foundation, Rockford Park District and private funds generated through Midway Village Museum. We are grateful to Marvin and Joanne Eyster for their commitment to preserving this beautiful homestead.”
From the Sept. 26-Oct. 2, 2012, issue
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