Winnebago County, Illinois
Blackhawk Springs Leased
Chester Hitchcock has leased his section of land surrounding the Blackhawk springs to Mr. Lovejoy, of Belvidere, for a period of five years at $1,500 per year, with the privilege of an extension of five years after the expiration of the lease. [Rockford Morning Star, 10-21-1891]
The Blackhawk Springs
The secretary of state has issued incorporation papers to the Blackhawk Springs company. The concern is capitalized at $12,000, and the incorporators are Samuel Lovejoy, R.T. Whiteman, S.B. Oakley and John Bartlett. They will erect a hotel near the famous springs and intend to advertise it far and wide. It is a delightful sylvan retreat and is destined to become a celebrated summer resort. [Rockford Morning Star, 10-29-1891]
The Popular Lovejoy House at Belvidere, Blackhawk Springs.
Belvidere, Nov. 18--The furniture, fixtures and good will of the Lovejoy house have been purchased by Many & Gallup and they take possession next Monday. The purchase price is $8,500. The new proprietors are well known and popular young business men and will no doubt make a success of their enterprise. Landlord Lovejoy will move at once to Blackhawk Springs and commence improvements there. [Rockford Daily Register Gazette, 11-18-1891]
ROCKFORD'S SUMMER RESORT
At Blackhawk Springs Work Commenced on the Erection of a Thirty-Five Room Hotel at this Beautiful Retreat.
The work of developing Blackhawk Springs into a beautiful summer resort goes rapidly on. A large ice-house was erected on the Hickcock farm last winter and filled with ice for this summer’s use; and a gang of men are now working on a thirty-five room hotel which will be completed in time for the summer season. The improvements are being made by a company organized to develop that beautiful section of wooded land into a resort where all Rockford will be during the warm summer months. Nature has done much for this particular location, and with the improvements that are now under way there is no doubt but that it will become very popular with the citizens of Rockford. [Rockford Morning Star, 03-29-1892]
A PLEASANT PLACE TO BREATHE IN
Black Hawk Springs Developing Into a Most Desirable Resort
A Large Hotel Nearly Completed at This Beautiful Retreat Which Will be Opened August 1--Hundreds of People Flock to the Summer Resort that is Bound to Become Still More Popular
The work of improving the Hitchcock farm at Blackhawk springs goes steadily on. The wet weather has delayed the work on the new hotel, but Mr. Lovejoy has pushed the matter as rapidly as possible and the handsome new structure is now nearly inclosed and presents a fine appearance. Large horse barn have been built and a building for storage of ice has been erected, and man other improvements made. The place never presented a more inviting appearance, and hundreds of people take advantage of the pleasant surroundings and spend a day in the refreshing shade of the mammoth forest trees. Sunday there were no less than 500 pleasure seekers at the springs.
Mr. Lovejoy expects to open his hotel about August first with a grand spread, and doubtless every room will be taken by that time. The building contains from fifty to sixty rooms and is provided with all the comforts of a city hotel without the drawback of the noise and crowds, and with plenty of cooling shade and pure air it will find more tenants that it can accommodate. The people of city are noted for their proclivities for getting out into the open air and the wooded fields of the Hitchcock farm presents these advantages and the people of Rockford flock there in great numbers. Mr. Lovejoy and his associates have certainly hit upon the right thing and will make a glorious success of the enterprise. Mr. Lovejoy has had the experience and is possessed of the qualities necessary to entertain guests and make them feel that they have enjoyed themselves. As proprietor of the Lovejoy house in Belvidere, he demonstrated his fitness to entertain the public and as he is the ruling spirit at Black Hawk, all will be insured of a kind welcome. [--Rockford Morning Star, July 13, 1892]
ONE PLACE IN THE COUNTY WHERE IT IS SOLD
The Lovejoy House, at Blackhawk Springs, Run a Wide Open Budgery. No Secret Made of the Fact that Beer is Sold There
Blackhawk springs, the well known resort a short distance from this city, in Winnebago county, is an especially favored locality. There are springs that a chemical analysis has shown to possess valuable medicinal properties. There are umbrageous groves, solacing retreats, quiet dells, and picturesque scenery--everything, indeed, to make the place an ideal retreat during the torridity of summer. There the worn toiler of the city could meet a sure surcease of business and find a certain temporary escape from the incinerating rays of old Sol during he height of dog days. TO court the patronage of those seeking respite from business cares without going far from home the Lovejoy house was built, and nature was aided by man’s cunning to make the place and its surrounding more restful and inviting. But in this, as in other instances innumerable, cupidity has held the best trump card. A great many visit this resort, but a very few seem to concern themselves about the spreading of trees in the surrounding groves or the medicinal properties of the springs. They drink, to be sure, but the fluid they absorb is far more exhilarating in character than the most effective mineral water ever yielded up by any spring. To slide down from what may seen like metaphor to plain Anglo-Saxon, the liquid product of the brewry is freely dispensed at the hotel at Blackhawk springs. As the clerk said to a visitor from Rockford the other day: "We only calculate to sell beer by the bottle, but if you only want a glass I guess we can fix that all right." He fixed it all right and the Rockford gentleman got what he wanted. Whether it is sold by the bottle or by the glass cuts no figure. They have as much right to sell it one way as the other, and have no right to sell it either way without having first observed the formality of obtaining a license, which has not been done. Two or three Sundays ago something over 30 cases of bottle beer were sold. Probably nearly this amount is sold every Sunday, and still more will be sold when warmer weather impels a larger number of people to get away from the heat and dust of the city. Even now the been wagon makes its regular trips. Dozens of people have met it, for there is no effort made to conceal the fact that beer is sold. An open, unblushing violation of law such as this reflects no credit upon the resort of upon the county in which it is done. The county officials are not disposed to agitate themselves anent the matter, and unless some disgusted citizen of the county makes complaint the stuff will probably continue to be sold right along. Rockford young men patronize the resort very liberally. The information was vouchsafed by the clerk of the hotel that the larger share of the patronage comes from Belvidere. But whether the chief patrons are Rockford or Belvidere people is of small moment. The sale of beer without a license is unlawful and wrong, as well as unjust to those who do pay for a license for the privilege of dispensing such liquids. [Rockford Daily Spectator, June 07, 1893]
BLACKHAWK IS POPULAR
And it Isn’t Much Wonder when You Come to Think
There are a number of Rockfordites who have on various occasions betaken themselves to the cool, refreshing resort at Blackhawk Springs, which under the supervision of Mine Host Lovejoy, is rapidly rising in popularity. These individuals will hold up their good right hand and most emphatically asseverate that the amount of clear crystal water from the famous springs, and the gallons of amber colored fluid consumed by the sweltering throng, is just about six in one case and half a dozen the in the other. The amount of beer that is disposed of at the popular resort on the banks of the picturesque Kishwaukee is truly amazing, and the financial reimbursement that the Rockford bottler receives from his Blackhawk Springs trade is more lucrative than the presidency of a switchback. That the selling of intoxicants at Blackhawk Springs is a wide open violation of the law goes without saying. In the meantime the thirsty and perspiring will continue to make their weekly pilgrimages to the fount of Bacchus, where you pay your money and take your choice. [Rockford Daily Spectator, 07-25-1893]
Dance at Blackhawk Springs
Si Conant, proprietor of the Blackhawk Springs hotel, will give a dance in the hotel dining room next Tuesday evening, and there is sure to be a large crowd in attendance. Several are going from this city. [Rockford Republic, 09-22-1898]
RESORT SPRINGS TO CLOSE
Famous Camping Ground of Chief Black Hawk in Disuse
Belvidere, Ill., May 25--Blackhawk Springs as a resort will probably soon become only a memory. The big farm in which the springs which have given the place its name are located, has been purchased by Charles Mulford, and it is understood that the timber will be cut off and the place converted into a stock farm. The destruction of the timber which lines the banks of the Kishwaukee at that point will destroy the springs as a place of resort. The place received its name from having been the favorite camping ground of Black Hawk the great war chief of the Winnebago Indians. The laud was owned for many years by a pioneer settler, Mr. Hitchcock, who conceived the project of making it into a popular summer resort. The waters of the spring are of excellent medicinal properties, and the Kishwaukee at that point is very pretty and has always been well stocked with fish. A good sized hotel was built and the place received much advertising, and for a time it seemed that the effort to make it a popular resort would be realized, but the hard times came on, the lake resorts drew largely, and the fortunes of Black Hawk began to wane. Messrs. Lovejoy and Oakley for a time revived the name, but for the last few years the place has been mainly the resort of picnic parties. [Rockford Daily Register-Gazette, 05-25-1900]
Spring Site Sold
Charles Mulford Becomes Owner of Blackhawk Resort
Palmy Days of Lovejoy and Oakley to Be Revived at the Natural Garden Spot--Squirrels Are Now in Possession of Place
Blackhawk Springs promises to again come into prominence as a summer resort and the palmy days of Lovejoy and Oakley be revived. Time was when the woods rang merry with laughter all the summer long and people came form miles around and even distant states for rest and recreation and to drink the health giving waters. Charles Mulford of this city, who has purchased the spring site, promises that this shall return. The deal for the property has just been closed and the papers have not yet been filed for record so that the consideration is not known. It is understood the have run well into the thousands.
Since the days when the late Samuel Lovejoy presided over the place and Solomon B. Lovejoy, urbane and smiling, gave attention to the public, there has been an odor of mild decay about the resort. In fact for two seasons the big hotel has been practically closed. Si(?) Conant has a lease of the property which extends over another year and as soon as that closes the new owner will make extensive and need improvements. The hotel doors will be swung wide and the seeker of fresh air, county cooking and rest will be made welcome. Old faces will be missing about the resort, however. The suave Sol Oakley can hardly be induced to return to his old stamping ground. Since the old days he as ventured upon the marital sea and has a happy home. He has become something of a politician and over in McHenry county where he is a leading citizen, holds the office of deputy sheriff. Someone will be found to take his place and direct people to “second floor, room 20.”
Blackhawk Springs is a historic spot. It is said that the Indians in their day used it as a sanctuary and a playground and a fruit farm. They got the wild plum, the wild crab apple, the wild grape, the red haw, with nuts and small fruit from this vicinity. It was a famous resting place and here the red men were accustomed to retire after long marches and battles to slake their thirst at the now famous spring, stretch their wearied limbs in sleep while their ponies took on new life from the fine feeding ground.
Just now the woods are fragrant with blossoming trees and shrubs and the whole summer through one plant and one tree succeeds another in making some sort of show of leaf, flower, seed, or autumn coloring till the leaves are all fallen and the show in over for the season. The woods are all these years have been filled with squirrels. They do not all show themselves at once but when they come out on dress parade it is next to impossible to make a count of them. It is indeed the garden spot of nature and the thousands who have enjoyed its beauties in the past will be glad to learn that the grounds are to be continued in their old use. [Rockford Daily Register-Gazette, 07-23-1900]
BUYS BLACKHAWK SPRINGS
CHARLES MULFORD THE NEW OWNER
Charles Mulford has about concluded negotiations for the purchase of Blackhawk Springs, the summer resort that has attained more than local fame and located just east of the city of the banks of the Kishwaukee. The project for the purchase has been hanging fire for some weeks awaiting the arrival of Mrs. Hitchcock, widow of the late owner, from a trip to Europe. She has returned now and the deal is expected to be consummated shortly. Mr. Mulford says he will fit up the place in metropolitan fashion and another season will enter the lists as a rival of Delavan and Geneva Lakes as a health resort. [Rockford Republic, 07-24-1900]
THE BLACKHAWK HOTEL TO GO
The Resort at the Springs to Undergo Another Transformation
The hotel building at the Blackhawk Springs resort is to be torn down and on its site a handsome modern house is to be erected. Charles Mulford is the owner of the Blackhawk Springs resort and farm and he has concluded that he would rather have all of the several hundred acres of land around the hotel used for farming and stock purposes than to have any of them given over to a resort. The hotel has not been used for resort purposes for some time. Here have been some gay times at Black Hawk Springs in days gone by, some select subrosa ones being especially gay. [Rockford Republic, 09-21-1904]
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