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2017 Kane County Chronicle Best of the Fox

Seven Oaks horse farm in St. Charles Township up for landmark designation

Published: Saturday, March 16, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – A historical horse farm with ties to St. Charles’ past soon could be added to the roster of historic landmarks in Kane County.

This spring, Kane County officials will consider awarding the landmark status to the Seven Oaks Farm.

On Red Gate Road, just east of Randall Road, in St. Charles Township, the  farm is steeped in local history, said Julia Thavong, preservation planner at the Kane County Office of Community Reinvestment.

“When this one came to us, we were oh, so excited,” Thavong said. “This is a truly significant property.”

The property has been farmed since 1860, according to documents attached to the Seven Oaks’ historical landmark designation application.

But in 1937, the land, then known as Longview Farm, was purchased by Edward J. “Colonel” Baker, the local businessman and philanthropist who financed the construction of the Hotel Baker in St. Charles, among other projects.

He operated a dairy farm there until the mid-20th Century.

The farm then was bought by renowned American Saddlebred horse trainers Tom and Donna Moore in 1961. 

Moore is known as “the founding father” of the United Professional Horsemen’s Association, according to the UPHA, and is one of the greatest trainers in the American Saddlebred category, having won more than 200 world championship titles.

Seven Oaks was used to breed and train horses until Moore’s death in 2001.

The farm was nominated for historic landmark designation in October 2012 by its current owner, Deborah Jahn, wife of Chicago architect Helmut Jahn. The couple took possession of the farm more than a decade ago.

Seven Oaks still is used to breed American Saddlebred horses.

The designation must be approved by the County Board.

Thavong said the landmark designation would make Seven Oaks the 46th property, outside of cities and villages, to be recognized as a historic landmark in Kane County.

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