18410 US Highway 14, Woodstock
Open Weekdays 8 a.m.– 4:30 p.m.
[Closed 8a.m.–2p.m. on 9/25/12, 11/27/12]
Brookdale Administrative Offices house Administration, Communications, Volunteer Management, Human Resources, Planning & Development, Land & Facilities, and Police Departments for the Conservation District.
Visitors can receive Camping and Picnic Shelter permits here as well as Media Permits and information on placing geocaches. A variety of informational brochures and site maps can be picked up here as well.
The Brookdale Conservation site features an 11-acre pond with a fishing "overlook" pier. The pond is stocked annually and contains large mouth bass, bluegill, crappie, green sunfish and bullheads. (No boats are permitted.) There is also a 1 mile looped hiking trail along the north side. A picnic shelter, restrooms and ADA accessible trail to the lake is located on the east side of the lake with a parking lot off Paulson Road. View the site map.
In 1840, Wesley Diggins built a dam across the Kishwaukee River and constructed a sawmill to log the area’s abundant timber. The Village of Brookdale was established on February 8, 1848 with the plan to have the Illinois and Wisconsin Railroad extend its tracksfrom Cary, through Brookdale then north to Janesville, Wisconsin. A disagreement with the railroad company caused the owners to bypass Brookdale. On February 15, 1856, the village was formally abandoned.
One of Brookdale’s earliest buildings served as a combination town hall, tavern and stage stop, which years later would provide the cornerstone for the Willlows (now the District’s Main Office) building. In 1935, Elmer and Helen Pellegrin purchased the property and constructed a home and studio around the original stage stop waiting room of the town hall. Their son constructed a home nearby, now known as the Birches (currently home to the Police and Land & Facilities Department).
The Aaron and Sylvia Scheinfeld Foundation took ownership and opened a center “dedicated to a program for the creativesolutions of social problems.” In 1987, the Northern Illinois University Foundation received the Woodstock Center as a gift agreement from the Scheinfeld Foundation.
In 1998, the District purchased the property from the NIU Foundation with grant assistance from the Scheinfeld Foundation. In November of 2000, the District moved its headquarters to the Woodstock site and restored the name to “Brookdale” to reflect its history.