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Bonner Farm Country Fair takes visitors back in time

Lindenhurst 10/7/12
Five-year-old Connor VinsLake Villis led Lotsofdots by 16-year-old Renee Elansky Waukegan while his two-year-old sister Megan Vinsis led Shilo

Lindenhurst 10/7/12 Five-year-old Connor Vinson of Lake Villa is led on Lotsofdots by 16-year-old Renee Elansky of Waukegan while his two-year-old sister Megan Vinson is led on Shilo by Kaye Kleine of Wadsworth during Bonner Heritage Farm's Bonner Country Fair. | Michelle LaVigne ~ Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 7, 2012 1:55AM

Joyce Dever of Lindenhurst braved chilly temperatures to spend her Sunday afternoon volunteering at Bonner Farm Country Fair.

Dever was stationed at the craft center helping kids decorate masks. She also took photographs for the Lake County Forest Preserve District, which owns the property.

“I enjoy working with the kids ... the kids really enjoy it,” Dever said.

She was among 5-7 volunteers running the country fair, according to Seleena Kuester, museum educator. There were also 3-4 members of the museum staff running the event.

“It’s a nice chance for the public to visit a historic farm and (attend) very family-friendly events,” Kuester said.

The $3 admission gave guests access to a petting zoo, wagon and pony rides, crafts, face-painting and a scarecrow-making station.

“One of the favorite (activities) is to guess the weight of the giant pumpkin. People tend to love pumpkins,” Kuester said.

The person who guesses the closest weight gets to keep the large pumpkin. It will get weighed a week after the event but typically weighs more than 100 pounds, Kuester said.

Bonner Farm buildings are not typically open to the public. William Bonner purchased the property around 1850 because it had trees. He was a carpenter by trade but in those days, it was common to have a farm as a food source, Kuester said.

The farm remained in the Bonner family until the 1990s when it was donated to the Lake County Forest Preserve District.

Original buildings include a barn, hawk house, chicken coup, milk house, granary and two houses.

This year was probably the 10th year for Bonner Country Fair. The event draws 500-650 visitors.

“Most of these kids have never seen a farm and I think they get a kick out of it,” Dever said.

Jillian Ellenwood, 6, enjoyed the face-painting and pumpkin-painting activities. Her mother, Beth Ellenwood of Lindenhurst, said this was their third year coming to the country fair.

“It’s awesome — it’s fun and it’s a great day outside. We enjoy it as a family,” Ellenwood said.

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