Founders Day Family Bike Ride

Description: an annual event designed for families with young kids who ride, or ride in bike trailers. Riders will pass 11 points of historical interest.

  • Perfect for families with young riders
  • Bicycle trailers (Burleys) welcome
  • The ride will be cancelled if it's raining at 9 am

Route: The ride heads west through Maple Grove Forest Preserve to Gilbert Park, then heads back east to town, across the tracks to Warren and west to the Belmont Prairie. Riders return to Fishel Park via Pierce Downer house and well and Blodgett Cemetery.

Historical points of interest

  1. Main Street Cemetery: Opened in 1856 when Sam Curtiss donated part of his sheep pasture. Notice the headstones all face west.
  2. Fishel Park: First site of the original Avery Coonley School. This two acre site was purchased by residents who later donated it to the Village as a park site.
  3. Gilbert Park: The ball field was originally formed from excavation needed to raise the base of the railroad on the nearby Burlington Northern line. Frequented by hobos during the 1930s, residents close to the park could see the smoke and hear the music.
  4. Dicke Tool Company: Started in 1889 by Casper Dicke. This immigrant from Cologne Germany founded the first manufacturing plant in Downers Grove.
  5. Burlington Northern Round House: Built in 1893 this structure serviced trains bound for Chicago and Aurora.
  6. Chicago Golf Club: The original location of the Chicago Golf Club was constructed in 1893 and is the oldest 9 hole course west of the Appalachians.
  7. Belmont Prairie: This 10 acre dry mesic prairie was founded by local resident L. Dupree. In 1979 it became the 1st nature preserve in DuPage County
  8. Pierce Downer Home: One of the oldest homes built by Pierce Downer in 1842 on the site of his log cabin. Notice how it is not parallel with the street, as Seeley was laid out long after the house was built. The well is located on the west side of the street.
  9. Pierce Downer Gravesite: Pierce Downer and his wife, Lucy, died a day apart in March of 1863 and were buried side by side in the grove on the hill at 4524 Linscott.
  10. Downers Grove North High School: Built in 1928, the auditorium is named after Clarence Johnson, who served as Principal of the school for 35-years from 1932 to 1967.
  11. Prince Pond: Part of the E.H. Prince Subdivision, founded in 1887. Advertised as “The handsomest suburb of Chicago. No cod fish aristocracy, criminals, toughs, or saloons.” In addition to Prince Pond, the subdivision originally included a mineral spring.

First annual Founders Day riders at Fishel Park