The Jewel

Ralph Peck Sr.

For many years Palatine residents drove into Deer Grove to collect wood for their stoves. In 1911 Palatine veterinarian Dr. John Wilson developed a portion of the grove along Quentin Road into a recreational complex called Deer Grove Park. This park flourished with the coming of the Palatine, Lake Zurich and Wauconda Railroad. Fearing commercialization, far-sighted Chicagoans realized that the grove needed to be preserved for future generations to enjoy. A legal team under Palatine attorney Ralph Peck Sr. initiated condemnation proceedings against 300 defendants who owned 1200 acres in 102 parcels. It took many battles in court to create the jewel we call the Deer Grove Forest Preserve.