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Meet Noreen Dollinger of Dollinger Family Farm in Southwest

Today we’d like to introduce you to Noreen Dollinger.

In 1989, John & Noreen Dollinger started growing pumpkins. The project has grown with our family. A family business was a great way to teach responsibility, planning, perseverance, and pride in a project done together. We are passionate about agriculture, history and education. All of these things come together at Dollinger Family Farm. Come and learn about the farm animals, visit the observation bee hive, walk in an authentic tipi, see our antique farm machinery, and enjoy our many re-enacting events!

The farm has been in the Dollinger Family since 1852. It used to be the entire town of Dresden, Illinois, platted in 1836. Grandma’s house was formerly known as Rutherford’s Tavern and served as a stop on the stagecoach line. The old barn is in the National Register of Historic Places. It is a beautiful old building right along the Illinois and Michigan Canal, lovingly called the “Mule Barn.” Hard working mules could get a good night’s rest after a long day of pulling cargo up the canal. St. Anthony’s Cemetery on the farm was platted in 1847. It shares the history of the people that built our communities. We have our own ghost that walks among the graves on a full moon.

This little part of the world is full of history and intrigue, just waiting for you to explore its’ natural wonders!

Has it been a smooth road?
Every farmer will tell you that every year is different depending on Mother Nature. We have had some challenges with late planting, wet weather, dry weather, all things weather related. Learning how to adjust for those events will keep you on your toes!

There is always something new to learn! Staying abreast of changes in technology can be a challenge, but also be rewarding when you stick to it.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Dollinger Family Farm – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We are a real farm.

We have a beautiful setting away from the hustle and bustle of traffic. We love to share the beautiful oak trees and fall color. We are very proud of the wide variety of pumpkins we produce here. You can find almost anything you can imagine in the way of pumpkins or ornamental varieties.

Our homemade fudge is wonderful. It is made fresh here on the farm and we have developed many great recipes to tempt your taste buds. We raise our own honey on the farm. It is a great process which also has its own challenges. The bees help us produce our pumpkins and are an integral part of the farm.

We love history and like to share the stories of the past through our Re-enactments. We have one of the largest Civil War Re-enactments in the Midwest. The battle is amazing. We also have a Revolutionary War Re-enactment to broaden our understanding of the history of our great nation. Other events include Big Run Wolf Ranch, Save Our American Raptors, Native American Museum, Chainsaw Sculpting, and Remote Control Car competitions.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
We love our museums! We are big fans of the many opportunities for understanding history, science, architecture, and art. Living on the farm makes us appreciate the struggles of the past and all the things that come together to make this a great place to live. Chicago’s transportation and marketing hub makes it a king of agricultural importance.

Our concerns are related to the state of Illinois. We have lots of great opportunities, we just need to better manage them.


  • Free Admission
  • Free Parking

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Cathy Whalen Photography

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Jordi

    July 5, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    One of my absolutely favorite places to go in the fall!! I have lived in Shorewood/Minooka my whole life and Dollinger’s is just such a staple here!

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