If you enjoyed The Imitation Game, you’ll love the fascinating story of “Col.” George Fabyan and Riverbank Labs — and you’ll get a huge kick out of Wednesday’s free, naturalist-guided hike along the Fox River shoreline to celebrate the Fabyan Windmill’s Centennial season of events.
Learn about the Fox River as “Col.” George Fabyan experienced it. As we stroll along the shoreline, we’ll look at both the cultural history and the ecology of the Fox River. We will go over topics such as what wildlife lived there, how people used the river’s resources and what has changed since the Fabyans owned their Riverbank estate, now known as Fabyan Forest Preserve.
This nature program takes place from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 24. All ages are welcome to attend this family-friendly event. No registration is required.
Meet at Fabyan Windmill, located at 1500 Crissey Ave., Geneva.
For more information, or to learn more about the Fabyan Windmill’s season of events, call 630-232-5980 or visit www.kaneforest.com.
- Fabyan Windmill Celebrates 100th
- Time Capsule, Virtual Tour Part of Fabyan Windmill’s Cool Centennial Celebration
- Help Us Build a Time Capsule to Celebrate Fabyan Windmill’s 100th
- GOOD READ: George Fabyan: The Tycoon Who Broke Ciphers, Ended Wars, Manipulated Sound, Built a Levitation Machine, and Organized the Modern Research Center
In 1905, George and Nelle Fabyan purchased 10 acres of a farm outside of Geneva and began what would grow to encompass 350 acres at its largest. The estate, known as Riverbank, comprised everything from a zoo, an 1864 Dutch windmill, greenhouses, stone sculptures, 18,000 chickens, a Japanese garden, a Roman-style swimming pool, a lighthouse, a boathouse, formal gardens, and an old farmhouse that was redesigned by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1907.
Colonel Fabyan was also interested in science and research, and began in 1912 what would come to be known as Riverbank Laboratories. Many different activities occurred at Riverbank Laboratories, including decoding and deciphering enemy messages during World War I, deciphering alleged secret coded messages in the works of William Shakespeare, research in the field of architectural acoustics, groundbreaking research in the field of cryptology, fieldwork in the use of hand grenades and military trenches, research and development of tuning forks, and studies of human fitness and anatomy.