Fabayan Villa Museum

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This was the home of one of the Chicago area's true eccentrics. Col. George Fabayan moved here in 1905, and he lived in the Frank Lloyd Wright-remodeled house on the banks of the Fox River until his death in 1936. He had a menagerie of bears, kangaroos and other animals on the grounds, which once amounted to 300 acres (now mostly owned by the Kane County Forest Preserve District). Fabayan built a Dutch windmill on the grounds for no discernible reason. He collected Oriental antiquities, such as a suit of samurai armor, which is one of the prizes of the museum. And he took pleasure in buying unclaimed freight from the railroad from which he culled objects of interest to him, such as a fake mummy (now in the museum) that was apparently a circus sideshow attraction. Fabayan had serious interests in natural history that also show up in this pleasant museum. (Across the street is Riverbank Laboratories, once Fabayan's center for cryptological, acoustical and other scientific investigations, now operated by Illinois Institute of Technology.)