The Country Home Outside Chicago
John D. Hertz Gifted His Daughter
on His Exclusive Trout Valley Estate
Rolling hills, woodlands, trails, and ponds along the Fox River
John D. Hertz, founder of the Yellow Cab Co and the rental car company that bears his name, accumulated 940 acres of farmland near Cary, Illinois in the 1920s. A number of the farms were combined to become the Hertz estate Leona Farms, named after Hertz’s eldest daughter, and beautified by renowned landscape architect Jens Jensen. The estate was home to Hertz’s 35 room mansion and Leona’s manor home, built in 1929 at 113 Marryat Road, and currently offered for sale for the first time in half a century.
The remaining acreage was transformed by English horticulturalist George Bainbridge who planted a variety of imported trees and shrubs to grace the rolling fields and woodlands. Land was cleared to make way for polo grounds, stables, raising thoroughbred horses, an Art Deco swimming pool, and well-stocked ponds. Hertz and his wife Fanny-Kay shared their elegant lifestyle in this bucolic setting with famous politicians, glamourous movie stars, and international tycoons from c. 1920 – 1943.
In 1943 Otto Schnering, founder of the Curtiss Candy Company, with his wife Dorothy, purchased 650 acres from Hertz and developed some of the acreage for livestock farming, raising prize bulls and other animals. In addition, they developed the natural spring-fed ponds into trout hatcheries. Today, the upper ponds are stocked with rainbow, brown and brook trout. Fathead minnows are stocked in all ponds to feed the fish. In addition to minnows, blue gills are stocked in the large Tom Sawyer pond to feed the bass.
Don and Norm Maxon began developing residential homes in 1955 and in 1958 Trout Valley was incorporated. Today the private residential community of 230 homes is a popular destination for riding, fly fishing, hiking, and boating enthusiasts.
refitted living room paneling from an English castle
Dining Room wallpaper from a château in France
Two 2BR Guest cottages
Golf courses & clubs nearby in Barrington and Cary
90 minutes to chicago
Leona’s manor is an architecturally significant Georgian residence unrivalled in its scope and beauty. Lovingly maintained since 1974, all systems, mechanicals, and details, including the handsome slate roof, have been updated or replaced. Sited on 3.2 wooded acres with two guest cottages, the gated and walled home features custom architectural details from 12’ ceilings, refitted English paneling, wallpaper from a French château, three fireplaces, and ornate plaster molding to the elegant circular staircase that graces the foyer with a double height ceiling. There is a sunny breakfast room overlooking the gardens and bluestone terrace and the kitchen is contiguous to a 45’ long family room. There are four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a powder room, an exercise room, and an attached four car garage. The luxurious primary suite features two large dressing rooms, a sunroom, and two large bathrooms. All rooms offer tranquil verdant views. Trout Valley is a private residential community with rolling pastures, riding trails, horse boarding, fly fishing streams, bass and trout ponds, tennis courts, a pool, and river access from a marina and boat launch.
Exclusive Trout Valley Residents' Amenities
The original Hertz estate swimming pool
Riverfront Park Tennis Courts
Horse barn, Training Arena, and Boarding
Private Dock and River Access via Marina and Boat Launch
Tom Sawyer Pond Stocked with Bass and Trout
Fly Fishing Streams
Amenities photography by Lorette Dodt and Anson Mount 111