History & Culture

The cultural history of the Midewin site prior to its designation as a national tallgrass prairie in 1996 can be divided into three broad periods of time. Each of these periods have left their mark on the Midewin landscape and will affect aspects of Midewin's restoration.


Visit the Arsenal Worker Statue and WWII Bunker near the Iron Bridge Trailhead

A Forest Service employee poses with an honoree during a presentation commemorating a statue.

On Saturday, June 4, 2022, USDA Forest Service employees and volunteers hosted a public program to re-dedicate a statue of an arsenal worker and to honor the history of the workers who “served on the home front,” during WWII at the Joliet Arsenal. The arsenal was active where Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie is located today.

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Keeping The Prairie Past Alive with First-hand Stories and Heirloom Recipes

A family gathers around their patriarchs, who each hold Midewin 25th Anniversary poster copies

Alvin (“Al”) and Robert (“Bob”) Schumacher recently brought together four generations of their extended families to the Iron Bridge Trailhead to share their stories of growing up there on the Schumacher family farm – "Fairview Farm" – in the 1930s.

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