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Legends – Lover’s Lane

The name Lover’s Lane conjures up thoughts of a secluded area without much traffic where young folks can be alone. Lover’s Lane, a spot between DeKalb and Sycamore, is anything but that.

Described in 1899 as a pretty drive through a grove of trees, it became a rendezvous place and campground for gypsies and horse-traders. Located north of the Love property, it eventually became an enjoyable place for picnics and family gatherings.


The 1920s plat map of DeKalb Township shows the location of Lover’s Lane, between Sycamore ROad and Coltonville Road.

 

In 1907, it had become such a popular place that a bridge was constructed across the creek to make it easier to reach the picnic area, an untouched area where people could enjoy nature without traveling far. With the completion of the bridge, those taking a pleasure drive could travel from Route 23, take the road through Lover’s Lane, and exit on Coltonville Road.

The bridge was thought to assure the permanence of the area into perpetuity. The exit would take the drivers through the historic Coltonville area, where there was an Indian village and a meeting place of the political minds in the Black Hawk War. It was also where the first session of the DeKalb County court was held.


Lover’s Lane view in 1946 of Coltonville Road and the bridge looking south.

 

Today Lover’s Lane can be found off of Coltonville Road, just behind the historical marker for the first session of the DeKalb County court. It remains a secluded, forgotten place. The road connecting it with Route 23 is gone. The land has changed hands many times and the only reminder of the area is the old bridge. Now covered with gang graffiti, you can still see the construction plate on the bridge which reads; “Continental Bridge Co. Chicago, ILL, 1907.”


This 2017 aerial view of Lover’s Lane shows the bridge that connected Rt. 23 to Coltonville Road.

 

Lover’s Lane is a forgotten part of our local history.

Information provided by the Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives