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History Down on the Farm

The McGinty Homesite in Long Grove Reflects the Way Things Were.

Article by Michael Beightol

Photography by Christine McGinty and VHT Studio

Originally published in SW Lake Lifestyle

Along West Long Grove Road there’s a handsome and well-maintained farmhouse with a long driveway. A discreet sign simply announces “McGinty Farm.” At the far end of the drive, a passerby can catch a glimpse of a bright red barn. A stroll down the driveway reveals that the barn is in fact quite large; that the home has a significant addition on the back; and in the side yard there’s a lovely in-ground swimming pool and spacious deck.

Across the barnyard, peeling back the giant barn door reveals a cavernous space with a remarkable secret: smack dab in the middle of the barn is a basketball court with a hoop on the back wall as if it were scene straight out of the beloved movie “Hoosiers.”

Out the back there’s an open pasture, red-painted shed, non-functional (and delightful) outhouse and an oak savanna that gently slopes down a long hill to a peaceful pond.

The setting feels like a dream in the prettiest of settings. McGinty Farm, in the same family since 1973, is now for sale.

The farmhouse dates to before World War II. The collection of other buildings, including a three-car garage and workshop, are from the same era. The home and surrounding property of more than five acres housing an abundance of memories and realized dreams.

The original farmhouse is charming, and surrounded by lush and mature landscaping which makes total sense when you realize it was once the epicenter for the family’s landscaping business which dates to 1955; it’s still operated today under the leadership of Brian McGinty, one of the grandsons of founder Charles McGinty.

The farm is currently owned by another grandson, Michael McGinty, and his wife Christine who have been preparing themselves to say goodbye to a lifetime of memories. “I have been part of the McGinty family since I was 16 when Mike and I were in high school,” Chris said. “How do you sum up 55 years?”

Dad died in 2011, and mom followed in 2019. Mike and Chris stepped in to buy the farm. “We have been very blessed to take over the farm after Mike’s parents so that we could continue to make more memories and share more love of the farm with our wonderful family and friends,” Chris said.

The McGintys moved to Long Grove from Chicago’s Edison Park when the children were youngsters, and immediately started making memories. The hill out back? Their father, John, fashioned a rope tow powered by a tractor so that his four sons and their friends could ski. The pond? It was the site for legendary hockey games in winter and fishing in summer. A pulley system that long ago hung from the ceiling of the barn? “We called it the swing of death,” Mike said, laughing.

The three-bedroom home is always cozy and warm in the winter with three fireplaces; cool and breezy in warmer weather, this home is a source of joy for all seasons. A large family room with original wood paneling and heavy-timbered ceiling is the hub between the addition and the rest of the house. A three-season room and wide screened porch look out at the pool and heritage trees.

A guest house on the property features an additional bedroom, full bath, living room with space plumbed for a kitchen, sitting room and office, and adds to the charm by providing lovely and private accommodations for guests or family members.

The barn with its towering space is like exploring history. There are horse stalls, cattle troughs, and an overhead loft with a pretty nifty solid wood bar. When the hayloft doors are opened it transforms into the perfect getaway for a romantic dreamscape view of pasture, oaks and pond.

During the Covid pandemic, Mike says the farm was “the perfect place for our family to bubble.” Their adult children returned home and rode out the worst of the pandemic together. Before then, the farm was also the site for family reunions. “We have hundreds of relatives and sometimes for reunions, it felt like they were all here with us.”

Mike says it’s hard to say goodbye, but he knows the time is right for new owners to take on the legacy of the farm while creating lasting memories of their own.

To learn more: the McGinty family is represented by Renee Clark of @Properties. Be sure to visit or call 847.381.0300.

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