Girl Scout Cabin at Maple Grove Forest Preserve
Location: 1602 Maple Ave Downers Grove
Building style/form: Cabin
Date built: 1926

The former Girl Scouts Cabin in the Maple Grove Forest Preserve was the inspiration of John “Daddy” Wells.

John, as a prominent resident of Downers Grove, was concerned about the growth of the village and wanted to make sure enough land would be set aside for the creation of forest preserves in the county. By 1920 land was being purchased in Downers Grove to establish the Maple Grove Forest Preserve and John became caretaker of the area.

It was in Maple Grove that he proposed building a cabin for the use of the local Girl Scout troops. After the deaths of his two young daughters Gracie and Amy he was committed to having the cabin built to provide a place for the girl scouts to hold activities in the forest preserve. Raising money from local businesses and residents the cabin was dedicated on July 26,1926 and dedicated to John by naming it the Daddy Wells Cabin. The scouts also honored him by giving him a special Thank You Badge, the highest honor to be given to someone who helps the scouts. Wells did not forget about the Boy Scouts. In 1925 he helped raise several thousand dollars for them to purchase improvements at their cabin in Maple Grove. He felt Scouting in Downers Grove helped train the youth in many good qualities and keep them physically fit and morally straight. The cabin burned down in 1982.

John lived in Downers Grove for more than 50 years and when he died in 1932  he was buried in the Main Street Cemetery next to his daughters and mother. The Girl Scouts did not forget about him and every Memorial Day they brought flowers to his grave. In 1982 the scouts realized Daddy Wells was sharing the monument with his other family members so they decided to raise money to place a special monument from them on his grave honoring his devotion to the Girl Scouts.

Approved: 2022
Daddy Wells Ground Breaking of Girl Scout Cabin at Maple Grove
Daddy Wells Ground Breaking of Girl Scout Cabin at Maple Grove


1602 Maple Ave Downers Grove

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