NORTHFORK FARM HISTORY

Situated on a hillside in Na-Au-Say Township in Kendall County just 35 miles Southwest of downtown Chicago, four miles west of Plainfield, and five miles east of Oswego, Northfork Farm features beautiful rolling pastures and views that are breath taking.  With the Chicago skyline in the distant background, it is remarkable how quiet this prairie is.  With quick access to Interstate 55 for both Arlington Park and Hawthorne Race Courses, Northfork has transitioned into both a thoroughbred horse facility, and successful wedding venue. With rich soils (drummer and loam) the farm features rich green pastures designed for providing essential nutrients for all horses turned out for grazing.  It is very common to find rich black dirt as far down as thirty inches below the surface throughout the entire property.  The farm also grows and produces its own hay (alfalfa and grass mix).

 

The farm dates back to when former President Polk owned it.  The Pasteris family purchased the farm in January 1961, and the farm has been in the family ever since.  Peter Pasteris Sr. began the operation with his Appaloosa Stallion named Dalton’s Cowboy.  The stud was so impressive with his color, that his stud fee consistently remained at $1,000 from 1968-1980 until he was pensioned on the farm.  Pasteris Sr. then trained and converted him to a cart horse for the remainder of his life.

 

 

Dr. Peter Pasteris Jr. who grew up on the farm, now with his wife Laurie own and operate it.  In 2001 they demolished the original farm house and main barn and designed the layout much like Southfork Ranch in Plano, Texas; however, it very much resembles the type of farms located in Lexington, Kentucky where Northfork takes their mares for breeding.   In 2006, Dr. Pasteris purchased his first thoroughbred mare named Summertime Val sired by Summer Squall (Winner of the 1990 Preakness and 2nd in the 1990 Kentucky Derby to Unbridled) out of Weekend Surprise (Broodmare of The Year- 1985) who was sired by Secretariat (Triple Crown winner – 1973).  Summertime Val produced Apollo Dolce (THREE TIME GRADE 1 STAKES WINNER in Japan), and her last two foals have sold for $386,000 and $168,000 respectfully.

 

 

Since that time, two additional mares have been added to the brood.  Most notable, Wicked Tap sired by Pleasant Tap (1992 Champion Older Male Horse and runner up to Horse of the Year AP Indy).  Pleasant Tap who earned $2,021,169 during his racing career and sired 53 stakes winners and the earners of more than $51.5 million, ironically finished third in the 1990 Kentucky Derby behind Unbridled and Summer Squall. His half-brother (Go for Gin) won the 1994 Kentucky Derby.

 

 

The farm has entered the horse racing circuit in 2018 under their cobalt blue racing silks.  Wicked Tap’s first offspring (Wicked Max) sired by Albertus Maximus (Winner of the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Mile) will begin his two year old campaign in 2018.

4.28.17_17 Wicked Tap Grazing
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THE PASTERIS FAMILY

The Pasteris name can be traced back to Savoy, France (Mountain Region of South France) and the French Revolution in 1789 where Four Noblemen Pasteris brothers avoided death by fleeing over the French Alps into Northern Italy in a town called Villareggia just north of Torino, Italy (Piedmont Region).  Not too long after, one of them had a son, Martin Pasteris who eventually became the mayor of this village where he held that post for over twenty years.  He was a huge agriculturist who brought water into the fields for irrigation purposes.  Two of his sons (Andrew and John) left their younger sister (Auxilia) and youngest brother (Ernesto) behind to begin a new life in the United States.  They settled in a little town called Carbon Hill just 20 miles south of Joliet, Illinois in 1901.  Andrew married Angela Gianetti in 1903.  They lived in Joliet, Illinois and had six children.  The youngest, Peter Joseph Pasteris was born on December 11, 1919.

 

Upon returning to Joliet after fighting in World War II, Peter Pasteris married Mary Percich on June 4, 1944.  She had moved to Joliet, Illinois from Colgate, Oklahoma.  Mary came to Joliet by herself at age 20 to work in the Joliet Ammunition Plant during World War II.  Prior to that, she helped harvest cotton for $1.00 per day.  At the beginning of their marriage, Peter worked as an Operating Engineer running heavy equipment.  Fourteen years later, they had a son and named him Peter Joseph Pasteris Jr.  In early January of 1961, the Pasteris family purchased the current Northfork Farm and moved to Oswego, Illinois.

 

Peter Sr. continued to work as an operator, as he became the first operator for his cousins, Pete and Tony Ferro who started their own construction company (P.T. Ferro) in 1964.  Pete Sr. worked for the company until his retirement in 1991.  Mary worked for the Joliet Paper Mill and went back to the Joliet Ammunition Plant during the Vietnam Ira.  She eventually became a house wife on the farm by the middle 1970’s.  Pete Sr. and Pete Jr. worked the Northfork Farm ground on a small time basis during the early and middle 70’s until Pete Jr. attended college at Illinois State University.

 

Pete Jr. began teaching and coaching at Joliet West in 1980.  He later earned his Master’s and Doctorate Degrees and served as a high school principal and superintendent until his retirement on June 28, 2013.  He met his wife Laurie Fox from Stockton, Illinois, and they were married on July 31, 1993.  Laurie was an elementary teacher up until she gave birth to their two children (Carly, 1995 and Emma, 1997).  The four make their home at Northfork Farm.  They built the new home on the property in 2001, and the new horse barn in 2005.  They burned down the original farm house in 2002 with the help of the Plainfield Fire Department and Packer Engineering. You can find many pictures of the farm (old and new) and family members in the photo gallery section on the website.