Visit the “Mallard Capital of the World”

Located on the Apple River, Hanover is home to Whistling Wings, the world’s largest mallard duck hatchery. Mallardfest, complete with a duck-calling contest is a yearly tribute to the town’s hatchery that takes place every September. Chestnut Mountain is located nearby as well as two lush vineyards.

How did Hanover become the Mallard Capital of the World?

Whistling Wings started as a hunting preserve but was turned into a hatchery soon after. Today, it annually supplies hundreds of thousands of ducks to restaurants, wildlife refuges and research facilities around the globe. It also has some notable customers on its books. Former President Lyndon B. Johnson once traded his Stetson hat for 50 mallard ducks to be delivered to his farm, and one Japanese emperor requested ducks be sent to his palace.

Are there any historic attractions to see in Hanover?

The town’s oldest standing building can be found along Jefferson Street, a brick structure that was built in 1844, and now houses a local supermarket. Nearby Crescent Falls Dam is now the site of a modern industrial plant, a former woolen mill that supplied much of World War II’s khaki uniform material.

What else is there to do in Hanover?

Hanover also features antiques shops, casual dining, a family-owned winery and a seasonal farmers’ market, with the 18-hole Storybrook Country Club golf course nearby. Between Hanover and Galena is Chestnut Mountain Resort. Chestnut, with a 475-foot vertical drop running 3,500 feet, is Illinois’ only ski resort. Skiers and snowboarders enjoy their 19 runs and the Midwest’s largest terrain park. Find out more on the Hanover Chamber Highlights page.

Places in Hanover