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Why SI - Doc's Lakeside Cabin

March 28, 2024

Doc’s Lakeside Cabin prides itself on providing a clean, beautifully decorated, comfortable cabin nestled in the Shawnee National Forest. Owners Robert and Tanya Loveless aim to provide romantic overnight accommodations great for honeymoons, anniversaries or just wanting to reconnect. Doc’s Cabin was built in 2012 from the ground up with a lot of hard work from Robert, hauling the materials onto the property by trailer.


While the cabin was built a little over a decade ago, the story of Doc’s Lakeside Cabin begins more than 50 years ago. Tanya’s grandfather “Doc”, who worked as an iron worker in the northern part of Illinois, would come to Southern Illinois to hunt and fish. He was the first to have the vision of the area, wanting to build an “A” frame house, however at first the bank did not share the same vision and it almost did not happen. Finally in 1969 the “A” frame was built along with a small pond stocked with different types of fish, including some albino catfish. Doc and his wife, Grandma Marge, would feed the fish every day. Doc was an outdoorsman who would coon hunt on “John Henry” his mule and loved to turkey and deer hunt, dig for ginseng and to fish on the property and in the Shawnee National Forest. He and Marge owned and operated Marge's Country Kitchen/Doc's Place, the only place in Anna/Jonesboro where you might have the same person bring your food and get some live bait for fishing. When he was not hunting, fishing, or managing the store, Doc loved to sit out on his porch in the A frame house and smoke his pipe. He would look out across the lake and say, “that is a perfect place for a little cabin.”  He loved this lake and this land, so we named this cabin in honor of my grandpa “Doc’s Lakeside Cabin.”

Doc’s Cabin has hosted many guests from around the world, including England, Hawaii, Texas, and Seattle. However, most of the out-of-town guests come from northern Illinois, central Illinois, Indiana, and the St Louis area.


Why Southern Illinois?

I grew up in Union County, located in the heart of Southern Illinois. My family has been in the hospitality industry for generations, from restaurants, rentals to retail, however, we would have never thought about offering a romantic getaway cabin as a business, if we did not live in Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois. It just made sense. Southern Illinois has a lot to offer, out-of-town guests can experience the Shawnee National Forest, Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, downtown shopping, and dining. Our business organically pairs nicely with the surrounding area, Doc’s Lakeside Cabin is in the middle of it all. It is just what the doctor ordered.

What do you think makes Southern Illinois a great place to live, work and do business?

Southern Illinois is Small Town USA, where you know most everyone and they know you, and your family. I worked 29 years for the State of Illinois and was able to retire relatively young, and I am so thankful my grandparents advised me to get a job that allowed me to retire early with health insurance. Having a business in Southern Illinois is great. The hard work maintaining the property and business is really rewarding when people enjoy staying at Doc’s Cabin and tell us all the memories they made while experiencing Southern Illinois. We love Southern Illinois and want to share it with others.

What is something that surprises your guest?

Guests are surprised when we tell them we started our business in 2012, and they say, "the place looks new, we feel like we are the first guests to stay." Commonly, I hear “wow, we need to stay a few more days to take it all in, Southern Illinois is beautiful! We want to live here.” They soon realize there are so many ways to enjoy the outdoors with hiking, climbing, exploring, horseback riding, boating, swimming, fishing, camping, canoeing, kayaking, ziplining and shopping. It is amazing to us how many people from out-of-town know more about the Shawnee National Forest than many of the residents. It is the highest compliment for guests to return every year, some guests come twice a year.

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