October 26, 2014

100_0405In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a new gas station in town at the corner of Hassell and Barrington Roads–and it has a rocket man on top of it.

In a move that takes us back to the 1950s, Ricky Rockets Fuel Center, has resurrected the idea of a cartoon-like icon serving as an advertisement for their business.  You can see that the rocket man sits on top of the gas station itself and a smaller version is on top of the business’s sign. 100_0408

But, wait, there’s another great icon in Schaumburg Township and it’s on Meacham Road.  Where else are you going to find a grill large enough to make hamburgers for your entire neighborhood but at the Weber Grill Restaurant?








Do you remember any other icons  used in Schaumburg Township over the years to advertise various businesses?  I can think of a few–maybe you can too?  Share your ideas with the group!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Photos taken courtesy of Dave Heller, General Manager of the Weber Grill Restaurant and Vince O’Kray, Manager of Ricky Rockets Fuel Center.  Thank you for your cooperation!


October 19, 2014

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the August 2014 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

Something strange was going on in Parcel A.  It was the first area of the village to be developed in 1955. It all happened 45 years ago in August.ghost on street

Was it the cool night air?  Was it overactive imaginations?  Maybe it was eating that last big slice of pizza, something like Marley’s “undigested bit of beef” that made those boys see a ghost on Aspen Ln.

It sure scared Bob & Tommy as they walked home from Shakey’s Pizza at about 9:30 pm.   They were heading home along Aspen Ln. and had just passed Hawthorne when they saw something strange by the creek.  They reported it to be a 6 ft. tall misty form hovering over the same spot in the creek.  As they approached it, the misty form went into a tree.  They hurried to a friend’s house and they all went to see if it was still there.  Sure enough, it was still in the tree.  Being typical boys, they decided to throw stones at it.   To their surprise, it began chasing them up to the corner of Bluebonnet and Aspen were it stopped and hovered over the ditch.  Too afraid to run home, they went in their friend’s house and waited until a car came down the road to light up the dark street as the bolted from the house and ran along with the car till they reached the safety of their homes.

Was there a ghost on Aspen Ln.?  Word spread fast.  Larry and Ric made sure that the newspapers heard about it as well as everyone else in their crowd.  In the weeks that followed this ghostly discovery, crowds of people came to see the ghost.  The adults that came out to Aspen Ln. told the police that they were only watching out for the kids and making sure they didn’t trespass on the neighbors property.  Oh yes, the police became a part of the ghostly gatherings trying to disperse the curious adults and teens.

The neighbors invited friends to come and join in the nightly watch for the ghost.  Several adults did confess to seeing the ghost but refused to give their names to the newspaper.  Crowds gathered each night only to be more and more disappointed when the Aspen ghost refused to appear or perhaps it was spooked by all the people.

Everyone seemed to have an opinion as to what the ghost might be.  One man said that the area had been Indian camping grounds.  It could have been an Indian returning to his favorite campsite.  Another felt that it was nothing more than gas vapors coming up from the creek that went through Parcel A.  Kids in the area tried to help the ghost stories along by tacked up a white paper ghost to the tree.

Whatever happened to the ghost on Aspen Ln.?  It’s anybody’s guess.  Maybe it was real.  We’ll never know.

Thanks to Norma Simone who wrote “Haunting the Ghost of Aspen Lane” in the Aug. 27, 1969 edition of the Record Newspaper.

Please tell your stories of growing up in Hoffman Estates at the Hoffman Estates Museum’s 55th birthday celebration for the Village on Sept. 27, 2014 from 1 to 2:30 pm at the Village Hall.  We want to hear all about the things you did that you didn’t tell your Mom about until now. The Hoffman Estates Village Hall is located at 1900 Hassell Rd.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian


October 12, 2014

On Sunday, October 19, 2014 the Hoffman Estates Historical Sites Commission will conduct small group-guided tours of the Greve Cemetery on Abbey Wood Drive.

Groups will be shown the  the interrelated Greve, Meyer, Ottman and Sunderlage pioneer families buried at the cemetery which is also known as Wildcat Grove Cemetery or Evangelical and Reformed Cemetery.

Tours will start at 1:00, weather permitting.  Call 847-781-2606  for reservations after October 13.  Event is free of charge.


October 5, 2014

trenchWhat:  Fighting in the Trenches: Schaumburg Township Veterans of World War I.  [An exhibit]

When:  The month of October 2014

Where:  The second floor of the Schaumburg Township District Library, 130 S. Roselle Road, Schaumburg

Over 100 years ago, on July 28, 1914, the Great War began when Emperor Franz-Joseph of Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia and Russia.  For the next three years all of Europe was entangled in a messy land war that involved huge losses of life and little progression by either the Allied or Central powers.

By 1917 it had become obvious to the Allied countries that they desperately needed both the financial and manpower assistance of the United States if they were going to succeed. Up to this point, the United States had resisted joining the Allies in their fight despite the loss of 159 American lives in the 1915 incident of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania.  This attitude changed when the Germans sent the Zimmerman telegram to Mexico in early 1917, promising them parts of the United States in exchange for their assistance.  Thus the die was cast for America joining the war on April 6, 1917.

A draft was soon organized on June 5, 1917 and young men across the United States from the ages of 21-31 were required to register.  Another draft followed on June 5, 1918 and included any men who had turned 21 since the prior year.  An even more comprehensive draft was held three months later on September 12, 1918 and called for any men between the ages of 18 and 45.

During these registration periods, approximately 75 men in Schaumburg Township dutifully filed their cards with the draft board.  The majority registered in the first draft on June 5, 1917 and more followed at various times in 1918.  Of this number, 26 men served and they are as follows:

  • Henry Bartels
  • Albert Fasse*
  • John Freise
  • Albert Gathman
  • Henry Harke
  • Louis Hattendorf
  • Arthur Heide
  • Ernest Heim
  • Thomas Ford Heslop
  • Herman Knake
  • Herman Kruse
  • Elmer Nerge
  • George Nerge
  • Louis Henry Nerge
  • Harley Ottman
  • Alfred Quindel
  • Justin Rose
  • Ernest Schultz
  • Emil Sporleder
  • August Stein
  • Charles Stein
  • William Stein
  • Herman Thies
  • William Thies
  • Robert Voightmann
  • William Wede

*Albert Fasse was the only soldier who did not return home.  He served as a private in the Army’s 131st Infantry Regiment of the 33rd Infantry Division and died on October 10, 1918 in the Battle of the Argonne Forest. He is buried in Romagne, France at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery.

On Sunday, October 5, 1919, a welcome home celebration for the returning men was held at the Schween Oak Grove Pavilion which was located in today’s Timbercrest subdivision.  Festivities included a parade, speakers, baseball game, wrestling match, dinner and dance.

This month, October 2014, we too honor the men of Schaumburg Township who served our country so well.  It should be noted that many of the families of these men had been in this country for a mere 60 or 70 years.  Their willingness to send their sons to fight in the “war to end all wars” was a testament to their patriotism and pride in the adopted country that this close-knit community now called home.


September 28, 2014

Last week I mentioned a 1969 Hoffman Estates Residence & Business Directory that was sent to me by a blog follower.  I have pulled out all of the businesses in the directory to see if any of them trip a memory.  What follows is the listing, M-Z, of those I discovered. 5

The items I found interesting were:

  • What was Edward Pacana Foods?  Was it maybe in the old Schaumburg Center School building?
  • What exactly was Plaza Valueland?  Kind of like a Ben Franklin?  [According to ads in the Hoffman Herald, it was, in fact, very much like a Ben Franklin.  It was largely toiletries sold at a discount.  Wigs seemed to be a specialty.]
  • What was The Sorority House in the Golf Rose Shopping Center?National Food

MacArthur Douglas School, 521 Chippendale Rd

Melmar Realty Co, 498 Devonshire Lane

M’Gonigle & Sloan Inc., 2 N Golf Rose Shopping Center

National Food Stores, Golf & Roselle Rds

Newport Painting & Decorating, 389 Newport Rd

Northwest Printing Service, 101 Apple at Golf

Orchid Cleaners & Shirt Laundry, 9 Golf Rose Shopping Center

Osco Drug, 10 Hoffman Plaza

Our Saviours Methodist Church, E Golf Road

Pacana Edward Foods, Schaumburg  & Roselle Rds (2 Doors East of Roselle Rd)

Plaza Shell Service, Higgins & Roselle Roads

Plaza Valueland, 7 Hoffman-Plaza Shopping

Rainbow Inn, Rt 72

Ralston Electronics, 11 Hoffman Plaza

Re & Paul Twinbrook Texaco Service, Roselle & Bode Rds

Record The Division Pioneer News Inc, 26 W. Golf Rose Shopping Center

Red’s Barber Shop, Higgins & Roselle

Rice Heating & Cooling, Roselle & Higgins Rds

Rogners Plaza Shell Service, Higgins & Roselle Rds

Robs [Rohs] Dirt Sand & Gravel, Golf Rd

Roselle Appliance Service, Schaumburg & Roselle Rds

Roselle-Golf Realty Co, Golf Rose Ctr

Roselle Record, 117 Flagstaff

Russell’s Barber Shop, 2 Hoffman Plaza

St. Hubert Church, 126 Grand Canyon

St. Hubert Convent, 125 Grand Canyon

St. Hubert School, 170 Flagstaff

Schaumburg Town Committee on Youth, 15 Golf Rose Plaza

Schaumburg Travel Service, 338 W Golf Road

Sentiments & Sweets, 24 Golf Rose Shopping Center

7-Eleven Food Store No. 2, 217 S. Roselle Rd

Smith Heating & Welding, 149 Mohave

Snyder’s Hoffman Drug Inc, 32 Golf Rose Shopping Plaza

Sorority House The, 22 Golf Rose Shopping Ctr.

Stacey Plumbing & Heating Co, 214 Ash Rd

State Farm Ins–Tom De Bruyne Agent, Schaumburg & Roselle Rds

Stompanato Sons Plumbing, 218 Illinois Blvd

Suburban Import Motors, 120 E. Golf

Sundance Western Wear, Roselle Rd & Golf Rd

Ted’s Plumbing, Roselle & Higgins Rds

Thunderbird Theatre, Golf Rose Shopping Center

Twinbrook Hardware, 4 Hoffman Plaza

Twinbrook School, Ash Rd

Twinbrook YMCA, Schaumburg Rd

U-Haul Dealer, Roselle & Higgins Rds

United Rent All, 80 E. Golf Rd

Universal Painting Contractors, 2 Hoffman Plaza

Wolfgram & Assoc, 293 W Berkley Pl

Wurster R, 14 Golf Rose Shopping Ctr

Please feel free to post your comments!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library




September 27, 2014

In the village of Schaumburg there is only one building on the National Register of Historic Places.  It is a hidden gem that is still a private residence.  Known as the Paul Schweikher House, this home was built in 1938 by Mr. Schweikher, a renowned architect who lived there until 1953 when he moved to Connecticut to head Yale University’s architecture school.

You now have an opportunity to view this local architectural wonder. The house will be open to the public for pre-scheduled, 40-minute tours on Saturday, October 11 2014 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The cost of the tours is $25 per person, paid in advance of the event with a maximum of 12 persons per tour. For registration, visit http://schweikherhouse.org/tours/, call Executive Director Todd Wenger at (847) 923-3866 or email info@schweikherhouse.org.

Tours of the house will feature Schweikher’s masterful integration of brick, glass, and wood, including an iconic brick fireplace, passive solar room, cantilevered construction, exposed wood beams, built-in furniture, a Japanese soaking tub, raked gravel courtyard, and gardens designed by the noted Midwestern landscape architect Franz Lipp.

This event is being sponsored by the Schweikher House Preservation Trust   For information about the house, please visit www.schweikherhouse.org.


September 26, 2014

Question markRecently there have been a few questions posed both to this blog and to our Reference Desk concerning local history in Schaumburg Township where we have not been able to track down an answer.  I’m hoping the greater, local history-loving brain out there can provide some assistance!

Question #1:  A reader of the blog is looking for the name of a guy’s clothing store that was on the first level of Woodfield Mall near the center court.  It was darkly lit and featured a lot of zippered clothing.  The reader also remembers the clothes being kind of pricey and trendy, as well as borderline Goth in style.  It was there in the mid to late 80’s and the patron thinks it had Street in the name…

Question #2:  Another reader of the blog is looking for a Woodfield Mall store she used to go to as a child for birthday parties in the high 1990s.  It was for little girls and, as part of the party, they would do your hair.  Plus, there was glitter everywhere! Then you could pick out certain make-up you wanted. Does anyone remember?

Question #3:  One of our library patrons is trying to track down any information on a young man who delivered newspapers for a short time in Hoffman Estates by horse and buggy.  The patron feels the time period would be around 1969 and that he was probably delivering the Hoffman Herald.  It did not last long because of the mess[es] caused by the horse but it was an interesting endeavor!

If you know any of the answers, please respond to this blog posting or email me.  Any clues are also appreciated!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian


September 21, 2014

Recently, one of the blog followers donated a Hoffman Estates Residence & Business Directory from the year 1969 to the library.  It contains residential listings as well as business listings and is a mere 15 pages long.  This directory was done before the addresses changed in 1971.4

Curious as to the businesses that existed back then in Hoffman Estates, I’ve pulled them out of the directory and posted them here. These are some tidbits I found interesting:

  • It’s surprising  just how many businesses were located in the Golf Rose Shopping Center.  That was a busy place in 1969!
  • There was actually a taxidermist in town.
  • Other than the schools, churches and other local government entities, the businesses that are still in existence are:  Hoffman Estates Currency Exchange, Hoffman Lanes, Jewel Food Stores, Hoffman Homes and Hoffman Estates Car Wash.  Or, did I miss one?
  • Why aren’t there any banks listed? 2

Maybe you frequented these businesses or maybe they were owned by your family members or friends?  Your comments are always welcome.

AAA Service–Heating and Air Conditioning

Ace Hardware, Schaumburg and Roselle Roads

B & K Realty & Insurance, 16 Golf Rose Shopping Center

B & K Telephone Answering Service, 16 Golf Rose Shopping Center

Barth, Carl Real Estate & Insurance, 102 Ash

Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors Ice Cream, 1-A Golf Rose Shopping Center

Bert’s Plantation, Golf Rose Shopping Center

Beth Tikvah Congregation, 275 Hillcrest

Blackhawk Elementary School, Illinois Blvd.

Bloodgood, O H MD, Golf and Roselle Roads

Boris, J.A. Insurance, Golf Rose Shopping Center

Bowling Proprietors Assocation of America, W. Higgins Road

Brass  N Glass Floral & Gifts, 6 Golf Rose Plaza

Bubley Insurance Service, 498 Devonshire Lane

Burger King, 50 Hoffman Plaza

C & D Lamberti Inc., 427 Glenlake Dr.

Camelot Studio, 168 Hillcrest Court

Cherry’s Shoes Inc., 21 Golf Rose Shopping Center

Church of the Cross United Presbyterian, W. Higgins Road

Cine-Mark Co., 233 Olive

Clothes Basket, The, 213 S. Roselle Road

Community Consolidated School District 54, 105 Audubon Pl.

Conant Jas B High School, Old Plum Grove Road

Corina Int & Dec, 254 Harper Lane

Crest Heating & Air Conditioning, 2 Hoffman Plaza

Deanna’s School of Dance, 23 Golf Rose Shopping Center

De Bruyne, Tom–State Farm Agent, Schaumburg and Roselle Roads

DeRamos, A, MD, Golf and Roselle Roads

Diamond Cue Club, 28 Golf Rose Shopping Center

Dog ‘N’ Suds, 225 S. Roselle Road

Du-Co Engineering Co., Golf Rose Center

Ed’s Sinclair Service, Golf and Roselle Roads

Electricooker General Foods, 372 Newport

Estates Liqrs, 4 Golf Rose Shopping Center

Ewert & Ewert Distr 211 Edgemont

Fairview School, Arizona Blvd.

Ferrin’s Taxidermy Studio, 633 Chippendale Rd.

1st Baptist Church, 300 Illinois Blvd.

Floss N’ Etts Sample Shop, 18 Golf Rose Plaza

Frank of Hoffman Plaza Beauty Salon, 17 Golf Rose Plaza

Franks Beauty Salon, 17 Golf Rose Plaza

Golden Acres Country Club, Roselle Road

Golf Paint Glass & Wallpaper Co., Golf Rose Shopping Center

Golf Rose Barber Shop, 1 E. Golf Rose Shopping Center

Great Lakes X-Ray Service, 102 Basswood

Higgins Roselle Plaza Shell Service, Higgins & Roselle Roads

Highlander Bus Mach, 100 Briarcliff

Highlands Baptist Church, 223 Northview Lane

Hillcrest School, Hillcrest & Fremont

Hoffman Estates Beauty Salon, 17 Golf Rose Plaza

Hoffman Estates Car Wash, 100 E. Golf Road

Hoffman Estates Currency Exchange, 6 Hoffman Plaza

Hoffman Estates Liq Inc., 4 Golf Rose Ctr

Hoffman Estates Organ & Piano, 29 Golf Rose Shopping Center

Hoffman Estates Park Dist, 161 Illinois

Hoffman Estates Pure Oil, Roselle & Higgins Roads

Hoffman Estates Realty Co., Cor Schaumburg & Roselle Rds.

Hoffman Estates Standard, Golf & Roselle Rds

Hoffman Estates Village, 161 Illinois

Hoffman Estates Village of Youth Comm, 161 Illinois Blvd.

Hoffman Estates Village of Bldg Comm, 161 Illinois Blvd.

Hoffman Estates Water Department, 161 Illinois Blvd.

Hoffman Home Values, 11 Hoffman Plaza

Hoffman Homes, Golf Rose Shopping Center

Hoffman Lanes, Higgins & Roselle Roads

Hoffman Optical, Golf Rose Shop Ctr

Hoffman Rosner Corp, Golf Rose Ctr

Hoffman School, Grand Canyon Pkway

Home & Business Painting Decorators, 178 Illinois Blvd.

Home Values Inc., Golf Rose Shopping Center

Honda of Hoffman Estates, 120 E. Golf

Irene’s Rainbow Kitchen, 201 S. Roselle

Jewel Food Stores, 10 Hoffman Plaza

Jims Citgo Service, Rt 58 & Roselle Roads

Jones R O & Associates, 2 N Golf Rose Shopping Center

Jupiter Cleaners, 3 Hoffman Plz

King Studios, 168 Hillcrest Ct.

Lafferty Stables, Roselle Road and Rte 58

Lakeview School, 280 Lakeview

Lewis, A L Crown & Bridge Lab, 451 Glen Lane

(To be continued next week…)

Jane Rozek 
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library



September 14, 2014

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the July 2014 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

There are many interesting locations in the village that you may not be aware of.  Some of them have been written about before, others may not be known to many of you.

The Village of Hoffman Estates is a blend of what’s left of the rural history and what has become our sprawling suburban town.

It’s like a “did you know” list of trivia that everyone seems to enjoy.

Shoe FactorySo, did you know that on the south side of Shoe Factory Rd., about a mile east of Bartlett Rd., you can find a model airplane flying field?  When the weather permits, model airplane enthusiasts will be busy flying their planes, sometimes having races, or just showing off their latest upgrades to the others who will do the same.  It’s open to the public and the owners of the planes always seem happy to answer questions and show you their prized models. As seen from the air the planes look small but once you see them on the ground they’re really quite big.  It’s a great place for everyone in the family, especially the kids.

hoffman estates village hallDid you know that the old village hall that was located on the corner of Gannon and Golf Rd. held a special distinction?  It was the first building in the country to be built and designed for those with handicaps.  The building, that became our second village hall in 1972, was completely accessible to anyone with handicaps.  I believed that it was the first building of its kind in the state but have since learned that it was the first in the nation.  It’s gone now, with an Audi dealership at that location.

SAMSUNGDid you know that the village has won many Governors’ Home Town awards over the years?  The one that really brought the community together was won in 1993 for the work done to renovate our first village hall that was a farmhouse built in the mid 1840s.  Rather than tear the old building down, the village brought together the local trade’s people and other local community organizations to remodel, furnish and paint the old village hall.  It became the Children’s’ Advocacy Center.  Today it still has many of those early tradesmen actively keeping the building in shape.

Sunderlage SmokehouseDid you know that the only building in the village of Hoffman Estates that’s on the National Register of Historic Places is a small smokehouse? It’s believed to have been built in the 1840s.  It’s located behind the Sunderlage Farmhouse that was built in 1856.  The smokehouse was built before the house since preserving food for the family was so necessary.  The large house came later.  It is quite unusual for such a small building to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places but it represented a unique design for such a necessary building.

Lion BridgeDid you know that the Lion Bridge, built in 1906 over Poplar Creek at Rt. 59 and Rt. 58, isn’t on the National Register of Historic Places but is considered an historic bridge by Bridgehunter.com listing historic & notable bridges of the U.S.  It is listed as the Old Sutton Rd. Bridge.  It was built in 1906 by Cook County and Hanover Township.  Much research has been done, but it is not known who designed and built the bridge.  When you are at the intersection of 59 and 58, look at the southeast corner to see this bridge that is still used by horses, bikes and pedestrians.

Please don’t forget to come to our Museum program on Saturday, Sept. 27th from 1 to 2:30 pm.  We’ll celebrate the 55th anniversary of the Village of Hoffman Estates.  Our program is titled “Growing Up in Hoffman Estates or What I Didn’t Tell my Mom”.  Contact me at Eagle2064@comcast.net if you can join a panel of “kids” who will spill everything about growing up in Hoffman Estates.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Historian


September 7, 2014

Schaumburg Center schoolThe Schaumburg Township Historical Society will have an open house of the Schaumburg Center School on September 14, 2014.  The open house will be held from 10:00 to 2 p.m.  This is the final tour of the year.

Constructed in 1872–and first called Sarah’s Grove School, it is believed to have been the first of five public schools in Schaumburg Township. It was later renamed Schween’s Grove School and called Schaumburg Centre Public School until 1954. For 82 years, the building served as a one-room schoolhouse, and was the last active one room schoolhouse in District 54.

With the widening of Schaumburg Road, the building was saved from demolition and temporarily placed on the grounds of the Town Square Shopping Center in 1979. It was permanently relocated to the St. Peter Lutheran Church property in September, 1981. It has been fully restored as a museum and is under the auspices of the Schaumburg Township Historical Society.


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