February 22, 2015

Hippos Hotdogs 2

If you grew up or lived in Schaumburg Township anywhere between the 1960s and 1990s—and especially if you were a Conant High School student—you probably have a special place in your heart for Hippo’s Hot Dogs.  I’ve written about them before on this blog but had never seen a photo of the original trailer that started the business.  Well, imagine my surprise when this photo recently appeared in my Inbox, compliments of Larry Rowan.  Isn’t it a great shot?  It’s a thrill to be able to post it here for everyone to see!

The business started in 1963 at the corner of Higgins Road and old Route 53/Rohlwing Road.  It sat in an Airstream trailer next to a vegetable stand on the east side of the road, just north of the site of a former Shell gas station. They sold Chicago-style steamed hot dogs, tamales (!) and cold drinks from this trailer until 1969 when they built their long-time restaurant at the Hippodrome Plaza.  The shopping center was named for them and sat on the northwest corner of the intersection of Higgins and Plum Grove Roads.

Judging by how brown the landscape looks in this photo, it must have been mid-fall on a day when it was still warm enough to be in shirt sleeves.  Maybe the lady customer was taking these young boys (don’t miss the one between her and the little boy in the striped shirt) out for a special lunch while her older children were in school?  Or it was just a way to get out of the house and not have to cook?  There were not that many restaurants in the area between 1964 and 1969 and this probably would have been a reasonably priced lunch or dinner for the four of them.

It’s a wonderful photo with very vivid colors and it totally exudes the remoteness of the location before heavy development hit the area.  One has to think that it closed during the winter.  It would have been a coooold place to be if those steamers full of hotdogs weren’t going full tilt.  Alternatively, it had to have been a hotttt place to be in the summer because it is sure doubtful there was air conditioning in that trailer in the 1960s!

If you have anything to add to this photo, please send in your comments.  We’d love to hear from you.  You may also read the first blog posting about Hippo’s here.  And thank you to Larry for passing on this little piece of history.  What a treasure!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


February 15, 2015

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the February 2015 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

sledding hill

February is usually the month that can be the cruelest as far as snow and cold weather goes.  But although I’m growing old and worry about slippery steps and icy parking lots, I still love winter.  I try not to tell too many people about this since they think I’m a bit crazy.

Why would I love cold, slush and below zero temperatures?  I believe it’s the wonderful memories I have of winter when I was growing up in Chicago.  We had the opportunity to go sledding every day after school and ice skating on weekends. Crack the whip was the kids and my favorite game to play on the ice.  We didn’t have warming houses at all the ponds that I skated on.  Some parks always had a nice warm field house to warm yourself in when your feet felt like, well like nothing, because you couldn’t feel them at all.  Walking to the ice skating pond was ok but walking back home was when you’d try to ask mom for a dime to take the bus home.  Most times she would ask me to walk home or just not go skating if it was that cold.

Whenever it snowed, and it did a lot when I was a girl, I loved how it looked and how quiet it was outside in a snowstorm. Fresh snow would always sparkle at night under the street lights.  I don’t ever remember having snow days back then so that wasn’t one of the reasons that I loved winter.  Snow ball fights, snow forts and snowmen are some of the other reasons I loved it.

When I had my own children, I loved to go out and pull them on the sled.  Of course I was the reindeer and I had sleigh bells that I hung from my neck.  It was fun and my neighbors thought I was crazy.

I hope you have a chance to enjoy this winter.  The Hoffman Estates Park District has outdoor ice skating at South Ridge Park, Highpoint Park and Evergreen Park.  When the flag is green, it’s a go for skating.  The red flag means the ice is not thick enough to walk or skate on. You can go sledding at Pine Park and don’t forget the Cook County Forest Preserve tails that offer more winter recreation opportunities.  Winter in Hoffman Estates can be a lot of fun.  Over the years the Park District has added so many beautiful parks to our village. Go to HEParks.org to locate them on their map.  Get outdoors and enjoy the winter season.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian


February 8, 2015

Recognize any of these businesses from the early suburban days of Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg?  This week Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian shared a publication with me from 1964.  It was the Hoffman Estates Athletic Association 1964 Football Program.  

While most of the program was centered around the teams of the Hoffman Raiders and Commandos, as well as their cheerleading squads, the Raiderettes and Commandettes, a fair portion of the book was devoted to the sponsors of the two teams.  Take a look at some of the business ads that were included…

Tony's Marathon ServiceNotice that even though Tony’s was in Hoffman Estates proper–and certainly Schaumburg Township–the address was listed as Palatine.  This was quite common in the early days of development due to the fact that Schaumburg Township did not have its own post office.  In the instance of this business, their mail was probably being routed through the Palatine Post Office.

Schaumburg Transportation Co


Schaumburg Transportation Company was the bus service for many years for our school districts.  You can find a writeup about their history here.

Buggy Whip

This is a very cute ad for The Buggy Whip which, by this point, was in its second location.  You can read about it here.  Notice the TW4 prefix for the phone number.  TW stood for Twinbrook which was under early consideration as the name for Hoffman Estates.  The name was used in the naming of Twinbrook School, Twinbrook YMCA and Twinbrook Hardware.

Hoffman Estates StandardThere were quite a few gas stations on the main intersection corners of the early suburbs.  Maybe someone can tell me if this was on the SW or NW corner of Golf and Roselle?

Stompanato SonsThis plumbing business had, not only TW as a prefix for one of their phone numbers but also had another number with the prefix of LA which stood for Lawrence.  Notice that that portion of Illinois Boulevard was also not listed as Hoffman Estates but, rather, as Roselle.   This area’s mail was probably being routed through Roselle.

Higgins and Golf Food Mart 1Higgins and Golf Food Mart 2







This business looks like it may have been an early grocery store or even a small convenience store.  The pink listing above is from the program guide whereas the ad to the right was one Pat Barch had in her collection.  Clearly the “Higgens and Golf” ad was from an earlier time.  Note that it has the TW4 prefix whereas the one above has the standard 894 prefix by this time.  (89 correlates to the letters TW on a telephone.)    Does this store ring a bell with anyone and does anyone know what part of the intersection of Higgins and Golf it was on?

Hoffman Estates Realty CoThis is the first business mentioned in Golf Rose plaza.  They probably had their fair share of traffic with all of the new construction going up.


Hoffman Lanes 2Hoffman Lanes was already in operation by 1964 and you can read all about this long-lasting bowling alley here.  What a run they’re on!


Neff ElectronicsNeff Electronics was in the same shopping center as the Rainbow Inn and later the Fireside Roller Rink.  Here are some memories of the Neff business as well as others that were on that same SW corner of Higgins and Roselle.

Dog n SudsAnd, then there was this early fast-food favorite.  Good thing the owner of the brochure didn’t like root beer!  You can also read in more detail about Dog “N” Suds here.  Like most of the businesses mentioned here, it was family run.

Ralston Electronics

This business looks like it was service-oriented and run out of the owner’s home.  Flagstaff Lane is in Parcel C of Hoffman Estates and is strictly a residential street.

Dern's Dairy ServiceThere were actually a number of dairy services in the area at this time.  Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg were booming with young children and families who may have had only one car so a dairy service that delivered milk, cheese and butter to the door was a godsend.  Maybe your family used another one?

Hoffman Estates LiquorIt’s interesting that this business was listed as being in the Golf Rose Shopping Center yet Hoffman Estates Realty was in the Golf Rose Plaza.  I’m fairly certain these were the same strip mall.  Does anyone think differently?

Golf Rose BakeryThis was THE bakery for Schaumburg Township for many years.  Was anyone else aware it had operated under a different name before it became Golf Rose?  And, as far as a closing date, the last time I see it mentioned as Golf Rose is in the 1997 phone book.

Ace Hardware

Just as Golf Rose Bakery was THE bakery for the residents of Schaumburg Township, this Ace Hardware was THE hardware store for many years.  It fortuitously opened in 1954 just as the building boom was beginning.  It was also a place where you could pay your Citizens Utility bill and even pick up light bulbs from the utility.


M'Gonigle and Sloan

Where there are young homeowners, there’s a need for insurance.  This was yet another Golf Rose business and it was still operating under the old LA9 prefix.

Rainbow InnThe Rainbow Inn had been a long-standing tavern by 1964.  It opened as the Rainbo Tavern in the mid-1920s and became the Rainbow Inn in 1936 under new management.  Food was served there but the main focus was the saloon side of things.  For a more complete look at the Rainbow’s interesting history, take a look here.

F and S ConstructionAnd, last but not least, were the developers of Hoffman Estates.  Not only did F & S develop and build the village but they were also heavily involved with the community–and their participation in the football program was just a touch of it.

If you have any comments or tidbits to add about any of these businesses, please share.  Your history is our history!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


February 1, 2015

On January 4 we should have had a birthday party.  It was 173 years ago in 1842 that Schaumburg Township was born.  Papers were filed in St. Louis with Jos. C. Brown, Surveyor of the public lands for the District of Illinois & Missouri, laying out the 36 sections of our township.  At the time the township was known as “Township 41, North of the base line, Range 10 East of the 3° principal Meridian.”  The official name, Schaumburg Township, had yet to be adopted.  That would happen at the first annual town meeting on April 2, 1850 when Frederick Nerge pounded on the table and insisted that the township be named “Schaumburg” after his homeland in Germany.

Thanks to local resident, Linn Beyer, who graciously lent me a variety of old, township maps, you can take  a look at the hand drawn townships of Schaumburg, Elk Grove (1842), Hanover (1842), Palatine (1840) and Barrington (1839).  The maps are quite a marvel, given their age and the number of physical geography elements that were there in the 1800s that are still evident today.

Each township is made up of 36 sections that are one square mile in area.  The sections were then divided into quarters.  Because it is impossible to make each township perfectly square in the entire state of Illinois due to the curvature of the earth and the uneven boundaries of the state and therefore, the counties, adjustments had to be made to the township lines.  In the townships shown here, the adjustments were made on the north and west boundaries of the township, often resulting in smaller sections on those edges.  Perfect section lines always began on the south and east sides and expanded to the north and west sides where the adjustments were made.  The township system is what the legal description of your property is based on today.

Let’s take a look at what Schaumburg Township was like in 1842…


The first noticeable thing on the map is Sarah’s Grove, smack dab in the middle of the township–and parts of it certainly exist today.  Other than that, the only distinguishing characteristics drawn in  by the surveyors were a series of marshes, sloughs, a few fields on the northern, southern and eastern borders  and a portion of Salt Creek flowing into Elk Grove Township.  Maybe you recognize some of the lower spots today in the township that were marshes and sloughs back then?   In the upper right corner, you can even note the “Road from Missionary on Fox river to Chicago.”  This road came out of Palatine Township and is essentially Algonquin Road today.


Moving on to Elk Grove Township, one of the most prominent, distinquishing characteristics is the large light bulb-shaped area noted as “Timber.” This would later come to be known as Busse Woods.  The next thing your eye goes to are the fields in the shape of a “t.”  It’s amazing that this acreage was already planted on such a large scale at such an early time in the history of the county.  Salt Creek is also distinct and already named as it runs north to south through the western side of the township.

A couple of written notations also mention “witness points” in both the lake at the top of the map and Salt Creek at the bottom.  “Witness points” were survey marks set in place by the surveyor to note part of the section lines.  It would have been impossible for the surveyor to establish such a point in bodies of water; hence, it was written on the map.


Moving west from Schaumburg Township to Hanover Township, fields, sloughs and marshes are very evident.  This is the first indication of Poplar Creek which is also already named.  It runs east to west through a good portion of the central part of the township.  There is even a saw mill near noted hills along the banks of the creek.  The sawmill also had a dam on the creek that must have been built to power the mill.  Clearly this township was on its way to being settled.

The large  fields are scattered and one in section 20 even has a house built in the middle.  Other houses can be found in Section 8 at the top of the map and Section 34/35 at the bottom.  Based on the same type of lines on other maps, the squiggly lines are drawn to make note of a wooded area of the township.  As with the future Busse Woods, this area is unnamed unlike similar groves on the next map.


Compared to the other maps, Palatine Township is simply littered with groves of trees.  Missionary Grove and Plum Grove are in the southern part of the township near its boundary with Schaumburg Township, English Grove is in the center and Deer Grove takes up much of the northern part of the map.  Parts of Plum Grove are still in existence today–as well as the similarly named road.  Missionary Grove is now the Paul Douglas Forest Preserve.  English Grove is part of Inverness and, well, Deer Grove, is still very much a large part of Palatine Township.

There are a number of fields scattered throughout the township with a couple of houses noted too, including one that is mentioned as a “frame house.”  Given that the year was 1840 and it was very much an unsettled area, a frame house must have seemed so unusual that the surveyor felt it was worthy enough to note it on the map.  In addition, the “Road from Fox River to Chicago” can also be seen traversing the southern part of the township.  This is the early version of Algonquin Road.

The other distinctive notations on the map are the water patterns in the township.  The North Fork of the Salt Creek, along with its “over flown bottom,” drains in a fairly north to south line along the eastern boundary.  The West Fork of the Salt Creek flows through Plum Grove and converges with the North Fork in the very southeast corner of the township.  In addition to the fairly large swamps in the center and in the northwest corner, there are also two large “grass lakes” shown on both the west and north boundaries.  The one on the west boundary with Barrington Township is now known as Baker Lake and is now part of the Baker’s Lake Forest Preserve.  The one on the north boundary with Lake County is known today as Deerpath Lake.


When we move to Barrington Township, it is clear that what isn’t identified as “Prairie” consists of three substantial “Timber” patches on the west and northern boundaries.  All of it is now part of the Spring Creek Valley Forest Preserve and parts of Barrington Hills.  Goose Lake is identified in the middle of it and still exists as that name.  Two roads move through the township.  One comes in from the northwest and traverses through to the southeast border.  Again, this is Algonquin Road.  The other road moves north to south and crosses Algonquin Road on the eastern side of the map.  It looks like it could be the early vestiges of Barrington Road.  The interesting thing is there is an “Indian trace” on the southern border.  This is another name for a trail.  There are also a few fields and marshes but the area appears to be unsettled.

After exploring these maps, it’s fairly easy to see why Schaumburg Township remained a quiet enclave for such a long period of time.  It was perfect for farming but, due to the lack of waterways or early roads where communities often form, it was destined to be a perfect location for the German farmers who found it in the late 1840s and 1850s.  They quickly established St. Peter Lutheran Church in 1847 and created a tight community within the boundaries of the township.  It wasn’t until after World War II that the township moved from rural to suburban but, even so, many of the identifiable spots on these old maps remain to this day.  It’s hard to fool with Mother Nature!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library



January 25, 2015

Merkle Cabin 2

Schaumburg and what it has to offer has definitely been in the news in the past couple of weeks.  Two weeks ago the blog took you to a Chicago Tribune article about the upcoming renovation at Woodfield.  This week it’s taking you to a Daily Herald article about part of an episode of “Empire” being filmed at the Merkle cabin at Spring Valley.  The cabin is being incorporated into the show as a weekend hideaway for two of its characters.  Judging by the photo above, it’s a perfect idea.  Thumbs up to the location scouts on pursuing the unusual!

The Adirondack-style Merkle cabin was built in 1927 by John Redeker, the great grandson of Johann Boeger, the original land grant owner of the Spring Valley property.  Around the same time, Redeker began propagating parts of the property into large peony fields with the intent of starting a wholesale flower and root business.  Unfortunately Redeker died in 1930 and the business lasted for only a couple more years.

Merkle Farm

In 1942 the Redeker family then decided to sell portions of the property to Frank Merkle and family.  This included the cabin which the Merkle family used as a weekend getaway for many years.  Frank’s son, Bill, describes the cabin in his book, Frank and Leona, as “the magnificent log cabin with matched cypress logs and a huge fieldstone fireplace.  With the cattails and rushes, the view of the cabin from across the pond was stunning.”

“Originally, the cabin, which measured about twenty feet square, was partitioned into three rooms, with a tiny sleeping room at the northeast corner containing the trap door to the basement, a kitchen, and a living room.  These partitions were removed separately after we took over the farm.  The cabin had been built in 1928 [Merkle’s date], and the brick addition was constructed in 1946.  The first year or two, there was no electric power or phone, and water was run by gravity from the well across the small pond into the basement (summer only).  An outhouse was located in the apple orchard just west of the cabin.  It was all very charming and rustic and we began by going out there weekends during the summer, and ‘camping’ in the cabin.  We cleared the brush and weed trees from around the cabin and the grass leading down to the water of the two nearby ponds.  We kept it mowed down with a gas powered hand pushed mower, and in a few years with a John Deere tractor with a lifting sickle bar on the side.  The grass became a very credible lawn.”

The Merkle family held the property for 35 years, making countless trips from Evanston to their personal, family retreat enjoying all the rural countryside had to offer.   After Frank Merkle’s death, the property was eventually acquired by the Schaumburg Park District in 1979.

One year later in 1980, the cabin was vandalized and a fire destroyed the guest house/hunting lodge behind the cabin.  The Schaumburg Jaycees donated time and many of the building materials used in the renovation of the Merkle Cabin. The Spring Valley Nature Club also took it on as a project as well as the
Schaumburg Professional Firefighters Association.

In 1983 Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary opened and programs were held in the Merkle Cabin which operated as a temporary nature center and administrative office.  Park District programs continue to be held in the Cabin to this day.  The uniqueness of this structure lends itself nicely to the enclave that is Spring Valley.  It’s wonderful that others outside of our area appreciate what it has to offer too!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


January 18, 2015

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

As I drive around town or back and forth to work, I notice that the police cars keep changing.  Some are the 4 door sedans, but many are SUV’s of all types.  It’s nice for our officers to have enough room in their squads to pick up a bike that’s been abandoned on the roadside after being stolen or damaged.  They probably like having the extra room for other everyday work.  Over the years the colors have changed along with the newer makes and models.


I began to do some research into how our police force has changed over the years.  My first memory of the police department dates back to 1965 when I first moved to Hoffman Estates. The police department had a small area on the north end of the old Gieseke/Hammerstein farmhouse (now the Children’s Advocacy Center) that served as the first sales office for F & S Construction but later became home to our first village hall, public works and police departments. The north end of the upper floor was used for police offices.  The slanted ceiling always required walking about in a slightly stooped position for police chief Mark Orlick who had his office upstairs.  A small addition was added to the back of the farmhouse to serve as a small jail.  Our population in the 1960 census was 8,296.HE Police

The Daily Record newspaper had a 1962 story about the police department.  At that time, the force consisted of the Chief Orlick, Lt. John O’Connell, Sgt. Willard Anderson and six patrolmen; Norm Kalovsky, Robert Manning, Ray Schneider, George Eckart, Rod Schwartz and Richard Hecker. The training for the officers was given at the Chicago Police Academy.

There were only 3 squad cars to patrol the neighborhoods.  Two squads were on duty at all times with all three on duty during the “rush hour”. Other duties of the police officers were to take accident victims to area hospitals (Arlington Heights or Elgin) when they didn’t need an ambulance.  They served as armed guards for large monetary deposits from businesses or large organizations to Roselle or Palatine banks since there was no bank in town. They also served as marriage counselors for domestic disputes.  During 1961 they handled 2,662 calls from residents. The most common were dog bites, prowlers and suspicious persons or vehicles.

Since the early 60s, our village has grown from a population of 8,500 to 53,000 in 2014.  Our village borders now reach west to Elgin and north to Inverness. There are 22 square miles for our police force to cover in their efforts to keep us safe.

We now have 93 sworn officers, 31 marked cars, with 8 patrol cars on the streets at all times.  Our police department took 19,339 calls from the community in 2013.  Their 12 weeks of training is done with the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy at College of Du Page.   They continue with 14 weeks of on–the-job training.

The present day police force still helps us deal with domestic disputes, dog bites; traffic accidents, prowlers and suspicious persons, but they do it on a much larger scale.  With modern communication tools, we dial 911 and they arrive on the scene or at our doors in a matter of minutes.  It’s reassuring to know someone is there to help us.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian

(Photo of the Hoffman Estates police force is compliments of the Village of Hoffman Estates’ website.)


January 11, 2015


In case you haven’t heard, Woodfield Mall is scheduled to be renovated this year for the first time since 1995 when Nordstrom’s  and 49 other stores were added.

For those of you interested in looking at the Woodfield of your childhood, you might want to take a look at the Chicago Tribune’s story here.   The story includes a nice slideshow of photos of Woodfield during construction and over the years.

There are a couple of great photos of Center Court during Christmas and of the designer home that was set up every year.  There are even stores seen that haven’t been mentioned on this blog (J. Riggings anyone?)  Maybe you’ll recognize some of the kids in the photos too. Best of all, you can even find a photo of the beloved waterfall!

Lastly, the aerial photo at the end that shows the mall in the early 1990s when the Pure Oil property with its circular configuration to the north had yet to be transformed into Woodfield Village Green, really brings home what an amazing feat it was to develop this mall in the middle of the fields of Schaumburg Township.

Take a look and report back!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library



January 4, 2015

21 Kristin PlaceIn the midst of all of the photos of Golf Road and bicycles and businesses, Johnny Kunzer, another follower of the blog, passed on this marvelous photo of the Schaumburg skyline.  It was taken in 1987 from the 6th floor balcony of a friend’s apartment at XXI Kristin Place on Roselle Road.  The road runs through the middle of this photo that shows almost…..nothing.  It is an indication of how undeveloped the village of Schaumburg was back then.

But, if you look closely (click on the photo) you can see a number of buildings in the distance that are still part of the landscape.  Unfortunately, the first building that we start with is no longer there.  If you look closely in the middle of the trees on the far right you can see the roof of a low-lying building.  Johnny thinks this is the demolished Woodfield Lanes and I’d have to agree.

The building that is somewhat obscured by the trees is Prudential Office Building 1 that was completed in 1987.  Moving left to the center of the photo is a tall building that towers over the trees.  This is the first building of Plaza Towers, now known as Zurich Towers.  It was also completed in 1987, the same year this photo was taken.

If we adjust our view a little to the left, there are a number of other office towers shown.   Johnny is fairly certain the first two are the office buildings on the northeast side of Woodfield Mall along Perimeter Dr.   Schaumburg Bank has been in the taller one for many years.  He also feels the two further to the left of those mentioned above are the two towers that were built to the west of the Hyatt Hotel on Golf Road.

On the edge of the photo is the communications tower that is still there today at the Illinois Tollway’s Maintenance Site that currently sits on the southwest corner of the cloverleaf at I-90 and Route 53.  Johnny thinks the structure to its right is the Schaumburg water tower.  Would you agree?

Moving in a bit more closely, it is obvious that the Commerce Tech Center that was built in 1984 is directly across Roselle Road from the apartment building.  The dirt plot to its left is vacant and waiting for Schaumburg Fire Department Station 54 to be built in 1992.  The $64,000 question, though, is what is that small brown building sitting in the middle?

And, if you’re looking for a bit more of a modern perspective, take a look at the photos below from the same building in 2014.  During a conversation at the library, I met a local, professional photographer, Amy Schereck Beyer, who was able to send me a couple of photos of the view today from The XXI.  Below, you can see virtually the same spot, complete with the second Zurich Tower, the Schaumburg Fire Station, more office buildings, a hotel and State Parkway that winds its way through the business park.  This is a view with the leaves off the trees…

XXI Kristin Place 2

…and this is a view from the past summer with the leaves on the trees.  Quite a difference from 1987, wouldn’t you say?

XXI Kristin Place 1


If you can elaborate on any of the buildings or locales in either of the photos, I’d be delighted to hear your comments.  The area is always changing and we don’t always notice it.  Photos like these bring it all home.

Oh, and there’s one last thing.  Something in the photo directly above has been here since 1968.  Care to take a guess what it is?

My thanks go out to Johnny Kunzer for starting this conversation with the photo from 1987 and to Amy Schereck Beyer for completing it with her photos of 2014.  Both perspectives have been a delight to share with the readers.  

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library  


December 28, 2014

A few weeks ago I highlighted some photos contributed to us by Keith Wiener.  After such a great response, he graciously passed on more photos that he found in his father, Gus’s, collection.  These photos were taken with a Minolta 35 mm camera that he special ordered from Japan.  (Remember those days?)  Take a look below at these nice surprises.


This photo shows a couple of rows of construction equipment parked along Golf Road.  The upcoming project must have been a big one.


In this photo Woodfield Lanes is nearing completion in 1979.  The construction trailer is still there and the new sign is up.


This is the newly completed Carlos Murphy’s in 1984.  It looks so big!  And it’s fairly close to Golf Road–before the third lane was added.


In the last posting reader Dan commented that a Zayre helped anchor the Schaumburg Corners shopping center on the NE corner of Golf and Roselle Roads.  They opened as the 200th store in the chain on May 7, 1972.  [Daily Herald, May 11, 1972]  In later issues I found an ad from May 13, 1974 that refers to the development as the Zayre Shopping Center.  Another ad from October 24, 1975 mentioned the La Bussola Restaurant that was also located in the center.  Their specialty was something new–pizza in the pan.  Does this restaurant ring a bell with anyone?


By 1974 Zayre was struggling at this location and they approached K Mart about the possibility of taking their place.  According to Pat Gerlach’s column in the June 18, 1974 issue of the Daily Herald, K Mart initially refused because of the close proximity to Woodfield Mall.  When they finally agreed to move into the Zayre location, the shopping center was then renamed the K Mart Plaza.  While this photo was part of Mr. Weiner’s collection, it is not positive this was the same K Mart that was in this location.  The K Mart in K Mart Plaza kept the same appearance of the Zayre with its two-story look and mostly brick facade.  This one has more of a one-story look and an all windowed front facade.   [Commenter Dan mentions below that K Mart opened at this location on July 15, 1976.]

According to Dan, K Mart stayed in this location until 1994 and I think he’s got this right.  [Commenter Dan agrees with both of us and said that it closed January 30, 1994.]  The last time I could find them in a phone book was in the edition that was issued in September 1993.  [Commenter Dan also mentions that Baby Superstore opened in the west half of the building in 1996.]   Office Depot later took possession of the east half of the store and first appeared in a phone book in the December 1998 issue.  So the spot had its vacancies off and on over a four year time span.


Lastly there was the Walgreens and Dominicks–and I’m not sure when they hit town in this spot.  They were both in the 1982 phone book and I found an ad for Walgreens in a 1977 Daily Herald.  Dominicks left around 1996 and Walgreens left in 2004 when a brand new store opened on the northwest corner of the intersection of Higgins and Roselle.

Time passes fast and these stores come and go but it’s nice to revisit them through great old photos.  Thanks again Keith for passing them on!  They’ve been a delight for many.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

P.S.  Thank you to commenter Dan for helping me add details to this posting.  It’s always nice to have this communal knowledge to add to our overall history!





December 21, 2014


Topographical map 2

I recently came across this 1953 topographical map of the Palatine quadrangle.  In looking over it, I noticed the blue stream running through the portion of the map shown above.  This is the West Branch of the Du Page River and it doesn’t start in Campanelli Park as I mentioned here.  If you follow it, you’ll notice that it once started just south and east of the intersection of Schaumburg and Springinsguth Roads.  With the development of the Weathersfield subdivision, the land–and the stream–were graded at some point, moving the starting point of the river further south.

At the time of this map’s publication, the land where the stream originated was part of  the Ode D. Jenning’s farm.  Mr. Jennings died in 1953 and the property then passed into his wife’s hands.  You can see their long lane ending at a group of buildings.  Three of the buildings on this property still stand.  You know them as the Schaumburg Barn, the offices of the Schaumburg Athletic Association and the Jennings home which serves as a location for a non-profit organization.  For more information, read about Mr. Jennings here and his farm here.

You’ll also notice in this map that you can actually see some of the ridge of the continental divide.  It is the portion that is outlined in a darker brown next to the number 28.  In reading a topographical map, these darker portions indicate a higher elevation of the land.  There is another such site almost due south.  This is the path of the continental divide that creates the drainage pattern for the township.

The green blob that straddles Schaumburg Road is Sarah’s Grove, pre-development.  This area later covered Timbercrest, The Woods (both appropriately named) and Friendship Village.  The long lane that runs south of the grove started at Roselle Road and ended at the Engelking farm.  It was the origination of today’s Weathersfield Way.

The racing oval to the south was part of the Daisy Mayer farm at the time.  According to an oral history done with Ralph Engelking, this oval was built in the Depression as a training track for trotters.  The farm was called May Day Stock Farm.

You can see another oval almost due east across Roselle Road.  This farm belonged to Virginia Mansfield who was known locally for the horses she raised.  These were two of five racing ovals in Schaumburg Township.

Topographical maps give a wealth of data from elevation to swampy areas to schools to cemeteries.  We have a number of them in the library’s Illinois Collection map file that cover Schaumburg Township.  Feel free to stop by anytime and take a look.  Or maybe you see something else that catches your eye on this map?  Leave a comment and let us know!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 50 other followers