As mentioned in a blog posting from August 28, 2016, the Schaumburg Township Historical Society received a phone call from the Arnold family last fall. They had a collection of photos of Schaumburg that Mrs. Arnold took in the early 1970s. The pictures had sat in a drawer for the past forty years and they were hoping to pass them on to someone who might be interested. The Historical Society gladly accepted the photos and then kindly donated them to the library to add to our Local History Collection.
The story of these photos begins in 1971 when the Arnold family moved to Schaumburg from southern California. They were surprised at the amount of open space in Schaumburg Township still occupied by farm fields and undeveloped acreage. Mrs. Arnold said, “We were amazed at all the open field but knew that wouldn’t last long. I decided to take pictures of the ‘before’ of Schaumburg.” She then began to drive the roads of Schaumburg, taking photos of various buildings and intersections. This is some of what they saw…
Taken from Walnut Road, looking west towards Barrington Road.
The McNaught-Odlum farm is in the distance with its big white dairy barn and silo. The house is hidden in the trees. The acreage of this farm was adjacent to Barrington Road to the west.
The property was part of the Gertrude and Norris McNaught farm that was called Rolling Acres. It was purchased from William Schuneman in 1937 by Gertrude and her husband Norris, who co-founded Duro Metal Products in 1916. Mr. McNaught died in 1942 and his widow later married his business partner, William Odlum. It became known as the Odlum property and was eventually sold for development in 1986.
According to Ruth (Volkening) Clapper whose family’s farm was to the east of the McNaught-Odlum Farm, the portion of the property that was on the corner of Barrington and Schaumburg Road was leased “from the McNaughts during the war [by the Navy] and had a pilot training area with small shed type buildings on the property. The sheds on the navy property were about 20 x 20 ft. and used for residences for the men working on the property… The buildings were quickly built with no inner walls so they were cold in the winter and hot in the summer. We used that Navy building for storage and, in the summer, part was my playhouse for my dolls and all their furniture including a child size kitchen.”
You can read about the Navy’s use of the property for pilot touch and go training here.
McNaught-Odlum farm from Schaumburg Road.
This photo looks south from Schaumburg Road at the McNaught-Odlum farm that was adjacent to Barrington Road. It is a better vantage point of the farm and it is possible to note that the lane off of Schaumburg Road separated the barn from the house. In fact, there seems to be quite a distance between the two.
Mrs. Clapper said “the barn had a residence over the right extension of the barn. Two families lived on the farm – one in the house and one above that portion of the barn.”
It is also interesting how many trees and evergreens surround the house, providing shade and a wind break. What appears to be missing–or obstructed from view–are the many outbuildings that can be found on a farm, i.e. the machine shed, a chicken house, equipment shed, etc. Maybe they are tucked in amongst the trees or over the rise of the hill?
Looking southwest from the intersection of Schaumburg and Walnut Lane.
The brown building on the corner is Christ the King Lutheran Church (then Our Shepherd Lutheran Church, now Salem Korean United Methodist Church) which was built around 1971. According to Mrs. Clapper, the church was initially intended to be an outreach center for St. Peter Lutheran Church. In the middle background are some of the buildings of the farm belonging to Mrs. Clapper’s parents, Herman and Edna (Greve) Volkening. You can see the large barn with the silos to the right. The white building to the left is the corn crib.
The Volkenings sold the corner to the church and according to Mrs. Clapper, “the parsonage is my family home since my parents had it moved there so it would not be demolished. They were one of the last to sell their land. The church was built without a parsonage and Pastor Borhardt (sic) rented a house in Weathersfield until my parents sold their farm and moved the house.”
In the far background are the Hanover Highlands homes.
Schaumburg Road and Pleasant Drive looking northeast.
As we look northeast, we can see the back of the strip mall that was on the NW corner of the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads. This strip mall–that was never named–was built around 1966 and remained on the corner until 2010 when the village bought the property for development purposes. The property is now the home of Pleasant Square–a residential development that includes row houses, townhouses and single family homes.
Town Square sign at the intersection with Schaumburg Road.
The Town Square sign on Schaumburg Road at Pleasant Lane notes the turnoff for the shopping center that opened in 1970. The homes of Timbercrest are in the background.
Looking across Schaumburg Road near Branchwood Drive at the property that became Friendship Village.
In July 1972 the Village of Schaumburg and Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center North announced that they were beginning negotiations to bring a hospital to Schaumburg. Their potential site was the home of today’s Friendship Village and, at that time, was owned by A. Harold Anderson of J. Emil Anderson & Son, a large Chicago area development company. The sign notes their potential development of the space. The project was disbanded in 1975 when the costs became too high to bring a hospital to Schaumburg.
Looking northeast across Schaumburg Road at Hilltop Drive.
The cars across the street are parked at Blackhawk School which opened in 1958. To the right is the property that would later be used for the Schaumburg Post Office.
Looking west down Schaumburg Road at Hilltop Drive.
One of the Hoffman Estates Parcels is to the right off of two-lane Schaumburg Road. Note the tall oak trees on the right side of the road. They are remnants of the original Sarah’s Grove. The distinctive Episcopal church sign, also on the right, is there to point out the Church of the Holy Innocents that was on Illinois Boulevard for many years.
Looking across Barrington Road at the Schaumburg Road intersection.
Notice that Schaumburg Road ended at Barrington Road at that time. Even so, Barrington Road was a four lane road with a stop light.
Schaumburg Road near Walnut
The open spaces, undeterred by development in these photos, were abundant and definitely carried a rural feel. Schaumburg Township in 1973 still had an awful lot of growing up to do!
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
My thanks to Ruth Volkening Clapper for providing the necessary details that allowed me to complete this blog posting. Her personal memories and knowledge of the area were a wonderful addition to the photos taken by Mrs. Arnold.