August 21, 2016

During Schaumburg’s 60th anniversary year of 2016, we will take a look back at the Schaumburg  you’ve known for the last six decades.  Every month there will be a posting on 3 village happenings for each decade the village has been in existence.  Maybe you remember some of the events and have something more to add to a few of the items?  Send in your comments!

60 Years Ago In 1956

  • A notice in the Daily Herald announced that there would be a German service held at 9 a.m. and an English service at 10:15 a.m. at St. Peter Lutheran Church.  The English service could be heard on WRMN, Elgin and on The Lutheran Hour at 12:30 on WMAQ.
  • An article on Ellsworth Meineke detailed his love for bees and the honey they produce.  His shop and house had only been on Golf Road for a couple of years at this point, having moved from an earlier location on Higgins Road in the Busse Woods Forest Preserve in Elk Grove Village.  Mr. Meineke was known locally for his honey candy.Meineke Honey Farm
  • In the “Down On the Farm” column by Carl F. Mees in the Daily Herald, he mentions that he talked with a number of local farmers, including Emil Freise, Faustin Zeller, Wilmer Rohlwing, Emil Pfingsten and Xavier Schmid, who had all reported excellent wheat yields for the summer.  He had also talked to Herman Volkening who was experimenting with growing maize in addition to corn.  It was his second year and the yield was very high.

50 Years Ago in 1966

  • An article discussing The Barn property noted that court is held in the former hay loft, the police department is on the ground floor and other municipal offices are in various buildings on the former Jennings farm.  Mayor Atcher mentioned that he hoped to move village offices closer to Schaumburg and Roselle Roads in about three years.The Barn 3
  • Motorola Inc. launched its first phase of a new office, engineering and manufacturing plant.  The building on the 326 acre site was scheduled for occupancy in January 1967.
  • Permission was received from the Village Board for the Schaumburg Jaycees to begin painting house numbers on the curbs for each home in the village.  Work would be done on the weekends until the job was finished.

40 Years Ago in 1976

  • Eugene Matanky, a local developer, hoped to reach a compromise with the village on his proposal to develop the Sarah’s Grove property into 64 six-flat apartment buildings.  The property was on Schaumburg Road, approximately 1/4 west of Roselle Road.
  • A program on Citizens’ Band radio was being held at the Schaumburg Township District Library.
  • The 55-acre Paul Rosenwinkel farm on the northwest corner of Roselle Road and Weathersfield Way was sold to the First State Bank and Trust Company of Franklin Park  and developer R. L. Roth of Elmhurst.  Roth had obtained the appropriate zoning in 1975 for the future Farmgate subdivision, which would include townhouses, condominiums and a shopping center.  Dennis K. Connelly of Connelly and King Inc. of Schaumburg, represented Mr. Rosenwinkel.Rosenwinkel farm

30 Years Ago in 1986

  • The United Way of Schaumburg-Hoffman Estates celebrated its 20th anniversary.  Originally founded on August 2, 1966 as Schaumburg Township Community Fund, Inc., the group distributed over $2 million in the 20-year span to local organizations that provided human care services to those in need.
  • Consideration was being given to hiring a consultant to give direction on redeveloping portions of Schaumburg’s Town Square.  A plan was also being put together to redevelop the Quindel/Lengel area southeast of the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Road into a pedestrian mall.  Lengel Drive at the time was an unpaved road.
  • Random Acres Farm Stand, on Schaumburg Road west of Plum Grove Road, was selling Super sweet corn, cucumbers, peppers, cantaloupe, zucchini and more.  Their home grown tomatoes were .79 a pound.  They were open seven days a week from 10-7.Random Acres

20 Years Ago in 1996

  • Miss Molly’s of Schaumburg, a Danish bakery at 1407 W. Schaumburg Road, had been open for six years.  The specialty was the kringle, a flaky coffeecake pastry with layers of butter rolled into it.  They also sold bakery items such as breads, cookies, doughnuts and eclairs but their other specialty was cakes designed and made in house.
  • A fundraiser at the soon-to-open Roosevelt University successfully raised more than $300,000, allowing the school to meet its $5 million building-fund goal a few months early.  The first classes at the Albert A. Robin campus were scheduled to open August 26.
  • Drivers who park at the Schaumburg train station incurred their first increase in fees since the station opened in 1981.  Daily fees went from .75 to 1.00.  The increase was necessary to fund new parking lot improvements, creating more reserved parking spaces and adding additional landscaping.

10 Years Ago in 2006

  • Medieval Times was the location for a twenty-first century event when they sponsored an area audition for the popular game show, “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”  Nearly 2500 people showed up to try out.
  • The village announced that, as part of their 50th anniversary celebration, they would be erecting a new public safety memorial to honor the men and women who work to keep the village safe from crime and disaster.  The memorial was to be built on the site of the village’s police station and newest fire station.Public Safety memorial
  • The Schaumburg Park District announced they would now be including a 2 1/2 hour preschool class on Tuesdays and Thursdays that would incorporate the Polish language and culture into the curriculum.  This followed on the successful model of a Japanese class that had been offered the prior year.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

The factual items for this blog posting were taken from stories that appeared in the Daily Herald and the Chicago Tribune.


August 14, 2016

“Is Volkening Lake a natural lake or is it man-made?”

This question was recently asked at the Reference Desk.  In checking the aerial photographs that were covered on a blog posting a few weeks ago, you can see it on this circa 1967 image.  Double click on the photo and locate the large black blob of Sarah’s Grove in the back, center of the photo.  Follow that a little to the left and down and you can see the Florida-like shape of Volkening Lake.


The lake is in the middle of what was formerly the Volkening farm property.  You can make out the long lane that leads off of Schaumburg Road to the farmhouse and buildings.  This was the home of Fred and Carrie Volkening. They were brother and sister who were born in Kansas but, in 1903, moved with their parents and other siblings to Schaumburg Township.  Their parents, Henry and Emma, eventually purchased this farm near what is today the northwest corner of Schaumburg Road and Salem Drive.

After their parents’ death, Fred and Carrie continued living there until, “[Fred Volkening] in 1971 sold 159 acres of his farm to Campanelli Builders, leaving himself one acre at the corner of Schaumburg and Salem roads.”  (Daily Herald, undated)  They then built and lived in the custom ranch that is still on the northwest corner of Salem Drive and Schaumburg Road.  ‘The police station was (the location of) our home and barn,’ he said, as he pointed out the kitchen window.”  (Daily Herald, undated) 

Given the fact that the 1967 photo above shows not only the lake, but also the farm before development encroached on the north side of Schaumburg Road, it seemed safe to assume that the lake was always there.  To try and confirm this, I pulled out the topographical map from 1935.

Topographical map 1935You can see the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads, Sarah’s Grove to the west of it and, then, just where the “H” of “Schaumberg” is, a blue portion that indicates a low-lying, marshy area that looks to be the early formation of Volkening Lake.   But, it’s not a lake according to the map legend of topographical maps.  It’s simply a low area that is not easily drained.

I then turned to a series of aerial photos that belong to the library and started with 1949.  There was no lake.  Through the following years, in each of the photos, there was a big dark spot in the area that looked like the Volkenings were trying their best to grow crops despite the wetness of the soil.

I moved through to the 1960’s and, in 1963, could definitely make out low ground in that area in the shape of the state of Florida–just like Volkening Lake.  The photos then jump to 1970 and the lake is suddenly there.  The farm is still there too.  So, somewhere in the late 60’s-and towards the end of their farming days–the Volkenings stopped fighting Mother Nature and allowed water to fill in the area.

In addition, I found the following information in the Illinois Fishing and Floating Guide Book for Chicago Cook County in Northeastern Illinois:  “Volkening Lake is a large Schaumburg lake located off of Schaumburg Road next to the police station and it is the premier place to fish in Schaumburg.  This lake is between 10 and 12 acres in size and formed by damming up an unnamed tributary of the West Bank of the DuPage River…”

It is probable that the Volkenings used drain tile in this low area for years to maximize their farm land to the greatest extent possible.  By the time the Campanellis purchased the property it was probably fairly clear to them and village engineers that it wasn’t worth fighting drainage problems so they allowed the low area to be.

The area around the lake was eventually developed by Campanelli into Weathersfield Commons quad homes and the lake was named Weathersfield Lake.  You can see that name on this Village of Schaumburg map from 1979.

Village of Schaumburg map 1979

In 1980, Schaumburg Park District obtained $190,225 from the federally funded Land & Water Conservation Fund to help with the development of the lake.  The work was completed in 1985 and, somewhere along the line, the lake was renamed Volkening Lake.  It is used in a multitude of ways but the surrounding path has to be the most popular.  It’s almost impossible to drive by in any type of weather and not see someone walking or running around the lake!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

The aerial photo was used with the permission of  UTC Aerospace Systems.  


August 7, 2016

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the June 2009 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

The early years for Hoffman Estates homeowners were filled with volunteer work at school, membership in the Women’s Club and work with the Hoffman Estates Homeowners Association.

A lot more happened on back yard patios than just having something cool to drink and watching the kids. On a summer afternoon in 1958 Jean Davenport and Edna Shore were sitting in Edna’s back yard when Jean suggested that Hoffman Estates needed a library. Since Edna was the Culture Chairman for the Lakeview P.T.A. Jean suggested that she could get things started.

The ladies talked with friends and neighbors and many agreed to help with establishing a Hoffinan Estates Library. Diane Woodhouse served as the first chairman of the library planning committee. Reverend Albert Harkins, Leonard Pecilunas, Bonnie Samuels and Bernice Suttle also served on that first committee.

The women began going door to door asking for book and monetary donations for the new library. They set a goal of $550 as the amount needed to start the new library.

Jean Davenport took over as committee chairman in January, 1959 and succeeded in raising $233 that month alone. The Hoffman Estates residents donated 4,000 books for the first library. There were many neighbors and friends who worked hard to raise the money and find a home for the new library. he-village-hallJack Hoffman of F. & S, Construction offered the basement of the Hammerstein Farm Community Center for the library. The volunteer group named the library the Arthur Hammerstein Library of Hoffman Estates. The plan was to ask each family to pay $2 to use the library.

Hammerstein library

More space was needed for the library materials and Mary Zimmerman, principal of Hoffman School, offered an empty classroom space for the growing library, but it was only a temporary home as the school enrollment was growing as well. When space and time ran out, Jack Hoffman came to the rescue and offered the library the use of an empty house on Roselle and Schaumburg Rd.

It was obvious that a larger public library was needed. The Hoffman Estates committee and the library committee from Schaumburg felt that neither Hoffman Estates nor Schaumburg was large enough to support a public library. Together they decided that a township wide library would best serve the residents of the area.

On September 8,1962 Schaumburg Township residents approved the referendum for the new Schaumburg Township Library by a vote of 430 to 69.

That first volunteer committee was responsible for encouraging their neighbors and friends to support a library for Hoffrnan Estates families. Fifty years ago Jean, Edna and Hoffman Estates volunteers planted the seeds and they grew to become not only our library but a library for all the Schaumburg Township residents.

Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Village Historian


July 31, 2016

To Tell The Truth is a television game show that began in 1956.  It featured a panel of four celebrities who, through the questions they asked, tried to determine the correct identification of one of the three guests who was appearing because of their unusual occupation or because of an interesting experience they had had.  The two impostors could lie if they wanted but the real celebrity was required “to tell the truth.”

The show aired in the evening on prime time television and, two years into their run on Tuesday, January 14, 1958, Wayne King, “The Waltz King” appeared.

Wayne King was a nationally known orchestra leader who was renowned for his saxophone playing and the waltzes his orchestra performed.  The orchestra had a Chicago-based radio show and television show at various times after World War II but was most renowned for their performances at the famous Aragon Ballroom in Chicago.  In fact, his orchestra performed “The Last Waltz You Save For Me” on the final day of the Aragon’s long run.  In addition, he put out a number of LPs highlighting his waltzing, orchestral sound.Wayne King 2

But, in Schaumburg Township, Mr. King was known personally.  He purchased a weekend, get-away farm along Roselle Road in August, 1951 where the Mennonite Church is today.  In fact, their barn-like church was the barn that housed his animal stock back in the day.

During his years here, Mr. King endeared himself to the people of Schaumburg Township with his quiet, unassuming ways.  A number of the oral historians on the library’s Local History Digital Archive speak fondly of him and remember him going to Lengl’s (now the Easy Street Pub) for a bite to eat and even serving as Master of Ceremonies at the Fall Dance Frolic at the Roselle Country Club (now the Schaumburg Golf Club.)

Mr. King sold the farm in 1957 and the following year appeared on “To Tell The Truth” to try and fool the panel made up of Polly Bergen, John Cameron Swayze, Kitty Carlisle and Hy Gardner.  You can watch it here on YouTube at 15:56.  See if you can tell who the real Wayne King is before the panel casts their vote!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


July 24, 2016

When the Hoffman Estates Police Department was doing its patrols in the 1960’s, the village was divided into four area zones.

Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Historian, graciously passed on a list of the businesses that were located in each zone.

Based on the businesses I am familiar with and where they were/are located, I have come up with a rudimentary description of each Area.  I have also placed an asterisk (*) next to the businesses I am unfamiliar with.

If any of these businesses ring a bell, I would be happy to update the list.  Please leave a comment or contact me by the email listed below.  I appreciate any assistance you can provide!


Southwest corner of Higgins and Roselle Roads.  Hoffman Plaza.  East side of Roselle Road between Higgins and Golf.

Abco Job Center*
Barton Stull*
Burger King–on north side of Higgins Road, just east of Roselle Road.Burger King
Car Wash–on south side of Golf Road, just east of Roselle Road.
Clothes Basket*
Colonel Sanders–(KFC?) on south side of Higgins Road, just west of Roselle Road.  Correct?
Currency Exchange–in Hoffman Plaza.
Dog ‘N Suds–on west side of Roselle Road, just north of Bode Road.
Duco Engineering*
Guido’s–on west side of Roselle Road, between Bode and Higgins Road.
Hoffman Plaza–on east side of  Roselle Road, between Golf and Higgins Road.
Hunt Construction*
Irene’s Rainbow Inn–on west side of Higgins Road at Roselle Road.
Jerome Fabrics*
Jewel-Osco–in Hoffman Plaza.  See above.Hoffman Plaza
Jupiter Cleaners*
Kinney Shoes–on south side of Golf Road, just east of Roselle Road.
Neff T.V.–on west side of Roselle Road, just south of Higgins Road.
Pete’s Barber Shop–on west side of Roselle Road, just south of Higgins Road.
Plaza Shell–on the northeast corner of Higgins and Roselle Road.
Post Office–in Hoffman Plaza.  See above.
Ralston T.V.*
Ray’s Heating*
Rice Heating*
Robert Hall–on the southeast corner of Higgins and Roselle Road.
Russell’s Barber Shop*
Texaco–on the northwest corner of the Bode and Roselle Road intersection.
United Rent-All*
V & S Hardware*
Value Land*
Dr. Waxler*


West side of Roselle Road, north of Higgins Road.  Golf Rose Shopping Center.  [Are there other locations?]

American Loans*
B & K Realty*
B.P.A.A. (Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America)
Bakery*–I think this is the Golf Rose Bakery in the Golf Rose Shopping Center.  See below.
Baskin Robbins–in the Golf Rose Shopping Center.  See below.
Dr. Bennett–Dentist*
Brass & Glass*
Budget Rent A Car*
Century Towers*
Cherry’s Shoes*
Citgo–on the southwest corner of Roselle and Golf Road.
Deanna’s School of Dance*
Diamond Cue*
Drake’s Male Fashion*
Firestone Tire–on the west side of Roselle Road, between Higgins and Golf.
Golf Paint, Glass & Wallpaper*
Golf Rose Barber Shop–in the Golf Rose Shopping Center.  See below.
Golf Rose Plaza–on the west side of Roselle Road, between Higgins and Golf.
Grants–in the Golf Rose Shopping Center.  See above.
Heritage Trace Apts.–on the south side of Higgins Road between Roselle and Golf.  (Now known as Steeple Hill Condominiums)
Heathron Beauty Salon*
Ho Luck Chop Suey*
Hoffman Lanes–on the north side of Higgins Road just west of Roselle Road.Hoffman Lanes
Hoffman Rosner Corp.–on the west side of Roselle Road, between Golf and Higgins.  Across from Firestone.
Law Offices*
McMahon Real Estate*
National Foods–in the Golf Rose Shopping Center.  See above.
Omega Sports*
Orchid Cleaners*
Prairie Ridge Apts.*
Record Newspaper*
Sentiment & Sweets*
Shakey’s Pizza*
Snyders Drugs–in the Golf Rose Shopping Center.  See above.
Sorority House*
State Farm Insurance*
Suburban Bank–on the west side of Roselle Road, just south of Golf Road.
Thunderbird Theatre–in the Golf Rose Shopping Center.  See above.
Dr. Udesky–Optometrist*
Union 76 Gas Station–on the northwest corner of Higgins and Roselle Road.


Higgins Road on the north side, west of the intersection with Golf.

Dale House*
Enco Station*
Hilldale Village*–apartment complex on the north side of Higgins Road at Huntington Boulevard.


Higgins Road on the south side, west of the intersection with Golf.  Higgins Road on the north side, west of the intersection with Huntington Boulevard.  Central Road.  Algonquin Road.

Barrington Square–on the north side of Higgins Road between Governor’s Lane and Barrington Road.Barrington Square
Clayton Corp.*
Mobil Station*
Moon Lake Village–apartment complex on the south side of Higgins Road at Moon Lake Blvd.
Standard Station*
Thomas Engineering–at Central Road and Ela Road.
Winston Knolls–on the north side of Algonquin Road between Ela Road and Windemere Lane.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


July 17, 2016

During Schaumburg’s 60th anniversary year of 2016, we will take a look back at the Schaumburg  you’ve known for the last six decades.  Every month there will be a posting on 3 village happenings for each decade the village has been in existence.  Maybe you remember some of the events and have something more to add to a few of the items?  Send in your comments!

60 Years Ago In 1956

  • The Schaumburg Transportation Company on Roselle Road appealed to the Illinois Commerce Commission for a temporary permit to establish a bus route between Roselle and Palatine, via Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg.  The plan was to have morning and afternoon buses that would accommodate passengers on the Milwaukee Road line in Roselle and the Chicago and Northwestern line in Palatine.Schaumburg Transportation
  • Another petition was filed with Cook County to rezone a 38-acre parcel of land from agricultural to industrial.  The parcel was on the west side of Rodenburg Road, north of the Milwaukee Road line.  The farm was owned by Marvin A. Anderson and the intention was to develop a ready-mix, concrete plant to occupy a portion of the property.
  • School District 54 began placing ads in the local papers advertising for new teachers.  Superintendent Robert Flum had already signed three new teachers for the 8 room school house on Schaumburg Road–two of them through the classified ads.  To encourage application, he even gave his home phone number to the paper so that any potential candidates could contact him more easily.

50 Years Ago in 1966

  • On July 23, a benefit called The Shindig was held to raise money for the Schaumburg Volunteer Fire Department.  For the second year in a row, the event was held on the parking lot of the Weathersfield Commons Shopping Center.  A square dance, called by Bob Kim of the Plaids and Calico dance club of Hoffman Estates, was a highlight of the Shindig with records being played during intermission.  Sandwiches and drinks were also sold.  Five local organizations, including the Weathersfield Homeowners Association, Junior Woman’s Club, the Moose, the Jaycees, and the Lions Club all participated in the gala.  The year before had seen 2000 people attend.
  • The new $40,000 fire station opened to the public on July 7.  The station was located just east of the Weathersfield Commons Shopping Center and was under the auspices of the Roselle Fire Protection District.  The 40-acre property was purchased from District 211 and the building begun in the fall of 1965.  The village of Schaumburg was not scheduled to take the department over from Roselle until 1967 when it had both the budgeted funds and had set up the structure of its own district.
  • A builder announced plans to begin a new subdivision in the village.  Frederickson and Co. was planning a 300-400 development on the 160-acre site immediately south of Lexington Fields, between Route 53 and Meacham Road.

40 Years Ago in 1976

  • Franklin Weber Pontiac at 100 W. Golf Road sponsored their “Price Chopping Sale” on their Grand Prix, Catalina and Le Mans models–to name a few.  They mentioned in their ad that they were open on Sundays.Franklin Weber
  • Polk Bros., at 900 E. Golf Road, was advertising their Zenith Premier Days with a full case of 48 oz. bottles of Bubble Up with a purchase of $50 or more.  [The Polk Bros. chain went out of business in April 1992.  It was one of five stores left at the time.]
  • The Schaumburg Township Public Library was looking for interested parties, 16 and older, to join a new Game Club.  Potential games to be played were backgammon, chess, Scrabble, bridge and others.

30 Years Ago in 1986

  • Village trustee, Carl Niemann, and fellow members of the Community Planning and Development Committee, asked village planners to inventory the historic structures in the Olde Schaumburg Centre district and make a plan for saving them.  The intent was to avoid destruction of historic buildings such as the old Schaumburg bank that had been moved from the northeast corner of Schaumburg and Roselle Road to a Town Square location along Roselle Road.  It was torn down in 1982.Bank
  • Village officials decided to put aside their plan to funnel traffic from Schaumburg High School to Braintree Drive and instead pursue the installation of a traffic signal at Grand Central Lane.  Cook County had been reluctant in the past because the traffic counts did not warrant a light.
  • Fretter Superstores, at 820 E. Golf Road near Woodfield, had an “Everything on Sale” sale.  [Fretter was very similar to Polk Bros. in that they sold appliances and electronics.

20 Years Ago in 1996

  • Martin Conroy, Schaumburg’s first Police Chief, died on July 21, 1996 at his home in Florida.  Mr. Conroy was appointed chief of police on March 15, 1960 and served in that role until his retirement in 1981.3267
  • The village announced that they would be hiring a part-time employee to oversee operations at the Schaumburg Regional Airport nearly eight months after it opened.  The employee would deal with the administration of the airport as well as working with the operating company who were soon to be hired.  Northwest Flyers and Saxon Aviation were operation companies being considered.
  • It was announced that Maggiano’s Little Italy was considering its second suburban location in Schaumburg.

10 Years Ago in 2006

  • Sam & Harry’s, a steak chain based in Washington, D.C., opened its first Illinois location in the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center.  They specialize in surf ‘n turf dishes.
  • Woodfield Mall was the number one tourist destination in Illinois–over Sears Tower, over Navy Pier, over Lincoln’s Home and over the Shedd Aquarium.  Between four and five million visitors came annually to take in the shopping and restaurants.
  • The village held an open house for the public at the new Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center on Saturday, July 29.  Guided tours were offered every 30 minutes from the front entrance.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

The factual items for this blog posting were taken from stories that appeared in the Daily Herald and the Chicago Tribune.


July 10, 2016

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

The old telephone book from 1956-57 has a history of its own. It has only 91 pages, the left side page was advertising and the right side had the names, addresses and phone numbers. Pages 64 to 91 were advertising. Not anything like the larger fatter books that followed with the growth of our suburban population.

As you flip through the pages you notice notations in the margins and names that are underlined or perhaps marked with an X. The phonebook was donated to the village by the Davey family. The markings were for special friends or neighbors or members of the organizations they belonged to. I started looking at the book page by page not wanting to miss any interesting notes that may have been added to the book.

On page 3 was a list of the important phone numbers to have at hand in an emergency, Fire, Police, Ambulance & Oxygen and a blank line for your Physician’s phone number. The schools were listed on this page also, “New Parcel “B” School” that hadn’t been named yet in time for the printing of the phonebook. It would be named Fairview School. The other schools were Twinbrook School & Schaumburg School. No High Schools were listed. We didn’t have Conant High School until 1964.

Page 5 gave the list of officers and district representatives of the Hoffman Estates Home Owners Association along with a history of its founding and accomplishments. The homes were divided into 15 districts. This group brought order and organization to our new town of Hoffman Estates.

The Woman’s Club information was on page 7. “A new organization dedicated to the interests of women, has been organized in this community.” This sentence was followed by the plans for the future of this new group.

Only three religious groups were listed on page 7 and 9, Countryside Universalist Fellowship meeting in a school in Roselle, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church meeting in Twinbrook School and the Twinbrook Hebrew Center meeting in the parcel B school as yet unnamed (it would be Fairview School).

The advertisements in the book tell a story of their own. Many men and women did business from their homes such as electrician’s, carpenters, beauticians and insurance agents. The local drug stores, Rexall and Walgreens were in Roselle. Grocers, such as Pik-Wik Food Store, Harve’s Food Mart, and French’s Super Market were also in Roselle. The two dairies that delivered milk in Hoffman Estates were Ludwigs Milk Company in Elgin and Hedlin’s Richer Milk in Chicago. The one restaurant and bar that was located in town at Roselle & Higgins was the Rainbow Inn. Their ad promised mixed drinks, Schlitz on tap, Sam’s Pizza and Italian dinners & sandwiches. The McArthur Bros. were the proprietors.

There were no area codes, just 4 numbers. The Allen family’s phone number was 3383. How easy was that to remember unlike our 12 digit numbers of today? Only the businesses had numbers beginning with Twinbrook 4. Lawrence 9 was a Roselle phone number and Flanders 8 was a Palatine number. The phone book had all the original addresses before they were changed in the early 70s.

It was fun to look into the past.

Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Village Historian


July 3, 2016

Festival of Arts Cookbook 1

This book landed in the Donations at the library and made its way to my desk.  In addition to browsing the book and the recipes, I was intrigued with the organization on the cover–Schaumburg Festival of Arts.  That was new to me.

In doing a bit of research, I discovered that the Schaumburg Festival of Arts was organized in 1970 with two main objectives.  The first objective was to find ways that allowed both Schaumburg and area residents to express themselves artistically.  The second was to finance a Schaumburg Civic Center that would serve as a location for various cultural events and entertainment.

In early January 1971, it was announced by Chairman Sonja Leraas and Honorary Chairman Mayor Robert Atcher, that a grand festival would be held on the weekend of June 19 & 20.  Most events would be held at Schaumburg High School.

There was quite an ambitious agenda that kicked off with a parade on Saturday morning that would end at the school.  Other events included:

  • Artistic creations would be on exhibit in the parking lot for both days with some available for sale and others available for show.  The works would include paintings, water colors, ceramics, sculptures and crewel work.  Michael Madden, director of the Schaumburg Township Public Library, served as exhibition committee chairman.
  • A children’s play would be presented by the Schaumburg Park District
  • A magic show would be presented by Joe Vyleta of Mount Prospect and billed as Young People’s Theater production and held in the school cafeteria.  Paul Derda served as the committee chairman.
  • Talent ’71, a talent contest for persons aged 14 to 19 was also held in the cafeteria.  Winners would receive prizes.
  • Also on Saturday evening, three, one-act plays would be shown in the cafeteria.
  • The following day, music from 1961-1971, A Swinging Decade, would be featured and dancing would definitely be encouraged.
  • A poetry contest would be held in local elementary schools with the winning poem being printed on the back of the festival’s program.  Winning poems from each school would be given a free ticket to all events with the grand prize winner also receiving $10.
  • A poster contest for junior high students would be used to promote the event in local, cooperating stores.  Winners would also receive free tickets to the events.
  • An “Evening of Plays” was also scheduled.  Raoul Johnson, an assistant professor at Loyola University and the director of the plays, eventually chose two plays to be performed.  The first was “The Brick and the Rose” written by Lewis John Carlino. Ten actors portraying 46 characters would sit on stools using only their voices and facial expressions to act their parts.  The other play was “Next” written by Terrence McNally and featured only two actors.

Some events were free and others, like the dance and “Evening of Plays,” charged a fee.  At the end of the weekend, nearly $1000 in profit was accumulated.  Unfortunately, most of the money raised came from the food sold at the refreshment stand–and the funds raised from the cookbook you see featured here.

“Evening of Plays” proved to be the most well-attended event and word-of-mouth spread so fast that the second night sold more tickets than anticipated.  The actors received a 3-minute standing ovation on Sunday night.  Response was so good that they put on an encore performance the following month at the newly formed Schaumburg Festival Theater.

Unfortunately, the Festival Theater and the Festival of Arts were in existence for only one year.  While the desire was there, the attendance was too low to continue.  Someone, though, liked the cookbook and, in particular, either the Swedish Spritz Cookies or Anny’s Chocolate Graham Chews.

Festival of Arts Cookbook 2

Given the fact that this organization lasted for only a short period of time, it is fortunate that over 40 years later the library was the recipient of a small part of their agenda.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Articles from The Herald were used to put this blog posting together.  Dates used from 1971 were January 19, April 19, June 24, July 16 and December 17.


July 3, 2016

Sunderlage SmokehouseThe Hoffman Estates Historical Sites Commission is sponsoring a free open house at the Sunderlage Farmhouse, 1775 Vista Lane on Sunday, July 24, from noon to 3 p.m.

Participate in the following events:

  • Take a tour of the historic 1856 Sunderlage Farmhouse and adjacent smokehouse which is registered on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Meander through the variety of vintage ’50s and ’60s cars on display by the Old Timers Cruise Night Club.
  • Enjoy a cool ice cream treat sponsored by the Schaumburg Township Historical Society.

For more information, call 847-781-2606.

Enjoy your step back in time!


June 26, 2016

The Walter and Maybelle Ellis family moved to Schaumburg Township in 1955, just before the boom started.  They, along with their daughters Jean (Mathew Helsper) and Betty (Melvin Helsper) bought property on the southwest corner of Schaumburg and Plum Grove Road from Palmer and Marge Carlson.  The daughters had married two Helsper brothers and the families moved to the corner with the intent of living close together.   Prior to building their homes, it was necessary to get approval from Cook County to have it dubbed the Helsper-Ellis Subdivision.  Once the homes were built, the families quickly became involved with the new village of Schaumburg.

These photos are from the collection of Mathew Helsper who was Chairman of the Schaumburg Zoning Board and a trustee on the Village Board.    They are a great overview–in more ways than one–of how the village evolved.



The photo above shows the layout of the relatively new Weathersfield subdivision taking place.  We are looking south from the intersection of Schaumburg and Springinsguth Road.  The first homes are to the west (or right) of the intersection along Schaumburg Road.  This is the “W” section where all of the streets start with that letter.  The model homes were on Schaumburg Road, next to the intersection.  Notice how the homes are spread out and have larger lawns in this section.

The big box on the southeast side of the intersection is the first Jewel grocery store in Schaumburg.  Directly in front of the store is the Pure Oil gas station.  To the left of that is Fire Station 1.  Both of these buildings are gone but the Jewel building is still a portion of the Weathersfield Commons shopping center even though Jewel itself has moved further west on Schaumburg Road.

The house that is sheltered in trees on the north side of Schaumburg Road, was originally built by Mr. Ode D. Jennings, owner of The Barn property.  Sometime before 1938, Mr. Jennings built the house for his cousin Everett, who served as his attorney.  Miss Irma Fischer who was a secretary in Everett Fischer’s law firm also lived in the house.  This house was later moved down Springinsguth Road to where it still stands today.

There was another, smaller home on the property where Mr. Therman, Ode Jennings’ chauffeur lived.  According to D. Nelson who grew up in the area, this property was eventually sold in the early 1950s to Eve Fasse after Everett Jennings and Miss Fischer passed away.

The Barn property is in the middle of the photo, behind and to the left of the Jewel in a wooded glen.  Bock Park is to the left of The Barn.  Houses are already built along Standish Lane as it runs in a straight line from Schaumburg Road to Bock Park.

Looking at this aerial view, it is possible to see how Weathersfield was built in 20 plus phases.  In fact, you can make out the start of  Weathersfield  Way stretching towards the east.  As land was purchased, new phases were planned and added to the existing development.  Of course, prices went up too!



The view of this photo is looking southwest at the Weathersfield subdivision from the area near Schaumburg High School.  According to a reader of the blog, the timing is 1965-66 because Weathersfield Unit 5 appears to be completed.   Everything from the photo above is also in this photo.

Schaumburg Road is the straight road running through the right side of the photo with Springinsguth Road being the other straight road running perpendicular to it through the subdivision.

Springinsguth Road hits Wise Road, another straight road running east to west in the photo.

Laid out neatly in a grid are parts of the Hanover Highlands subdivision, which can be seen in the upper middle of the photo.

Irving Park Road runs at a curving angle through the middle of the photo.  You can see the unincorporated Spring South subdivision between Wise and Irving Park.  Also, notice the big pond on the left side of the photo.  It is now encompassed by the Ruth McIntyre Conservation Area.

Lake Street is also in the upper portion of the photo, running parallel to Irving Park Road.  And, of course, Barrington Road bisects both of those roads through the entire upper portion.  It clearly ends at Lake Street.The view of this photo is looking due north from Irving Park Road coming in at the angle to its intersection with Wise Road, just east of Barrington Road.



The Milwaukee Road rail line is on the bottom of the photo.  Bisecting it is Rodenburg Road.  Where it hits Irving Park Road, you can see St. John Lutheran Church on the SE corner of the intersection.

Due west of Rodenburg is Long Avenue.

On the far left of the photo, just beyond the intersection of Irving Park and Wise is Hanover Highlands.

Between Irving Park and Wise is the Spring South subdivision.

North of Wise is the Weathersfield subdivision with the Nathan Hale School property on Wise looking like it’s being prepped for construction.  Hale opened in 1969 so we can probably date this photo around 1967 or 1968.

In the upper right portion of the photo is the very wooded area of Sarah’s Grove.  Quite a dense patch of timber, isn’t it?  Timbercrest subdivision is being developed to the south of the trees.

The various parcels of Hoffman Estates are to the north of Sarah’s Grove as are the Highlands in Hoffman Estates.

Note the other two wooded areas.  The portion to the upper left is the Walnut Grove portion of Hoffman Estates between Higgins and the Tollway.

The portion in the upper center is Highland Grove in Hoffman Estates, north of the Tollway.  It is now the Paul Douglas Forest Preserve.



The view of this photo is looking northeast towards the Weathersfield subdivision in the center.  Springinsguth runs through the subdivision with the “W” section nicely built out on the west (left) side of the road.  Clearly, development is very much happening on various sides.

The Hanover Highlands subdivision is also under construction in the southern part of the photo.

Sarah’s Grove and Timbercrest are visible in the upper central portion of the photo with development just beginning.

The Parcels of Hoffman Estates as well as the Highlands are in the top left of the photo.

Looking at these photos, it’s clear how Schaumburg Township was developed in much of a jigsaw puzzle approach.  Putting a piece here and then a piece there depended on when parcels became available from the farmers themselves or from the developers who had purchased the farms as an investment as the area begin to explode.  People like Mr. Helsper, who served on the Zoning Board, Village Board and other commissions, definitely had their work cut out for them!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

*Many thanks to Tom Helsper, Matt Helsper’s son for passing on these photos.  What a great resource!
**These photos were used with the permission of  UTC Aerospace Systems.  



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