TRUCK FARMERS OF SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP

December 9, 2018

There were a number of farmers in Schaumburg Township in the 1930s, 40s and 50s who used their rich farm land as truck farms. These farms would produce vegetables for corporations such as Campbell’s Soup or to take to local markets in Chicago such as the one on Randolph Street. The Rohlwing family, in particular, raised tomatoes for Campbell’s Soup and the Piske family at the northeast corner of Roselle and Nerge Roads raised a variety of vegetables, with their main crop being horseradish. 

The following account of another truck farm in Schaumburg Township was written by Elinor (Hortik) Mueller for the Spring 2011 issue of the Roselle History Museum Newsletter. It is reprinted here with the Museum’s gracious permission. 

“Our farm of 40 acres, located on the southwest corner of Plum Grove and Nerge Roads in Schaumburg Township, since incorporated into [the] Village of Roselle, was strictly for raising vegetables. It was one of two truck farms in the immediate area. The other farms being dairy farms, growing mostly grain for their cattle.

A variety of vegetables were grown, such as cabbage, tomatoes, onions, squash, carrots, parsnips, sugar beets, asparagus, melons, pumpkins, corn, cucumbers, rhubarb and raspberries. There was also an apple and cherry orchard, and a huge bed of gladiola flowers.

Most of this produce was taken to the Randolph Street Market in Chicago where it was purchased by wholesalers and some retailers. Some vegetables were sold on the farm and to some local grocery stores.

On July 5, 1933 a tornado hit the area. All of the buildings, barns, sheds, home and crops were destroyed. Since it was too late in the season to replant, we had no income, so my dad was forced to work for the WPA until spring at which time he delivered seed for Vaughn’s Seed Co. [The photo below shows Elinor’s parents standing at the site of what was their house.]

Truck farming is hard work and long hours, driving to the market at 2 a.m. and then working until the next day’s load was ready for delivery. From planting in spring until harvesting in fall there was always plowing, planting, cultivating and harvesting to do. In the winter there were always machines to repair.

Farming is a gamble. Weather can affect all profit and loss for the year; too much rain, not enough rain, too hot or too cold. Farming is a labor of love, God’s gift to a few.”

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

 

 

 

SCHAUMBURG CENTER SCHOOL: A HOT SPOT FOR REALTORS

December 2, 2018

This charming little school at Schaumburg and Roselle Roads served as one of the five, one-room public schools in Schaumburg Township. It remained Schaumburg Centre school until January 1954 when students in the township began attending the newly built Schaumburg School on east Schaumburg Road.

When that happened, the school building entered its second phase and was rehabbed to accommodate a series of businesses. With its central location in the township, it was a prime spot for small businesses to get a start. As a result, for the next 26 years it housed everything from the R.I.C Delicatessen to a wrought iron store to three different realty agencies.

The photo below, taken in 1978 or 1979, was contributed by local realtor Bob Dohn when it was Koenig & Strey Realtors. The sign to the far left clearly shows a portion of the long time Koenig & Strey logo.

This realty agency was preceded by FBK Realty and Kole Real Estate. According to Mr. Dohn, “Kole Real Estate [was] a well-known local real estate company in the 1970s that was started by Robert Kole. When I worked in the building, Koenig & Strey was a well established, family-run firm from the north suburbs that made a foray into the northwest suburbs in the late 1970s.

As part of this move, they purchased FBK Realty, which still had operating offices in Mt. Prospect and Arlington Heights. I’m not sure whether Jack Keller retained ownership of the schoolhouse building or if the building and land were part of the acquisition, but K&S hired me to open their office there. Jack Keller remained active in the merged company until he passed away a short time later. Jack was a genuinely good person who was admired by eveyone, by the way.”

The office began operating in September 1978 according to a March 8, 1979 issue of the Daily Herald. Mr. Dohn said, “Koenig & Strey had plans to build a shopping center on the site, much like the current Schoolhouse Square that was later developed by Terry Bolger. The idea was to build the new center around the schoolhouse, then move our offices into the new space and donate the schoolhouse to the historical society, who were to move it to its current location by St Peter’s Lutheran Church.

Unfortunately, per my understanding at the time, the Village of Schaumburg wanted the schoolhouse moved to allow for the installation of a water detention area prior to any other construction taking place. As a result, we merged our Schaumburg staff into another K&S office in Palatine and the schoolhouse was moved to its temporary location.”

This site was across Schaumburg Road in Town Square. You can see the red school next to the pond in the photo below.

Mr. Dohn continued, “Before the shopping center was started, the real estate market saw record-breaking interest rates, heralding hard times for the real estate business. K&S shelved their building plans and eventually closed all their northwest suburban offices. After several mergers over the years, K&S today operates as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff.”

In a time when open commercial space was valuable, it is telling that three realty agencies took advantage of the real estate mantra “Location, Location, Location” and moved into our township’s centrally located, one room school. What a prime spot!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

 

HAPPY 60TH HOFFMAN ESTATES! (1 OF 12)

November 25, 2018

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the November 2018 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

I’ve started the first column on the history of Hoffman Estates to honor our village’s 60th anniversary of incorporation that occurred on September 23, 1959. I’ll try and tell our history each month during this 60th anniversary year.

This entire area was farm land. So many settlers came here because life in other countries was torn by war, famine and general unrest.  In the 1840s the government sent surveyors to map out the territory, describing the number of rivers, forest land, swamps and streams on each acre they surveyed.

Land was being sold for $1.25 an acre. The promise of good farm land drew the new settlers to this area. The old plat maps of Cook County from 1942 and 1954 show the townships that made up Cook County and the names of the landowners in each township.  As you look at the plat maps, of Schaumburg Township, you can’t help but notice the same family name on other farms in the area. Many times the first families to arrive wrote back to family & friends telling of the good farming conditions and encouraging them to come and start a new life in America.

The earliest settlers to this area came from the east coast.  A large number of Germans, many encouraged by friends and family,  also settled in Schaumburg Township. German became the predominant language of the area and others who did not speak German moved on to farm land to the west.

With the end of World War II came a demand for housing for the returning service men. F & S Construction had been building homes in Arizona. They wanted to create a community of homes for the families of the service men that would be well built and affordable. Looking for new areas to develop, F & S Construction found an area in Schaumburg Township that was very suitable for their next development. The area had the promise of being very successful with a tollway under construction, O’Hara Airport nearby and a willingness of the farmers to sell their farms, they had found an ideal location for their next project.

In 1954 F & S Construction purchased 160 acres of land east of Roselle Road between Golf and Higgins Roads.  An additional 600 acres were added with the purchase of the Hammerstein farm.

This was the beginning of F & S Construction’s plan for a new community that would become Hoffman Estates.

Pat Barch, Hoffman Estate Village Historian
Eagle2064@comcast.net

THE SCHAUMBURG MONOPOLY GAME

November 18, 2018

There is no Park Place and there is no Pennsylvania Avenue in Schaumburg but, in 1983, there was Hippo’s and Woodfield Lanes on a game called “Heritage of Schaumburg.”

It was based on the Parker Brothers’ Monopoly game, and featured an array of 46 businesses and governmental bodies. Moving your game piece around the board, it was possible to “land on” any one of these entities while playing.

Bill Tucknott, who has been an active participant on a number of Schaumburg’s different boards and commissions, shared the game with me. He and his family purchased the game when it was first introduced to the community.

In a December 23, 1981 article from the Janesville Gazette, it states that the game was “the brainchild of David A. Colbert, a young Oshkosh [WI] entrepreneur who is founder and president of Citigames of America Inc.” According to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institution’s website, the company was founded in 1980 and dissolved in 1993.

Mr. Colbert’s original game was for his hometown, the city of Oshkosh, WI. The company then began soliciting other cities and villages with the hope of designing similar games for towns across the country. The Schaumburg game was copyrighted in 1983 so it would have been one of the earlier games developed.

Based on the Janesville article, which detailed information on the Monroe, WI locale, the game cost $9.95. It was a laminated game board and was suggested for ages 6 to adult. It came with game pieces and money but, unfortunately, those were not to be found with this game. (The money would have been important since the prices of the property range from $1400 to $7600. Not the Monopoly game we’re all familiar with!)

It is quite an interesting to note the local businesses that were willing to contribute advertising money to the game’s developer in exchange for their appearance on the game board. Is it possible the amount they contributed was in correlation to their monetary spot on the board?

Below is a list of the businesses and governmental bodies that appeared on the board. We’ll begin with the Start spot and move around the board from there.

  • Woodfield Bank* (Located on the NW corner of Meacham and Higgins and founded in 1971 at Woodfield Mall.)
  • Kayhan International Limited
  • Moondog’s Comics
  • Collins Fireplace and Patio Shop
  • Sheraton Inn-Walden
  • Discount Sun Drugs
  • Petersen’s Auto Body, Inc.
  • Town Square Grog Shop (Established in 1970 and closed in 1994)
  • B.O.S.S. (Budde’s Office Supply Store, Inc.)
  • Roselle AMC/Jeep Renault
  • Schaumburg Cyclery, Inc.
  • Parks Beautify Community (Schaumburg Park District)
  • Colonial Chevrolet in Schaumburg
  • Hippo’s
  • Woodfield Ford
  • Family Pride Cleaners (In Schaumburg Plaza)
  • The Hobbyist
  • Schaumburg Security Services, Inc.
  • Woodfield Lanes (Established in 1980 and closed in 2001)
  • Joan’s Hallmark Card & Gift Shop
  • Ahlgrim Funeral Directors
  • Woodfield Realty* (Established in 1977 and named because “In Schaumburg, it’s Woodfield.”)
  • Damen Savings
  • SCAN (co-op contemporary furnishings)
  • Osco Drug
  • Dunn-Rite Car and Truck Rental
  • The Daily Herald
  • Jon E. Floria (Solicitor-Barrister)
  • Schaumburg Music Center* (Established by Francis G. Bowen in August 1973. Sold, repaired and rented musical instruments.)
  • STI (Schaumburg Tele-Communications)
  • Mike’s Body Shop
  • Kroch’s & Brentano’s
  • Schaumburg Park District
  • Muffler Magic Shoppe* (Mr. Spaeth opened his doors on January 1, 1982 with the intent to franchise many small shoppes.)
  • Schaumburg Dodge
  • NPS (Northwest Printing Service)
  • Computerland
  • Raycon Lamp & Lighting Gallery
  • Highland Cleaners
  • Ziebart
  • The Right Club
  • Stevens, Maloney Office Supplies
  • Weller’s Heating & Air Conditioning
  • Preferred Travel, Inc.
  • Marty’s (in Woodfield Lanes)

It’s obvious a number of the businesses such as Damen Savings, Woodfield Lanes, Kroch’s & Brentano’s, Hippo’s, Moondog’s Comics and SCAN no longer exist but there are definitely some that can still be found in Schaumburg or the area. Ahlgrim’s, Osco Drug, The Daily Herald and the Schaumburg Park District are the ones I recognize right off the bat as still being in business.

Those with an asterisk were highlighted in the directions for the “Heritage of Schaumburg” game. If you have any details regarding when any of these businesses opened and/or closed their doors, or if they merged or changed names, please leave a comment or send me an email. I’d be happy to update this blog posting.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

DISCOVERING FAMOUS ART AT THE SUNDERLAGE FARM HOUSE

November 11, 2018

This is an interior photo of the Sunderlage House in Hoffman Estates taken in the mid-1950s. It showcases the warm, cozy interior of this beloved farmhouse when it was a private residence. If you look closely, though, your eye is also drawn to what look to be murals painted on the walls on either side of the staircase.

This photo was donated to the library by Sandra Volid Bauer, the wife of Peter Volid. Mr. Volid owned the house when the photos were taken. He was not married to Sandra at the time, but he told her later about the murals on the wall.

According to Mr. Volid, these murals were commissioned by Lila Harrell who bought the farm from descendants of the Sunderlage family in the 1930s and owned it until 1952 when Mr. Volid purchased it from her. See the entry above from the 1949 Bartlett/Roselle Telephone Directory that shows her address and phone number.

Ms. Harrell called her home and its surrounding acres “Angelus Farm.” She also modernized the house by putting in electricity and plumbing.  One of her other touches was the murals that were painted on the walls.

Marilyn Lind of the Hoffman Estates Historical Sites Commission, that oversees the home, said that Ms. Harrell was a Chicago-based interior decorator who had an office on Michigan Avenue. It was in Italian Court that was built in 1926 and, according to Paul Gapp, the architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune, was a mixed location of businesses and apartments that “were tenanted by artists, designers and writers.” [Chicago Tribune, September 23, 1990]

Given her involvement in that field, she must have been fairly familiar with the arts world in Chicago. At some point Ms. Harrell hired a Chicago-area artist by the name of Malvin Albright to paint the walls according to Sandra Volid Bauer. It isn’t known if Ms. Harrell specifically instructed him to design murals for the walls or whether that was his idea.

What IS interesting is the artist. Malvin Albright was the twin brother of Ivan Albright, who has a special gallery for his works in the Art Institute of Chicago. Ivan was known for his unusual style that was most noticeable in the painting featured at the end of the 1945 movie, “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” You can see it below.

Malvin and Ivan grew up in Warrenville, IL where their father Adam Emory Albright, a painter himself, purchased an old Methodist church in 1924 to use as the Albright Gallery of Painting and Sculpture. While Adam was more of an impressionistic painter, his sons turned their sights to other styles.

Malvin began his art career as a sculptor but eventually switched to painting with watercolor and oils, signing his work with the name “Zsissly.” According to his obituary in the Chicago Tribune of September 16, 1983, Malvin’s paintings were a lighter contrast to his brother’s darker style. Still, in looking at Malvin’s painting below you can get a glimpse of how their painting techniques were somewhat similar.

Unfortunately, the mural that Malvin painted is not viewable today. In fact, Marilyn Lind said that when she first got a glimpse of the house back in the 1970s, the walls had already been painted over with a solid color. But, in scraping at it with her fingernail, she could tell that the paint that was used was quite thick and that the colors were pale blue, gray, pink and white–which was quite an interesting palette. She could also see the outline of nature scenery, houses and people walking. Today, wallpaper covers the staircase walls.

It seems there are always surprising connections to be found in Schaumburg Township. The area may have been rural for many years, but it was still close enough to Chicago that it was touched by some very interesting people!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

You can take a look at the Sunderlage House for yourself. The next time the home will be open is for the Teddy Bear Holiday Party on December 1 at 1 p.m. More details can be found here.

If you are interested in the Albrights, you might want to check out the Warrenville Historical Society.

[Photo credit of Italian Court to Chicago Tribune]

 

THE WINKELHAKE FAMILY FARM: THE OLDEST IN SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP

November 4, 2018

For years the small farm on the southeast corner of Higgins and Plum Grove Road seemed to persevere in spite of the growth around it. If you lived or worked in Schaumburg Township from 1980 to 2000 during the height of office development, you couldn’t help but notice the fields, the barns and the white farmhouse that stood out on busy Higgins Road.

This was the Winkelhake property, purchased in 1848 by Christof Winkelhake, two years before the township itself was established in 1850. Through sheer dint of will and passion, the Winkelhakes managed to maintain their agricultural independence for 150 years, despite all of the development that surrounded their farm.

Christof Winkelhake and his wife, Louise Marie, emigrated here from Germany around 1845, eventually purchasing 80 acres from the government as a land patent in 1848. The property was obtained in two different parcels a little over a week apart on March 1 and 10, according to the Bureau of Land Management’s General Land Office Records.

With their seven children–two of whom were born in Germany and the rest in Schaumburg Township–the Winkelhakes worked their farm, year in and year out. According to an article in the Chicago Tribune from July 27, 1999, Christof had “accumulated 240 acres by the time of the Civil War.”

The 1861 map above shows the Winkelhake property, 160 acres at the time, stretched laterally across Higgins Road. Note that Plum Grove Road came down from the north, through Horace “H.P.” Williams’ property, and ended at Higgins Road. It would be years before this gravel road extended south through the heart of the Winkelhake property.

All of the plat maps from 1861 to 1947 depict Plum Grove as a straight line, moving north/south through the Township. It isn’t until the 1947 map that we see Plum Grove take the slight jog that remains there today. It is my presumption that when it was finally paved it was necessary to go around, rather than through, the farmplace of the Winkelhake farm–hence the curve.

After establishing the farm for future generations, Christof died in 1897 at the age of 82. Both he and his wife, who had died ten years before him, are buried at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church Cemetery. Below is their grave marker with its unique, ornamental finial on top.

The farm passed on to his son, Henry Winkelhake who was born in 1847 and was one of the first to be baptized within the St. Peter Lutheran Church congregation that formed in the same year. When he died in 1907, his two sons, Henry Jr. and Herman, farmed two different parcels, as can be seen on the 1926 plat map below. (Note Plum Grove’s straight, due south direction.) According to this map, Herman was farming the original property and Henry was farming the property that had been acquired on the east side of Plum Grove.

After their deaths, Herman’s sons, Louis and Herman, took over the farming, continuing to milk cows and grow corn, grain and soybeans. They sold off parcels here and there, particularly the portion that had been farmed by Henry on the west side of Plum Grove Road. That was sold to Arthur and Dorothy Hammerstein as their second farm.

When Arthur Hammerstein died in 1955, his wife sold their two farms on Roselle Road and Plum Grove Road. Eventually Palatine Township High School District acquired a portion of the Plum Grove Road farm that they would later use as the grounds for Conant High School, the first high school in the township. Before that was built the school district rented the 38 acres back to the Winkelhakes to farm in 1959. It is quite interesting that the school district was calling it the Hammerstein school site.

After working the farm for many years, Louis left and moved to Milwaukee. Herman continued to live in the white farmhouse, persevering season after season until his son Ron came back to help around 1987. Herman was bound and determined not to sell the property and, in fact, never did. He lived there until the day he died in 1995.

In the photo below, you can see how embedded the Winkelhakes were in Schaumburg Township and St. Peter Lutheran Church. Most of this row consists of the Winkelhakes we’ve been talking about, except for Herman, who was the last to farm. He is buried at St. Peter’s but is not part of this family plot.

By 1997, it was apparent to Herman’s survivors that it was time to sell the beloved farm that had been in the family for 150 years. Over the course of a few years, the family farm became the Morningside subdivision (which is on the homeplace), Bank of America and Sunrise of Schaumburg, an assisted living facility, to name a few.

Do you suppose some of these tall trees that line Plum Grove Road and border Higgins, are leftovers from the oldest family farm in Schaumburg Township? If they are, it’s sure nice to know there are remnants of the farm that still survive.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

This blog posting was written with the assistance of the following:

  • Schaumburg Review, April 3, 1997
  • Chicago Tribune, July 27, 1999
  • A Winkelhake Time Capsule Or a Rainy Spring Day with Ron and Anne Winkelhake by Linda Valentine
  • Larry Nerge, Genealogist

 

 

SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP HISTORICAL SOCIETY OPEN HOUSE

November 3, 2018

Schaumburg Center schoolThe Schaumburg Township Historical Society will sponsor an open house of the Schaumburg Center School on Sunday, November 11, 2018.  The open house will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  The schoolhouse is located on the St. Peter Lutheran Church property.

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.

SHOE FACTORY ROAD IN HOFFMAN ESTATES

October 28, 2018

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the October 2018 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

One of the Citizen’s readers recently inquired about Shoe Factory Road. He reads the Historian’s Notebook column and asked if there was really a shoe factory on that road. He’s not the only person to ask about this. Others have wondered about the same thing. It’s an interesting story and the road has history up and down its length from Elgin to Hoffman Estates.

There certainly was a shoe factory on Shoe Factory Road. It was a large building built in 1891. It was owned by George Ludlow & Company and stood at the northeast corner of Shoe Factory Road (later renamed Congdon Ave.) and Dundee Roads. The factory employed 370 employees who made women’s shoes. Later the business was sold to Selz-Schwab & Company of Chicago. During its peak year of 1920, 300 employees manufactured 2,000 pair of shoes a day.

The business was again sold–not to shoe manufacturers, but to clothing manufacturers. Besides clothing, the building was used as the Tiny Tim indoor miniature golf and the State of Illinois Sign Shop before it closed in 1990. The building still stands and has been converted into apartment s & condos.

As Shoe Factory Road travels east through Hoffman Estates several stories about our history linger on with only memories of what was once located along the road.

The Charles Lindbergh one room schoolhouse was eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. It’s unique flagstone design and concrete construction was built to never burn as the two previous schools dating back to the late 1840s had. It didn’t survive the efforts to save it and the Village of Hoffman Estates decided to tear it down in September of 2007. It was located on the south side of Shoe Factory Road near the intersection of Essex Drive. Only memories remain.

The Earl and Elizabeth Teets Farm was the site of one of the most gruesome unsolved murders in Cook County history. Their farm was on the north side of Shoe Factory Road just west of where the road dead ends into Higgins Road in Hoffman Estates. Earl and his wife Elizabeth, along with their son Gary and 4 guard dogs, were shot to death in their farm house. Their bodies were discovered on the night of Jan. 11, 1979. The murders have remained unsolved. Only memories remain.

A drive down Shoe Factory Road will bring you to the Poplar Creek Model Air Plane Flying Field, a fun place to watch the maneuvers of the planes as their owners put them through their loops and great flying skills.

Just east of Route 59 you’ll find the wonderful Great Egret Family Picnic area. The drive down Shoe Factory Road heading west takes you through the Arthur L. Janura Forest Preserves. There’s so much more to the Shoe Factory road than the answer to the question,” Was there really a shoe factory on Shoe Factory Road. “

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Historian
eagle2064@comcast.net

Photo credit:  Selz Shoe Factory from Postcards From The Past: A Brief History of Elgin, Illinois.

WOODFIELD MALL MEETS OUTER SPACE

October 21, 2018

In the year 2000, appropriately enough, outer space came to Woodfield Mall and it came in the form of a new restaurant called Mars 2112. The eatery inherited the space that was originally used for the Woodfield Ice Arena and later Woodfield Mall Cinemas.

Called “Disneyland with dining” by the owner, Pascal Phelan, Mars 2112 first opened in Times Square in Manhattan as a standalone location. Woodfield Mall was chosen as its first shopping center location and it officially opened on October 3 after an $8.5 million startup investment.

The name of the restaurant was based on the year 2112 when it was believed that commercial flights would take passengers to Mars. The interior decor reflected this Mars theme and came complete with giant videos showing customers the terrain of the red planet.

Lava pools, Martian creatures and a shuttle ride for 32 guests that operated between the entrance and the dining room were also part of the experience. The shuttle ride, which was actually a 747 flight simulator used to train pilots, rocked and swayed as if the passengers were on a trip to Mars. The “voyage” lasted 3 1/2 minutes. When you got to the dining room, even the walls were red and cratered. The whole theme was meant to feel as if you were eating on Mars.

And the food? It was upscale, but casual, and ranged from burgers to grilled salmon to ribs, pasta and steaks. In fact, Pascal Phelan, the owner hired a top chef from France to put together the menu as a fusion of American and international cuisine.

It was only in business for one short year, closing in early November 2001. During that time they worked with the community by handing out $30,000 worth of scholarships to ten students from schools in the Northwest Suburbs to, where else? United States Space Camp in Titusville, FL. An appropriate gesture for the students who entered an essay contest answering the question “What is life like on Mars in 2112?”

There was no reason given for the abrupt closure of Mars 2112 but, while it lasted, it made a dramatic impact on the Woodfield restaurant scene. Eating a hamburger and fries on Mars? Who wouldn’t want to give that a try?

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

Photo credit to homebrewpinball.blogspot.com

This blog posting was written with the help of Daily Herald articles from February 12 and September 28, 2000 and June 12 and November 8, 2001. An October 2000 article from the Chicago Tribune was also used.

 

 

A MURAL OF SCHAUMBURG’S HISTORY

October 14, 2018

I’ve seen this booklet before in our collection but never really stopped to examine it closely. When I did, I was amazed at the art work and local history detail that went into creating this publication.

Designed with the intent to introduce Schaumburg to potential businesses, the publication was created in 1985 by Laura Carey and Dave Ogorzaly who were village employees. As Public Relations Coordinator, Ms. Carey designed and wrote the content. Mr. Ogorzaly was the artist who tracked the history of Schaumburg from its Native American origins to the present day. They included so much of the detail that I write about on this blog.

In communicating with Mr. Ogorzaly–who still works for the village–he said the mural was created as colored pencil drawings. He and Ms. Carey had discussions about which scenes and buildings to include, starting with the obvious choices “like the old and new Village Hall, police station, high school etc. We could not leave out the historical landmarks, the Tollway, Woodfield Mall and the larger business developments. Besides these, I kind of went for the newer ones with the most architectural integrity, as well as adding those that featured new services to the Village.”

I also asked how he put it together so that all of those angles of our history were represented. He said he did it through “research, old photos that were available at the time and with help from people like Pastor John Sternberg [of St. Peter Lutheran Church], who were keeping the history alive.”

So, let’s take a look at the history that is represented. It begins with this page.

If you start at the left, the mural begins with Native Americans during pre-settlement days, fishing and hunting along the banks of, what I have to imagine, is Salt Creek. This segues into Horace P. Williams, an early settler who is known to have driven a flock of sheep from Ohio to Illinois in the early 1840s.  We then see the German farmers who also began settling the area at this time. This is followed by the iconic St. Peter Lutheran Church of 1863 and its cemetery. Also tucked in is the 1848 small, frame, original church.

The bubble at the top illustrates the infamous meeting where Friedrich Nerge, after much debate in putting a name to our township, shouted, “Schaumburg schall et heiten!” or “Schaumburg shall it be.” This is also where the village eventually got its name. (Many do not realize the township came before the village.)

We then move to Schaumburg Center at the corner of Schaumburg and Roselle Road. The Fenz general store that stood on the southwest corner is in the middle, the Buttery is featured at the bottom, the one-room, Schaumburg Center School is tucked in at the edge with the old Schaumburg Bank building that stood on the northeast corner below it.

We can also note that the township’s first fire company from 1890 is added as is the term Easy Street. The area–and the Pub–were called Easy Street, not only because some of the wealthier commercial people of the township lived here, but because some farmers built new homes in the center part of the township once they retired.

This second panel of the booklet begins with the incorporation of the village of Schaumburg in 1956. Three buildings that were originally the O.D. Jennings property and later became part of Weathersfield are first, starting with the white Barn of Schaumburg which served as the early village hall. Directly below that is the building that today serves as the offices for the Schaumburg Athletic Association. The Jennings house is to the right of the caretaker’s house. At the bottom are the early homes of Weathersfield.

We then move to the Schaumburg Airpark off of Irving Park Road and Fire Station #1 that was on West Schaumburg Road, close to the intersection with Springinsguth. To the right of the Airpark is the front facade of the Schaumburg Township District Library when it was at 32 W. Library Lane. Below it is the Village’s logo and a representation of Schaumburg’s current Village Hall.

The roads are I-90 and Meacham Road. Notice the south side of I-90 is represented by the water tower that remains on Wiley Road and buildings that are part of the Schaumburg Industrial Park. North of the tollway is the Motorola complex, centered by the tower that is now one of the locations of Motorola Solutions.

The collection of three buildings in the center of the photo represent International Village apartments which was one of the first apartment complexes built in Schaumburg.

The bucolic water and tree scene represents Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary with the bicyclists making their way down one of the many bike lanes in Schaumburg.

Of course, it is impossible not to recognize Woodfield Mall with its anchors that included Marshall Fields, J.C. Penney, Lord & Taylor and Sears. Note that the Woodfield water tower was still painted with its iconic brown and gold colors.

Directly below the water tower is the brick monolith of Schaumburg High School to the left, and the Public Safety Building to the right–exactly as you see them today.

This last panel shows much of Schaumburg’s business history with a few governmental representations sprinkled throughout. From the far left we begin with the Community Recreation Center (CRC) that opened in 1979 at the corner of Bode and Springinsguth. Below it is the Pure Oil campus at Golf and Meacham with its distinctive, circular parking lots.

The blue and white bus is part of the Dial-A-Ride Transportation that the village helped to support and above it is the atrium lobby of the Schaumburg Corporate Center. The next two white buildings at the top are Woodfield Lakes One and Two that are on Woodfield Road. Below Woodfield Lakes One is the brown, Brutalist-style structure that originally opened as Woodfield Bank in 1981 and is now Chase Bank.

In the middle is the Olde Schaumburg Centre Park that was created in 1983 on the northeast corner of Schaumburg and Roselle Road. The red truck towing the float represents the village’s 25th anniversary celebration in 1981.

The bubble at the top begins with the small, brown Schaumburg Metra Station that opened the following year in 1982 and the red brick Commuter Rail Facility that is currently on the north side of the tracks. The two structures in the middle are the Northwest Community Hospital Treatment Center on Roselle Road and the La Quinta Motor Inn on Higgins Road. At the top is the Hyatt Regency Woodfield Hotel and the multi-layered Tishman Building that is now Centennial Center on Golf Road.

The final stretch of the panel off to the right begins clockwise with the Marriott Hotel that opened in 1983, Prudential One and Two that are along Martingale Road, the first Zurich American Insurance building that is now Woodfield Pointe Corporate Center, the First United Richport Center which is the set of shops and offices on the northeast corner of Schaumburg and Roselle Road, the Embassy Suites Hotel and, lastly, the Annex Shopping Center on Golf Road.

It was obvious from the dates attached to the buildings that many of the corporate office buildings went up in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This view of that landscape is also from the brochure. Can you pick out some of the buildings/structures that were featured?

Today, it is clear that, despite the fact the village was almost 30 years old, it was still the beginning of commercial development. The village knew it and put this attractive brochure together as enticement for other potential businesses to come to the area. Judging by today’s landscape, it is obvious they succeeded.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org