OLD SETTLER’S PICNIC AT VOLKENING HERITAGE FARM

July 1, 2015

Volkening home

Travel back in time and experience the rural community of Schaumburg’s youth.  First generation German immigrants brought their culture and traditions to Schaumburg, including a strong sense of community and fellowship.

Bring a family picnic and partake in the merriment as historical intrepretive staff re-enact a summer day in the 1880’s.

SATURDAY, JULY 11, 2015
Noon – 3 p.m.

Volkening Heritage Farm at Spring Valley
201 S. Plum Grove Road, Schaumburg

Free Admission
*Adult beverages, soft drinks and food will be available for purchase.

For more information, call the Heritage Farm at 847-985-2102 or visit http://www.parkfun.com

 

NEWS TIDBITS FROM “THE RECORD” — A NEWSPAPER FROM EARLY HOFFMAN ESTATES

June 28, 2015

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

It’s always fun to look back at what was happening in earlier years and what food and household items cost then. I went through the old Record newspapers to find some interesting stories. Some you may remember, if you’ve lived here a while.

Some of the shops and restaurants in the area were the Lual Shop, a ladies dress shop, in the Higgins Golf Shopping Center. Irene’s Dining Room on the SW corner of Higgins & Roselle Rd. This would have been where the Rainbow Inn was located. Maybe it took over that location, I don’t know, do you? They had a Sunday special “All the Chicken You Can Eat, $1.25”.

Walgreen’s, in the Higgins Golf Shopping Center, had these items on sale:  Anacin 100 tablets for .86 cents, Wyler’s Lemonade Mix 2 /.19 cents, Diet-Rite Cola 6 pak .49 cents and Nice ‘N Easy Hair Color $1.27.

National Food Stores had center cut rib pork chops for .79 cents a lb., cans of sweet peas or beans 8/$1. Avocadoes, cucumbers, green peppers or artichokes were .10 cents each. If you shopped at National you got S & H Green Stamps. I think everyone saved those stamps.

Used cars weren’t available locally like they are now. The auto dealers were in Elgin, Oak Park and Palatine. In 1966, a 1965 “Olds 88” was selling for $1995. A 1964 Pontiac Convertible “fully equipped” was selling for $1795.

Of course we were making a lot less money then but it’s fun to see what things were selling for in the mid 60’s.

Some of the interesting stories from 1966 were; “H.E. Is Expected to Call Off Township Library Annexation” Cook County had been encouraging local municipalities to annex small parcels of unincorporated land to better serve their need for police and fire protection. Hoffman Estates’ efforts were dropped after the residents along Pleasant Acres subdivision petitioned to remain unincorporated.

With construction booming in Schaumburg Township in 1966, a crippling strike began on April 11th that halted all construction for Hoffman-Rosner Corp. in Hoffman Estates and Campanelli Bros. in Schaumburg. The strike affected the building of the Thunderbird Movie Theater in the Golf Rose Shopping Center and work that was being done on Motorola.

Plans for William Rainey Harper junior college were discussed at the Hoffman Estates village board meeting in anticipation of the planned June 4, 1966 referendum. The college name was chosen to honor William Rainey Harper, first president of the University of Chicago and founder of the first junior college in Illinois.

A news essay in The Record dated May 11, 1966 gave high praise for Hoffman Estates Mayor Roy Jenkins. “Roy Jenkins is sincerely and unswayingly determined to go down in local history as a good mayor and a leader who got things done.” The article went on to say “He has, at the very least, learned the significance of the words of Thomas Payne: ‘For heaven’s sake, satisfy SOMEBODY!’”.

Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Village Historian, eagle2064@comcast.net

PICTURES OF THE WOODFIELD AREA IN THE 80’S

June 21, 2015

Thirty years ago, in the summer of 1985, Woodfield Theatre was in its prime and was showing two fun, summer blockbusters.  In these photos from contributor Johnny Kunzer, Plitt Theatres 1 & 2 are clearly visible from the parking lot of Woodfield Mall.  The theaters opened in the summer of 1971 and were demolished in 1999.  Cinema 1 originally sat up to 1075 people in comfortable rocking chairs and was a wonderful place to view blockbusters like Back to the Future.  Both theaters had huge screens with 70 mm film features and Dolby stereo sound.

Plitt 1&2

Plitt 1&2

The following two photos are demonstrative of the many office buildings springing up all over Schaumburg in the 1980s.

The first photo shows the first orange and yellow version of the Woodfield water tower.  The photo was taken looking southwest from the Sears parking lot at Woodfield Mall.   From left to right you can see:

  • One Woodfield Place at 1701 E Woodfield Rd is the oldest building in the photo, having been finished in 1974.
  • The then-named Citicorp bank building at 1699 E. Woodfield Road was completed in 1984.
  • Woodfield Financial Center is on the corner of Meacham and Woodfield Rd and was completed in 1985.
  • You can also glimpse the construction of the Schaumburg Corporate Center at 1501 E. Woodfield Road on the far left.   This property was completed in 1986.

Notice the height of the trees for these recently built buildings.

photo 2

 

The second photo is looking down Perimeter Drive towards the north and shows the following buildings from left to right:

  • The NEC building is under construction at 1750 E. Golf Road.
  • The Woodfield Executive Center at 1101 Perimeter Drive is the building most prominently featured and was completed in 1978.
  • The Woodfield Executive Plaza at 1051 Perimeter Dr is the oldest in the photo, having been completed in 1973.

photo 3

 

Great photos taken on a great day in the summer of 1985 with a camera and telephoto lens.  Thank you, Johnny, for a little walk back in time!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

 

SNOWING *SOMEWHERE* IN HOFFMAN ESTATES

June 14, 2015

4314

On March 26, 1970, the northwest suburbs were hit by a 12-inch blanket of wet snow.  And it didn’t go well for some of the drivers.

This picture was recently acquired and the back of it says, “Spring Snowstorm Clobbers Chicago Suburb–Scene in Hoffman Estates, ILL.”  Can anyone say where this photo was taken?  It’s clearly a gently rolling terrain with young trees and either a fence or barricade in the background.  There look to be a number of spinouts and apparently the snow made things slippery enough that a police car couldn’t maneuver the hill either.  Or a truck for that matter.

I’d be curious to see if anyone recognizes the location.  Please leave a comment if you have a clue!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

SCHAUMBURG CENTER SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE

June 7, 2015

The Schaumburg Township Historical Society will sponsor an open house of the Schaumburg Center School on Sunday, June 14, 2015.  The open house will be held from 12:00 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.

THE GREAT TIMBERCREST/WOODS GARAGE SALE

June 5, 2015

PizzaAmore

 

This marvelous little ad was found by an original resident of the Timbercrest subdivision in Schaumburg. A friend saw the value in it and passed it on to me for posterity’s sake.  And what a neat little find it is.

The coupon was obviously a promotional item celebrating the great Timbercrest/Woods garage sale that has been a yearly occurrence since 1970.  In the first years, the sale was held in May.   In a May 17, 1972 issue of the Daily Herald, it was mentioned that around 30 out of 365 homes joined the event in 1971.  A week later in the May 23, 1972 issue of the Daily Herald, it was reported that around 40 homes had items for sale that year.  Today, according to Rich Gerber, the organizer, there are between 100 and 160 homes that participate and the sale is now held the first week of June.

For many years, the sale was held only on Saturday and Sunday.   In 2009, organizers added Friday to the mix and it’s been that way ever since.  As a result, around 5000 people annually weave their way through the streets looking for new treasures.

Resident Carol Johnson ran the sale for nearly 30 years and when she stepped down in 2003, the annual event nearly ended.  Jerry Thompson stepped in and took her place through 2006.  Since 2007 the huge sale has been coordinated by Rich Gerber, another resident.  His website provides information for this year’s sale.  You can get to it HERE.

The Timbercrest and The Woods subdivisions are reachable on Schaumburg Road, west of Town Square at Branchwood and Hilltop Drive.  They are also reachable on Roselle Road, south of the Town Square Condominiums, at Beech Drive.

And the Pizza Amore angle?  I was told that judging by the writing on the back of the ad, the coupon must have been used in 1985 or 1986.  Checking into an online perpetual calendar, I was able to determine that the dates June 9 and 10 were a Saturday and Sunday in 1984–which fits perfectly for Pizza Amore’s  run in the original Town Square Shopping Center.  They were in that location from 1983 to 1986.  As the contributor said, “My friends and I ate many slices of pizza at Pizza Amore in the 80s!”

Maybe you bought or sold treasures at the Timbercrest Garage Sale?  Or took advantage of that coupon?  If so, pass on the details.  Everyone loves to hear about a great garage sale find!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarain
Schaumburg Township District Library

SPRING VALLEY COUNTRY FAIR

May 31, 2015
  • Dates: Sunday, June 7 2015 12:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Location: Vera Meineke Nature Center at Spring Valley
  • Address: 1111 E. Schaumburg Road
  • City: Schaumburg, IL
  • Phone: 847/985-2100Spring Valley

Experience the charm of a community farm fair during the late 19th century. Visitors can stop by the livestock and domestic arts tents to find out who has won blue ribbons and watch as the latest hay mowers and other farm equipment are demonstrated. Visitors also can test their skills at the wheat bundle toss, pea shelling competition, or try to win a treat at the cake walk. This recreated historic event will include food, music and more!

Admission is $3/person or $12/family. Children ages 3 and younger are free.

THE CREAMERIES OF HOFFMAN ESTATES

May 24, 2015

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

Long before F & S Construction made its decision to develop the surrounding farmland into the present Hoffman Estates, the farming community was busy with day to day operations on the farm.

Holstein_heifer

The main industry was dairy farming.  Most of the local farms had dairy herds averaging 30 head.  Caring for the milk cows was a family affair.  Everyone was up before sunrise to feed, water and prepare the barn for the morning milking.  A hardy breakfast was being prepared in the kitchen, as the milking chores were carried out. The milk was transported to several local creameries.

There were several locations, in what is now Hoffman Estates, situated at major intersections that accepted the cans and cans of milk collected each morning for pick up by local dairies.  One of these was located at the intersection of Higgins and Roselle road, called Nebel’s Corners.  Mr. Nebel  purchased the property around 1898.  He built a store along with the creamery and would barter with the farmers, keeping close accounts of milk brought in for each and settling accounts monthly.  Each farmer had his farm name on his milk cans.  At the peak of operations, 10,000 pounds of milk were received each morning. Mr. Nebel died in an auto accident in 1931.  The farmland was sold and the creamery closed.  The country store remained in business until 1938.  Walgreens Drug Store is now on that corner.

A second location was at the intersection of Barrington Rd. and Higgins Rd. known as Buttermilk Corners.  At that time Higgins Rd. was south of its present location.  Along with the creamery was a blacksmith shop, country store and gas pumps run by Herman Hartz.  His home and several others a short distance south on Barrington Rd. formed the small crossroad community.  Hedlins Dairy picked up the milk each morning.  The creamery was torn down in 1906 but Mr. Hartz remained an important part of Buttermilk Corners.  His blacksmith shop was a vital part of the farming community.  Repairs were needed to keep the farm equipment operating throughout the growing season.

In the 1930’s Harvey Bierman purchased the blacksmith shop and started his own business in a large Quonset hut at the same location as the creamery & blacksmith shop.

Bierman Implement 3

Another crossroads location that collected the cans and cans of milk was at Higgins and Golf Rd. known as the Sunderlage Gas Station.  Mr. Sunderlage also had a small country store in his gas station.   This gas station remained open until the late 1960s when it became the Busy Bee Car Wash.

All of these locations were meeting places for the local farmers who stayed to visit and find out the latest news once the milk was unloaded and their business completed.  The pot bellied stove was always surrounded by chairs to warm the farmers on those cold winter days.  Summertime found them gathered about the pop cooler sharing the same gossip and news of the day.

It all disappeared with the construction of a new community called Hoffman Estates.

Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Village Historian
eagle2064@comcast.net

WHAT WAS SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP LIKE IN 1952?

May 17, 2015

In 1952, the Cook County Highway Department issued a book of maps of the various townships.   Schaumburg Township was included.  This was a few years before our township’s suburban development began and that’s reflective in the maps below.  The first map is the left side of the township and the second map is the right side.  Fairly evident are the main roads that were in place at that time:

  • Roselle
  • Schaumburg
  • Higgins
  • Old Higgins
  • Evanston-Elgin (Golf)
  • Bode
  • Jones
  • Springinsguth
  • Wise
  • Chicago Elgin (Irving Park)
  • Barrington
  •  Nerge
  • Meacham
  • Plum Grove
  • Algonquin
  • Rohlwing

Also evident are the many branches of Poplar Creek, Salt Creek and the DuPage River.  In addition, you can see the small subdivision layout at the very southern part of the township that is today at Pratt and Roselle Roads.  It straddles both maps and, according to local realtor, Larry Rowan, it is officially called the N.O. Shively and Company subdivision.  Recently I discovered a reference to this area in the November 1999 issue of Schaumburg Township’s Town Crier.  It is stated that this area was developed in 1927 and is referred to as the Shively Roselle Highlands.  For many years, though, it was colloquially known as “Taylorville.”

Let’s take a closer look at the left half of the township…

Schaumburg Township map 1

 

Starting at the northern, upper part of the map, we can see that Old Higgins Road was in use.  This is where the Steinmeyer farm and the Bierman welding and implement dealership were.  This area was stilled called Buttermilk Corners at the time.  In the middle of the map is Sunderlage School which was also called Meyer School and was officially the District 51 school.  It was a one-room schoolhouse and closed in 1954 when the five township school districts were consolidated and students began attending the new four-room Schaumburg School on Schaumburg Road.

Further south you’ll notice that, even in 1952, Bode Road had its funny little jogs.  Taking Springinsguth down and then making a left on Wise Road, you’ll run into Hartman School.  This was the District 55 School and was also referred to as the Straub School.  According to LaVonne Presley’s Schaumburg Of My Ancestors, this school “closed its doors in the late 1930s or early 1940s.  It fell into disrepair with vandalism and an unkempt school yard”–which would have been very evident in 1952.

Directly down Rodenburg Road is the St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, school and cemetery.  At this time all of their buildings were on the east side of Rodenburg.  Today they are all on the west side.  It is also possible to see Long Avenue and Fenz Road which are still there, although unattached today.  Then, at the very southern edge of the township ran the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad which is now the Milwaukee Road West line of the Metra system.

Schaumburg Township map 2

 

Moving to the right side of the township and starting at the northern part, we first run into Maple Hill School or District 52 School.  This school also had an alternative name–the Kublank School–so given because it sat close to the Kublank property.  Of the five one-room public schoolhouses in Schaumburg Township, this one closed first, around the mid-1930s.  It also “deteriorated from lack of maintence” and eventually burned down in 1962.  (LaVonne Presly, Schaumburg Of My Ancestors)

We next run into the Roselle Golf Club which opened in 1927 and managed to stay in business through the Depression.  Across Roselle Road is the beginnings of the layout for Pleasant Acres, a subdivision designed by Robert Bartlett.  Because this was before the library was built, Library Lane was then called Walnut Avenue.  Lincoln Street never came to fruition but persistently stayed on future maps for years to come.

The one-room Schaumburg Centre School is nestled in on the NW corner of Schaumburg and Roselle.  This was the District 54 school or Schween’s School.  Fortunately, this school still exists and has been moved to the grounds at St. Peter Lutheran Church and Schools.  Their church, school and cemetery are also noted on the map, as is the Christian Day school on the far eastern side of the map.  This school was St. Peter’s East District School which opened in 1886 and closed in 1949.  You’ll also notice the Evangelical Church to the south, just north of Nerge Road.  This church was erected in 1906/1907 as the congregation’s second Zion Evangelical Church.  It was later moved to Itasca in 1924 but managed to stay on this map until 1952!

Just south of the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads are Quindel Avenue, Nerge Street and Illinois Avenue.  A number of the houses on these streets are, today, significant parts of the Olde Schaumburg Centre District.  Moving a bit east you can also see how Plum Grove Road was broken up and took a slight jog at Schaumburg Road.  The same thing is evident a bit north at the intersection of Plum Grove and Higgins.  It would be interesting to know why Plum Grove wasn’t laid out in a straight line to begin with.  Maybe it was because of the farms that lay in its path?

The development of Hoffman Estates began in 1954, two years after this map was produced.  The farms, small one-room schools and gently flowing streams were about to give way to massive changes that continue to this day.  Maybe you were here early enough to recall this bucolic township before the development began?

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

My thanks go out to Linn Beyer, who graciously contributed the atlas that holds this map.  It is the Township Maps of Cook County and City of Chicago that was published by the Cook County Highway Department.  My thanks also to the Cook County Highway Department for allowing use of the maps on this blog.   

 

 

SCHAUMBURG CENTER SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE

May 10, 2015

The Schaumburg Township Historical Society will sponsor its annual open house of the Schaumburg Center School after the Memorial Day celebration at St. Peter Lutheran Church on Monday, May 25, 2015.  The open house will be held from 12:00 to 3 p.m.

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

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


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