Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian. This column originally appeared in the August 2021 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter. The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.
Hoffman Estates is home to a beautiful golf course. In fact our village hall sits right in the middle of it. We may be the only village hall completely surrounded by a golf course. Holes 12, 14 and 15 are laid out to the west, north and east side of the village hall. Of course I’m talking about Hilldale Golf Club at 1625 Ardwick Drive.
The 18-hole course straddles Hassell Road and the beautiful, winding Huntington Boulevard. Being in the middle of a golf course you’d expect a few golf balls hitting a window or two, but Mayor Mcleod claims that is hasn’t happened….yet.
Its 50 years since its opening in 1971. Robert Trent Jones, Senior ASGCA, designed and laid out the 18-hole course over what had been the Marshall Field Hunting Club and Skeet Shooting Range.
Many of the majestic, more than 100 year old oaks were saved and remain from the original Wildcat Grove that was the first settlement of pioneer families who immigrated to this area in the 1840s. Hilldale Golf Club golfers, as they play the course, have little knowledge of the history of the land their walking on.
Hilldale is a Par 71 course that is open year round, weather permitting. It is a public course that is known for “the best greens in the burbs” according to the Chicagoland Golf Guide that rates Hilldale as one of the top 50 courses in Chicagoland. Hilldale has bent grass greens and bent grass fairways.
When golfers have finished their round of play, there’s CK Mulligan Bar and Grill where they can quench their thirst and settle down to a nice plate of food.
I spoke with General Manager Jim Rogers who has been at the Hilldale Golf Club for 18 years. Neither he nor I could pinpoint the exact day or month the golf course opened in 1971. Fifty years is a good long run for any business. I wish them well with many more years of driving and putting ahead of them.
Pat Barch Hoffman Estates Village Historian firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cook County Forest Preserve was formed in 1914. Four years later, in 1918, they issued a document titled The Forest Preserves of Cook County. Chapters in the document center around the forest preserves that had been created during their four years in existence. One of those chapters is about the Elk Grove Preserve which is, today, a National Natural Landmark.
While clearly not in Schaumburg Township, the Elk Grove Preserve–or Busse Woods as most of us know it–was important to our township for the wood and timber it provided for our early residents, its watershed system that allowed for drainage of Salt Creek and the natural beauty that gave our residents a locale for recreational purposes.
The year 1918 was crucial for both the Forest Preserve District and the residents of the eastern edges of Schaumburg Township. That year the residents were contacted about the possibility of purchasing their woodlots in the forest preserve. Henry Thies and his brother William were two of the residents who were sent a letter offering them the price of $125 per acre for their nine acre parcel, as can be seen below. Thus began the Thies brothers’ contribution to the formation of the Elk Grove Forest Preserve.
[****A portion of the Elk Grove Preserve chapter follows in italicized print. Please be aware that there is language bias and text in the document that is not used today.***]
As one of our Chicago pioneers has so aptly put it, “Tell me what the Indians called this place and I will tell you what there is worth while about it.” Such is the case with the Elk Grove woods, 1600 acres constituting another northwest preserve.
“The Land of Bubbling Springs” was the name by which they designated this stretch of hardwood forest punctuated by pure water springs giving rise to little streams that give joy to the little ones and grown-ups alike.
[According to a July 20, 1919 article in the Chicago Tribune, Native Americans gave this area the name, “Land of Bubbling Springs.” It is intriguing to consider how many artesian springs there must have been in the Elk Grove Preserve prior to suburban development and the use of nearby gravel quarries. The water table must have been very high in order to assign this name. It is also interesting that this is not far from Schaumburg Park District’s Spring Valley which was also named for its artesian springs.]
Along the western boundary of the preserve, which is destined to become one of the most popular of the entire string, the historical Salt Creek finds its serene way, banked on either side by lofty elms and Gibraltar-like oaks.
[Notice here, on this 1935 topographical map, how many branches of Salt Creek merge together on the west side of Schaumburg Township to flow into the Elk Grove Preserve.]
[It is also interesting to note that the preserve was full of beautiful elms that probably succumbed to the Dutch Elm disease that hit the Chicago area in the 1960s. Not to mention there were beautiful oak savannas that must have proliferated the forest preserve.]
The whole interior, webbed with roads and trails, presents a realm made to order for the lover of outdoors in its natural state. It has been estimated that on this tract more millions of feet of nut-bearing timber has been spared by lumbermen than on any tract in existence.
[One has to believe that these roads and trails were in place, thanks to the early settlers who owned the woodlots of the forest preserve. They went to their woodlots periodically, throughout the year, to harvest the wood that they would need to use for fence posts, to heat food and keep their homes warm. LaVonne Thies Presley told me that they the settlers always took the timber that was on the ground and avoided taking the larger trees. One can imagine that a large oak would have been difficult for a two-person team to handle.]
For theone who loves to roam for hours without even a semblance of civilization presenting itself, here is the spot. The claim has been made that before the days of designated trails visitors have been known to wander these wood from morning till night looking for a way out.
[In other woods, the forest preserve was so large that, if you did not know where you were going, it was very easy to get lost.]
And what would the redskin of a hundred years ago say were he to gaze upon his “land of bubbling springs” today? Bubbling, these springs still flow on but today they are the mecca of thousands who feast upon the waters as though it was some new-found elixir of life.
And, perhaps, they are not far off. Chemists employed by the district officers have made analyses of these waters and have found a 100 percent score. Eventually it is the scheme to give some appropriate name to each of the improved springs.
One feature that every visitor to the Elk Grove Preserve is going to appreciate is the arrangement by which all points of interest will be easily accessible in [a] maze of forestry. These guide maps will be what balls of yarn were to the mythical labyrinth prisoners.
Next to the spring-water, this preserve might well enjoy a national reputation as a squirrel refuge. Despite the ravages of hunters in years gone past this 1600-acre tract today stands as the greatest expanse of squirrel-inhabited woods in the country.
This is probably due to the inexhaustible supply of nuts produced each year on the thousands and thousands of walnut and hickory nut trees found in the tract. Those who have made studies of the wild life of this forest have found every variety of squirrels.
[The variety of trees is noted in today’s Busse Woods website: “Busse’s upland forest is an ancient remnant, full of tall red oaks and hickories, maple, ash, basswood, elm and very large ironwoods. Many of the trees here date back to before European settlement.”]
As would be expected, there is the same prevalence of bird life in this incomparable woodland with its density of forest, its mixed growth and its undergrowth–all features that go to make territory preferable in the eyes of wild animals.
[Even today, on a casual visit, the variety of birds is amazing. This is from the Busse Woods website: “A wide variety of bird species live in or visit Busse Woods. Egrets, herons and terns can be spotted in trees and spits around the reservoir and Salt Creek, while grassland birds such as savannah and Henslow’s sparrows and bobolinks use the open meadows during the summer.”]
As the Salt Creek follows the west boundary of the preserve, so the state road follows the east boundary, bringing motorists at many points within easy walking distance of the springs for which the district is named.
[It is difficult to determine which state road they are referring to unless it is today’s Golf Road/Route 58 which runs along the north boundary of the forest preserve. The eastern portion of today’s forest preserve is bounded by Arlington Heights Road and it is not a state road.]
Then there is the highly improved Higgins road that shoots its way directly through the forest. For the driver seeking something different there are countless trails, passable as drives, leading from these roads into the heart of the forest.
[It is very interesting that the Forest Preserve District encouraged drivers to turn off of Higgins Road, which was not yet a state highway, and drive through and on the trails that crisscrossed the forest preserve.]
Duck swamps found here and there through the woodland are probably the explanation of the thing that brought the Indians here for the discovery of the spring water. Though history tells of no spectacular activities in Indian days there are many things to show its popularity among the original inhabitants.
Discovery of Indian heads at all parts of the forest have demonstrated that the Indians, in their days of peace and in their days of war, did not overlook this dense patch. Early settlers have told of temporary camps always to be found near the Elk Grove springs.
[Our library has this collection of arrowheads and spear points that were most likely collected from farm fields. This was a common occurrence when farmers tilled the fields as they walked behind their draft horses.]
Additional text follows about Native American activities:
“The dense character of this tract is best illustrated by an interesting story of the Indian day activities that is worth repeating though historians have given it no recognition. It shows how the redmen appreciated this spot as a safe retreat …they took refuge on these thicketed banks of Salt Creek at the junction of the present Schaumburg Creek… to date the explorers of this region have been unable to discover any probable station for that lookout.”
Native American activity in Schaumburg Township is periodically questioned and discussed. There has never been any formal discovery of any village or settlement in the township that was inhabited by local natives. It has always been noted that our area was a pass through for Native Americans as they moved between the Des Plaines River and the Fox River.
The fact that this document mentions “Schaumburg Creek” is very intriguing. The map below is a closeup from the 1935 topographic quadrangle shown above. You can see more closely the three minor branches of Salt Creek coming from Schaumburg Township that merge with another small branch that feeds out of one of the ponds. These flow together for a short distance where they finally merge, a bit to the east, with the main Salt Creek branch. (It’s just below the word “Day.”) Is this, then, where legend says a temporary encampment could be found? And, was the merging of these creeks commonly called Schaumburg Creek in the early 1900s–and before?
The final portion of the chapter is also interesting as it tells readers how to get to the Forest Preserve from the City of Chicago.
By automobile take Milwaukee Avenue to Higgins Road, thence west and northwest direct into preserve.
By rail take Chicago and Northwestern Railroad to Arlington Heights, thence direct south on highway that leads to preserve.
Clearly, in the second paragraph, the Forest Preserve is directing visitors to Arlington Heights Road from the Arlington Heights train station. The big question is how did visitors get from the train station to the forest preserve? Was there some type of local transportation that moved visitors between the two spots? Did visitors know locals who took them to the forest preserve? Or was the Forest Preserve covering their bases in order to make people aware of all possible routes? These days, most people come by car or bike and still enter off of Higgins Road or Arlington Heights Road.
As part of the Cook County Forest Preserve, Busse Woods is now over 100 years old. Its past reflects how important this water-laden grove was to Native Americans, early settlers and, now, area suburbanites. What are your favorite reasons for making a trip to this diverse recreational area?
Jane Rozek Local History Librarian Schaumburg Township District Library email@example.com
In 1990 the World Music Theatre in Tinley Park opened for their inaugural season and it could not be denied that the Poplar Creek Music Theatre felt the heat. This was also the year that Sears announced it had purchased the Poplar Creek site where had concerts and shows had been held since 1980.
Poplar Creek held its own, though, with 38 acts but the number had declined from 60 the previous year.
Probably the biggest concert of the year was Frank Sinatra. His tickets commanded a steep price of $50 and, apparently, that was not a problem because it sold out. And, to boot, the review by Howard Reich in the September 3 issue of the Chicago Tribune touted the concert as “hot and often sultry, though not without several relaxed, light-hearted moments.” Clearly, it was a night to remember for all of those who attended.
One of the more interesting shows was a three night stand of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” This was the 20th anniversary tour for this rock musical. There was one show a night and only pavilion seating was sold.
The much awaited show in pre-season advertising was New Kids On The Block. By this year they were one of the most popular shows on the touring circuit. The prior year they had hit it big with “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever) from their Hangin’ Tough album. The concert proved to be a huge one.
This is the list of shows that I could find based on mentions in the Chicago Tribune and the Daily Herald. Let me know if I’m missing one.
June 2 Rosenshontz
June 3 The Judds and Highway 101; McBride & the Ride
June 8 Midnight Oil; Hunters and Collectors
June 9 Steve Miller; Lou Gramm
June 10 Tracy Chapman; Johnny Clegg & Savuka
June 16 Wynton Marsalis
June 21 UB40; Smithereens
June 22 Reggae Sunsplash with Burning Spear, Freddie McGregor, Maria Griffiths, Shinehead, U-Roy, Shelly Thunder and the 809 Band
June 23 Heart; Giant
June 24 Whitesnake; Faster Pussycat
June 26 Rickie Lee Jones; Lyle Lovett and his Large Band
June 28 & 29 New Kids On The Block; Perfect Gentlemen; Rick Wes
July 1 Crosby, Stills & Nash
July 5 Erasure
July 6 Milli Vanilli; Young MC; Seduction
July 10 Don Henley; Innocence Mission
July 12 Fela and Jimmy Cliff
July 13 The Temptations; Four Tops
July 14 Chicago; Bela Fleck & the Flecktones
July 15 Chet Atkins; Garrison Keillor
July 16-18 Jesus Christ Superstar
July 21 Sharon, Lois & Bram
July 22 Alabama; Clint Black
August 3 Tommy Page; Sweet Sensation
August 4 Little Feat; John Hyatt
August 10 Kenny G; Michael Bolton
August 11 Bad Company; Damn Yankees
August 12 Melissa Manchester
August 15 Beach Boys; Marshall Tucker Band
August 17 Moody Blues
August 18 Soul II Soul; Snap
August 19 Anne Murray
August 25 Bruce Hornsby & The Range; Cowboy Junkies
August 28 Smokey Robinson
August 29 Linda Ronstadt; Neville Brothers
September 1 Frank Sinatra; Pia Zadora; Don Rickles
September 9 Fred Penner
September 23 James Taylor
Were you lucky enough to snag some good tickets this year? If you were, tell us what you saw and what you thought.
Jane Rozek Local History Librarian Schaumburg Township District Library firstname.lastname@example.org
This essay was written by Henry Botterman in 1966 for a meeting of the Schaumburg Township Historical Society. It was printed in the April 7, 1966 issue of the Daily Herald. Credit is given to them for the repost here.
Henry Botterman was the great grandchild of Christoff and Louise Winkelhakewho came to this country in 1845.
My great-grandfather and great-grandmother, the Christoff Winkelhakes came to the United States from Hessen, Germany in the year 1845 and settled in the area which later became the Township of Schaumburg.
Christoff Winkelhake received two land grants from the U.S. government for part of the farm located at the corner of Higgins and Old Plum Grove roads, and now occupied by the Winkelhake brothers, Herman and Louis. One land grant was for 40 acres covered by receipt No. 21721 dated January 15, 1846. The other land grant is dated March 1, 1848, with cost of the land being $50.00. Both land grants are signed by President Polk and are the property of Henry Botterman.
The second receipt No. 22552, dated April 27, 1846, was also for 40 acres adjoining the first 40 acres at a cost of $50.00. The U.S. land grant for this is dated March 10, 1848.
On September 1, 1853, Christoff purchased from Frederic Bartels and wife, 80 acres adjoining the previous 80 acres he received by land grant from the government, which is, I believe a part of the 160 acres now owned by Herman and Louis Winkelhake.
When my great-grandfather, Christoff Winkelhake, acquired his farm in Schaumburg, there were no buildings on the land, so he proceeded to construct a huele, which, as explained to me by my grandmother, was a shelter built of logs and willow branches and covered with prairie grass, clay and earth to make a warm home. My grandmother likened this to a cave built above ground. There were no hills in the property, so the shelter was built of materials which were available, and was probably chinked with wet clay.
My grandmother related to the younger generation some of the happenings of those early days as told by her great grandfather. While living in this first shelter, howling wolves and other wild animals would run over this shelter at night, which was frightening, especially on a cold, silent winter night. Whatever livestock these early pioneers had was probably sheltered by some sort of cave or hut.
As soon as it was possible for him to build a permanent house, great-grandfather built the one room, which is now the kitchen at the south end of the house presently on the farm. Some years later he added the part to the north to complete the house which is still being used in 1966. Six generations of Winkelhakes have lived in this house to date–the Christoff Winkelhakes, Henry Winkelhakes Sr., Herman Winkelhakes Sr., Louis and Herman Winkelhake, children of Herman Jr. and the children and grandchildren of Louis and Alma Winkelhake.
My grandfather, Henry, was born in Schaumburg on the old homestead in the year 1848 (1847) and as I was told, was the sixth child to be baptized in St. Peter Church. At that time the church was the building which now houses the museum and is located back of the present church. He lived on this farm all his life and, as a young man, he began to correspond with Maria Lange, who lived in Schaumburg-Lippe, Germany. I never learned how this correspondence started, but I believe that hi parents kept in touch with their relatives in Hessen and Lippe, and is the way my grandfather had a “pen pal” in Germany.
Among the old papers given me by my grandmother, in addition to the two land grant receipts by the United States to Christoff Winkelhake are: an examination of title dated July 24, 1874; a copy of grandfather’s will dated May 20, 1906; and an agreement between Henry and Maria (grandparents) and Alvina and Herman (aunt and uncle.)
My mother, Minnie, was born on the old homestead and lived there until she married my father in 1898. Two uncles, Henry and Herman, and three aunts, Louise, Mary and Bertha, were born and raised on this farm.
Note! Schaumburg-Lippe is located in Germany between the cities of Dusseldorf to the south, and Hanover to the north, about ninety miles south of Rodenberg or about 119 miles south of Hamburg. A former principality of Germany, it is bordered by the Weser River with Buckeburg as capital city.
Jane Rozek Local History Librarian Schaumburg Township District Library email@example.com
Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian. This column originally appeared in the July 2021 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter. The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.
It’s a great place and has been around for 45 years now. If you’ve been a resident of Hoffman Estates for many years or you’re just a newcomer, I’m sure you’ve been to Garabaldi’s. That’s all I need to say. You know that it’s that great Italian restaurant in Barrington Square at 2346 W. Higgins Rd. in Hoffman Estates.
Gary Medciov opened Garabaldi’s in Barrington Square in 1973. During its 45 years in business, it was closed for 6 months and that happened more than 12 years ago.
The love that customers have for Garabaldi’s goes across all generations. Kids love stopping in for a slice of their famous pizza. Adults are always ordering everything on the menu, especially the beef sandwiches and the Chicago-style foot-long hot dogs. I can’t write about all the wonderful food because I don’t have enough space in this newsletter. The same is true of my favorites.
When my son was in high school back in the late 70s, he recalls taking in a movie and stopping for pizza afterwards with a date or friends. It only cost him a few dollars. I’ll bet that you have memories like this if you’re one of the old timers like me. What really makes me happy is that Garabaldi’s is still there, making memories for all the families who enjoy their wonderful food.
Garabaldi’s still has that wonderful décor that takes us back to Elvis and the Three Mouseketeers. It has a special vibe that makes you enjoy every minute of your meal. Don’t leave until you take along a delicious Italian Ice.
Tucked in the quiet corner called the “Dough Zone” is an area for gambling. Once Illinois opened up the opportunity for gambling in restaurants and bars, Garabaldi’s applied for a license and received it within 4 to 5 months. Young people are not allowed in the area.
The Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce awarded Best Business of the Year to Garabaldi’s in both 2016 and 2018.
The restaurant has provided reduced prices for District 54 football team meals, as well as reduced prices for Senior luncheon programs held at village hall for holidays and special occasions. As the community loves Garabaldis, so Garabaldis loves our community of Hoffman Estates.
Their great pizza is the official pizza of the Windy City Bulls at the WOW (formerly Sears Center) stadium, official pizza of the Schaumburg Boomers baseball team and the Hoffman Estates Park District’s ice arena, baseball fields and Seascape Family Aquatic Center.
This historic restaurant celebrates 45 years in Hoffman Estates. Thanks for being a great place to take the family to, and for all the memories of years past and years to come.
Pat Barch Hoffman Estates Village Historian firstname.lastname@example.org
Woodfield Mall was a game changer for Schaumburg Township when it opened in 1971. It became a beautiful marriage of a magnificent structure, strong anchors, engaging stores and, of course, location, location, location.
Over the years it has become a shopping destination for, not only, greater Chicagoland but, also, visitors from many nearby states. In addition, it provides entertainment, numerous eating opportunities and a chance to meet, see and be seen.
The shopping center not only serves as a workplace for people of all ages but it is also the catalyst for the many layers of development around the mall. Take a look as you’re driving past all of the restaurants, hotels, office towers and shopping centers. If area developers and Schaumburg local government hadn’t seen the possibilities, much of it would not be in place today.
In honor of the 50th birthday of Woodfield Mall, check out this timeline for some of their major happenings. And, if you have anything else to add, please contribute a comment or send an email. Don’t keep those details hidden!
October 8, 1969 The groundbreaking is held for the future Woodfield Mall under a red-and-white striped silk tent on 191 acres at the intersection of Route 53 and Golf Road. Dignitaries included A. Alfred Taubman, chairman of the Taubman Co. that was developer and manager for Woodfield Associates; C.J. Kennedy who represented Sears; Gerald A. Sivage, president of Marshall Field; H.W. Wright, regional vice president of J.C. Penney and Schaumburg Mayor Robert O. Atcher.
September 9, 1971 Woodfield Mall holds its grand opening ceremony. Vincent Price served as master of ceremonies and actress Carol Lawrence was also in attendance.
June 8, 1974 The rock band, KISS, appears as part of The Great KISS Off, in promotion of their first album, KISS.
October 2, 1974 Maestro Henry Mazer leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Grand Court for an audience of approximately 40,000 people. [Daily Herald; October 15, 1975]
1975 The mall appears in the Guinness Book of World Records for the first time as the world’s largest mall.
October 16, 1975 To honor their fourth anniversary, the Chicago Opera Studio, Inc. presented “Marriage of Figaro” and musician Galen and singer, Gina Lyden performed.
May 6, 1976John Travolta appears as part of the promotion of his first album, John Travolta.
October 26, 1976 President Gerald Ford participates in a campaign rally and delivers a speech for up to 35-40,000 people. [Schaumburg Voice; November 3, 1976]
November 11, 1976 Dick Clark conducts a book signing for his book, Rock, Roll and Remember.
October 23, 1979 Ray Charles performs at Grand Court.
August 5, 1980 Charlie Daniels appears at the Sears Record Department to promote his new album, “Full Moon.”
July 13, 1981 Rick Springfield performs at Grand Court.
1983 A massive LEGO exhibit called “Americana” featuring 13 life-like models of historical American monuments such as the Statue of Liberty, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial went on display in January and February.
1984 Many of the restaurants participated in the first Taste of Woodfield, offering samples, free of charge to visitors.
1985 Woodfield Mall Cinemas opened inside the mall and took the place of the Woodfield Ice Arena.
March 1986 Barbie on Tour featured more than 700 Barbie dolls owned by Billy Boy, a 26-year-old Paris designer.
Spring 1986 Pulte Homes builds their first model home in Grand Court as part of their Summer Living Showcase.
July 31-August 2, 1987 The singer, Tiffany, performs at the mall on her “Beautiful You: Celebrating the Good Life Shopping Mall” tour.
November 9, 1987 The Shopper’s Shuttle begins as a Pace bus service to move riders on routes along Martingale and Woodfield Roads.
June 24, 1988 Dweezil Zappa and Larry Bud Melman stopped by Woodfield Mall as part of the MTV Museum of UnNatural History tour.
September 1988 A valet parking program, run by Slomar Enterprises, begins in approach of the holiday season. They operated out of the entrance between Sears and Marshall Field’s.
May 6, 1989 The first Emerald Ball was held on a Saturday night after the mall was closed. Three more balls followed in successive years.
June 10, 1989 The United States Volleyball Association stages a volleyball exhibition on a sandy beach volleyball court outside of Marshall Fields. The court required 2 1/2 truck loads of sand and six hours of work to haul it into the mall.
Fall 1990 The lease for the Woodfield post office that was located near Lord & Taylor expired after a 15-year run. The post office closed in April 1991 and reopened at the northeast corner of Mall Drive and Kimberly Street.
September 8-23, 1990Woodfield Celebrates Hong Kong was held in conjunction with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. Various events were designed to provide insight into the culture and mystique of Hong Kong, and exhibit the merchandise of modern day in the Woodfield stores.
February 13, 1994 Over 90 couples exchanged or renewed their vows at a ceremony at Grand Court. The ceremony was hosted by FM 100 radio personality Steve Cochran and was officiated by retired Cook County Judge Kenneth J. Cohen. The event drew at least 10,000 onlookers. [Daily Herald; February 14, 1994]
October 1994 A three-level parking deck connected to Marshall Field’s is completed.
October 20, 1995 Tony Bennett appears as part of the mall’s rededication following a large scale expansion. The remodeling featured the relocation of Lord & Taylor and a new wing with 50 new storefronts anchored by Nordstrom.
1996 The Walk Woodfield program begins as a free club that allowed walkers of all aged the chance to log indoor miles year round.
November 13, 1999 Santa is escorted into the mall, arm in arm, with the Radio City Rockettes. He even joined the dancers in one of their famous kicklines.
February 12, 2000 Pop star Mandy Moore pays a visit to the Sam Goody music store where she signed CD covers and posters for fans.
November 2000 The Woodfield Trolley service begins, circulating between Woodfield, the Woodfield Green Shopping Center, the Streets of Woodfield, IKEA and Roosevelt University.
March 15, 2003 Grammy-winning, singer-songwriter, Michelle Branch, appeared in the atrium outside of Marshall Field’s. She signed autographs but did not perform. She drew 3000 fans.
May 30-June 1, 2003 The Schaumburg shopping center hosted the traveling version of the TLC cable network’s “Junkyard Wars.” At Woodfield, the contestants got only 10 minutes to build a functional mini-race car from hundreds of supplied pieces.
January & February 2004 The fountain, fish tanks, waterfall and aquarium are removed.
July 2006 Woodfield is named the No. 1 Illinois tourist attraction, winning out over Chicago’s Navy Pier and Brookfield Zoo.
September 9, 2006 Marshall Field’s, like all other stores in the chain, becomes Macy’s.
July 2009 Peter Max, an artist known for his pop art and psychedelic art in the 1960’s and 70’s, appeared at Wentworth Gallery to sell and sign paintings, prints and books.
August 26, 2010 Hundreds of Indy/Car fans flocked to the parking lot of Woodfield to meet their favorite drivers like Danica Patrick, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sarah Fisher.
December 2011 More than 100 women in matching pink dresses danced through Woodfield Mall as part of an ad for T-Mobile’s “Home for the Holidays” campaign. They danced to the tune of “There’s No Place Like Home For The Holidays.”
April 19, 2012 Kim and Khloe Kardashian appeared at Woodfield to meet fans and promote their clothing and home good lines at Sears.
2012 Simon Property Group purchased 50% of Woodfield Mall in the final quarter. Simon also assumed management of the mall from Taubman Centers, Inc., the original developers of the mall.
June 22, 2013 Weezer played a free concert to mark the grand opening of the Microsoft store.
November 2015 The mall undergoes a major $13.9 million makeover, removing outdated fixtures, adding a second elevator and two escalators, and creating more space in the facility’s center. It also included new seats, new carpet, new flooring, new signs–and no brick.
2017 The first generation of Schaumburg’s Woodfield trolley fleet is replaced after 16 1/2 years of service. The second generation of the iconic dark-green trolleys retained the same look and design as the first iteration of the trolleys.
May 18, 2018 A new dining pavilion opens on the second floor near Sears. It would offer more than a dozen fast-casual restaurants.
April 11, 2019 Woodfield holds a second, annual group photo of the children of some of the Chicago Twin Moms with the Easter Bunny. The group began taking such photos with Santa Claus at Christmas 2017 and continued with the Easter Bunny in successive years.
May 29, 2020 Woodfield Mall reopens to the public, with limited hours, following a month and a half closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
December 29, 2020 Long time anchor, Lord & Taylor, closes their store.
May 2, 2021 The Sears store becomes the last full-line Sears in Illinois.
September 9, 2021 Woodfield Mall celebrates its 50th anniversary!
Jane Rozek Local History Librarian Schaumburg Township District Library email@example.com
After Woodfield opened in September 1971, Polk Brothers, the Chicago area appliance chain, saw the wisdom of building a store in Schaumburg. Taking on the challenge, they built a brand new, 110,000 square foot store at 900 E. Golf Road. In an ad from the September 20, 1974 issue of the Daily Herald, they referred to their “easy-to-get-to, gigantic” store in Schaumburg with its “acres and acres of free parking.
The chain had begun when Sol Polk opened his first store in 1935 on Central Avenue in Chicago under the name of Central Appliance and Furniture. In 1946 he renamed the store Polk Brothers. Known for their appliances, they quickly leapt into the world of televisions as they became a staple in the homes of the public.
In the book “I Bought It At Polk Bros.” by Ann Paden that you can find in our library’s collection, she states that “Sol Polk was among the new medium’s most fervent messengers. Polk Bros.’ aggressive approach to marketing black-and-white, and then color, television sets and the company’s pioneering forays into live television advertising catapulted Polk Bros. into the national retailing arena.”
As a result, Schaumburg’s Golf Road store opened in November 1973 as the area’s growing demographics became too good of an opportunity to pass up. Prior to this, shoppers had to travel to Arlington Heights for the closest Polk Bros. location.
An ad in the November 23rd issue of the Daily Herald notes that the store was holding their Pre-Grand Opening which was, fortuitously, just in time for the upcoming, Christmas shopping season.
Once the Schaumburg store was up and running they were a virtual, one stop shop for the homebuyers that were flocking to Schaumburg Township. Their big assist to those homeowners was that they stayed open until 10:00 p.m. every night but Sunday, offering plenty of opportunity to get their shopping done.
Not only could they find appliances and electronics in the store, but they could also outfit their houses with entire furniture sets, carpeting, blankets, records to go with the stereos they bought, and central air conditioning. Shoot, in an ad in the March 20, 1974 issue of the Daily Herald, they were even promoting classes on how to install the Coolerator Central Air Conditioning system. Yourself!
According to Ann Paden, Polk Brothers was known for their promotions. Whether it was cases of Coca-Cola, Good Humor ice cream bars, a life-light safety device or their famous lighted Santa Claus and snowman, Polk Brothers kept the people coming in to the store. Did you have one of their Santa Claus or snowman in your front yard at Christmas?
The double benefit of having such a large selection under one roof was that the store also became a good place to find a job. In a classified ad from November 16, 1973, as the store was opening, they were searching for sales people (of course), managers, security, cashiers, refinishers, maintenance and stockers, as well as office and credit help.
For years the store was a Schaumburg Township staple, basking in their excellent location and forethought in building when they did. In an April 9, 1992 article from the Schaumburg Review, Howard Polk, company vice-president, said it was considered the chain’s flagship until 1988 when their Melrose Park store was rebuilt after a fire that resulted in millions of dollars of lost merchandise.
The Schaumburg store remained busy for more than 17 years, outlasting many of the others in the chain that came before it. However, by 1992, the company was feeling the pressure of similar chains making their way into the area. Chains like Highland Superstores Inc., Fretter, Inc., Circuit City and Best Buy all found locations in Schaumburg Township.
Unfortunately, the competition was too fierce and the company closed the Schaumburg store in April 1992 as one of the last five remaining stores. It was a sad day for a chain that was built from the ground up and filled so many Chicago area homes with the products they sold.
If you still have something in your home that was purchased from the Schaumburg store, share it with us in the Comments. It would be interesting to see what has lasted almost 30 years!
Jane Rozek Local History Librarian Schaumburg Township District Library firstname.lastname@example.org
When the city of Chicago recently decided to honor Ida B. Wells, an investigative journalist and early leader in the civil rights movement, they didn’t have to look far afield. For a work that would have its place in the Bronzeville neighborhood, they commissioned a leading sculptor of our time–Richard Hunt. He created this piece dedicated to her entitled “Light of Truth.”
Mr. Hunt, a Chicago artist, is considered one of the predominant African American sculptors of the twentieth century. He has received the Art Institute of Chicago’s Logan Prize three separate times, was elected into the National Academy of Design and, in 2009, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Sculpture Center.
His works can be found at various spots such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and–the Schaumburg Township District Library.
In 2001, a few years after our library was built, the board’s Art Committee commissioned Mr. Hunt to sculpt this work that appears on the second floor of the library. It is appropriately titled “Open Book.”
What is more intriguing is that there is another Richard Hunt work to be found in Schaumburg Township.
It seems that forty years ago in 1981, the Levy Organization, who developed the Woodfield Lake Office Campus on the north side of Woodfield Road between Plum Grove and Meacham Roads, commissioned three Chicago artists to create major works for the campus’ new sculpture garden. They were Karl Wirsum, Jerry Peart and Richard Hunt.
According to a June 4, 1981 article in the Daily Herald, Hunt’s sculpture is called “Bridging and Branching” and is 20 feet long and 10 feet high. It is constructed of welded stainless steel and is in fine condition.
The article states that he describes his piece as an “organic abstraction” in the Woodfield setting. He used “semi-reflective qualities of the colorless stainless steel to tone down the sculpture’s size.”
Jerry Peart, another Chicago sculptor, is known for the Sedgewick Studio he and three other artists purchased. According to the website, arteforeverybody.com, the studio was “an old electrical substation built for one of Chicago’s last privately-owned train lines. Tearing out the large transformers, they converted the main space into giant studios and the upper areas into apartments for themselves.”
Having grown up in the “dull, brown Arizona desert” town of Winslow, Arizona, Peart created large scale sculptures and painted them with bright colors that served as a contrast to the muted tones of his youth. It is evident in the sculpture at Woodfield Lake.
This piece is titled “Abracadabra” and, according to the article, “provides what he terms ‘playful’ forms and sensuous color.” The piece included a seat “amidst various curves, arches, saw-toothed winged patterns and other forms.” Unfortunately, as can be seen in the photo, that part of the sculpture has been damaged over time.
The last work is completely different from the other two and was designed by Karl Wirsum who grew up on the South Side of Chicago. Karl was inspired by the areas rhythm and blues music and the Maxwell Street Market, an open-air flea market.
In his profile on the website of the Art Institute of Chicago, it is interesting that they note he “took inspiration from source material he scavenged at the flea market.” We can note some of that inspiration in his work at Woodfield Lake.
The Daily Herald article notes that this was Wirsum’s first outdoor piece and he titled it “Eddyfist.” It is intentionally humorous and is “a portrayal of a weightlifter, with an intricate design depicting human and mechanical features.” They note that it is a “robot-like athletic figure” that is suitable for its proximity to the 1 1/2 mile trail surrounding the office campus.
One side of the sculpture is still in excellent condition and you can see the full effect. Unfortunately, the side that faces the southwest is faded or was once defaced.
You can find all three of the sculptures on the east bank of Woodfield Lake. They can be reached by walking the trail around the lake or parking at Two Woodfield Lake.
Take in the setting and the early intentions of the Levy Organization. We are fortunate that we have public sculptures such as these that can be seen at the International Sculpture Park on the village of Schaumburg’s municipal grounds, the Schaumburg Township District Library or the Woodfield Lakes office campus.
If you know of other noted pieces in Schaumburg Township, please put it in the Comments or send me an email.
Jane Rozek Local History Librarian Schaumburg Township District Library email@example.com
In 1918, Prairie Farmer Publishing Company in Chicago put out a book called Prairie Farmer’s Directory of DuPage and Northern Cook Counties, Illinois. Woodrow Wilson was president, Frank Lowden was governor of Illinois and this was before World War I.
The book had sections on the farmers, the breeders of various chickens, hogs and cows, and businesses that served the farmers of the area. It even has small sections on those who owned silos, tractors and automobiles.
Below is a list of the farmers, from S-Z, of Schaumburg Township. While making the list, a few things mentioned below jumped out as interesting and/or unusual.
The tenants who were renters that are found in these lists give those who are doing genealogy research an excellent look at what their family members were doing and where they lived between the 1910 and 1920 census. Because they were renting property they are not found on the various plat maps of Schaumburg Township. Plat maps list only the owners and not the renters.
The Fred Zoellick farm is referred to as the “Lone Creek Farm.” It is about the only farm in Schaumburg Township that has the word “creek” in the name. In checking out the 1935 US topographical map for the area, we can see Section 5, due north of the Meyers School in the marshy area. It is an upper branch of Poplar Creek that flows through the farm and eventually makes its way under Barrington Road into the Arthur L. Janura Forest Preserve. The family must have felt the creek occupied much of their property–hence the name.
Conrad Wille is listed as owning 13 acres in Section 33 which is at the very southern border of Schaumburg Township. Because the farm was so small and on the border with DuPage County, it could be assumed that the farm might have extended into that county. Conrad, however, was not mentioned in the DuPage County portion of the book. Was he actually a farmer? In checking the 1920 census two years later, he is, indeed, listed as a farmer.
There are three Willes listed: Conrad, Herman and William M. Both Conrad and Herman married Hartmans. Are the Willes brothers? Did two of the brothers marry sisters? In Larry Nerge’s document, First One Hundred Years at St. John Lutheran Church – Rodenburg, there is a section on the Wille family. Conrad, William and Herman are, indeed, brothers and were born in that order.
Their wives, with the same maiden name of Hartmann were, however, not sisters. Conrad’s wife, Sophie, according to her obituary on findagrave.com was born in Hanover, Germany in 1869 and came to the United States in 1890. Herman’s wife, Mary, according to Larry’s document, was born in Schaumburg Township in 1878.
The oldest in this list is Charles Witheger who was born in 1852 in Schaumburg Township. His parents, Friedrich Wilhelm and Christine Louise Wilhelmine (Gieseke) Withaeger, came from Germany to Schaumburg Township in 1852. Their four children, Charles, Sophie, Augusta and Louise were born here. Unfortunately, Friedrich died in 1867, leaving Christine to run the farm with her children. Charles eventually inherited the farm.
Schlomann, Henry (Wife Lena Blume) (Children Emma, Alma, Henry W.) Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Tenant of 100 acres in Section 23 that is owned by Henry Wilkering. Resident of the county since 1878.
Schoenbeck, Louis (Wife Hanna Frieberg) (Children Henry, Minnie, Edward, Clara) “Maple Hill Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 1 Roselle. Owns 180 acres in Section 27. Resident of the county since 1870.
Schrage, Emil F. (Wife Laura Geistfeld) (Children Lauretta) Postal address is Route 1 Palatine. Tenant of 100 acres in Section 14 that is owned by Fred Schrage. Resident of the county since 1884.
Schultz, Fred C. (Wife Carrie Bartlett) (Children Ernest, Walter, Alma, Fred, Clara, Reuben and Theodore) Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Tenant of 160 acres of Mrs. Fasse in Section 20. Resident of the county since 1904.
Sporleder, Albert C. (Wife Margaret Kastning) (Children Albert H., Martin, Edgar at home; Emil C., Amelia, Matilda not at home) “Hill Crest Dairy Farm.” Postal address is Route Route 2, Palatine. Owns 160 acres in Sections 10, 4 and 9. Resident of the county since 1871.
Sporleder, Frank (Wife Matilda Meyer) (Children Herman, Walter, Charlotta, George, Margaret, Herbert) “Central View Stock Farm.” Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Owns 201 acres in Sections 15 and 14. Resident of the county since 1874.
Springinsguth, Fred H. Postal address is Route 5, Elgin. Tenant of 160 acres owned by F. Springinsguth in Section 17. Resident of the county since 1889.
Springinsguth, Henry (Wife Sophia Schunemann) (Children Ralph) “Woodside Dairy Farm.” Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Owns 200 acres in Section 29 and tenant of 80 acres owned by Mr. Higby in Section 29. Resident of the county since 1891.
Steinmeyer, Herman (Wife Emma Sunderlage) (Children Edwin, Caroline, George, Amanda, Esther) “Fair View Farm.” Postal address is Route 2, Palatine. Owns 94 1/4 acres in Section 7. Resident of the county since 1867.
Storey, Luke (Wife Sarah N. Carpenter) (Children Forney M., Leona, Oscar, Frances, Lula, Chauncey, Randolph) Postal address is Route 2, Palatine. Tenant of 206 acres in Section 15 owned by A.J. Johnson. Resident of the county since 1916.
Straub, Edward (Wife Mary Witte) (Children Walter, Albert, Mildred) “Prairie View Farm.” Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Owned 80 acres in Sections 33 and 34. Resident of the county since 1915.
Stumpf, Edward H. (Wife Martha Hecht) (Children Ervin and Clarence) Postal address is Ontarioville. Owned 100 acres in Section 31. Resident of the county since 1905.
Sunderlage, Edward (Wife Amanda Gieseke) (Children Alfred, Edward Jr., Rosie, Marvin) Postal address is Route 2, Palatine. Owned 155 acres in Section 9. Resident of the county since 1881.
Thiemann, Arthur C. (Wife Meta Menke) “Willow Grove Dairy Farm.” Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Tenant of 90 acres in Section 33 owned by Fred Thiemann. Resident of the county since 1888.
Thies, August (Wife Tillie Scheve) (Children Mary) Postal address is Route 1, Itasca. Owned 40 acres in Section 36. Resident of the county since 1903.
Thies, Henry F. “Pine Grove Stock Farm.” Postal address is Route 1, Itasca. Tenant of 120 acres in Section 25 owned by Sophie Thies. Resident of the county since 1892.
Thies, Mrs. Regina (Children Martha, Matilda, Edwin at home; August, George, Arthur, Herman not at home) “Orchard View Farm.” Postal address is Route 1, Itasca. Owned 120 acres in Section 25. Resident of the county since 1892.
Trost, Herman (Wife Emma Homeyer) (Children Emil, Anna) Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Tenant of 125 acres in Section 33 owned by John Homeyer. Resident of the county since 1881.
Troyke, Herman R. (Wife Minnie Meyer) (Children Raymond, Ardella, George, Lydia, Lanora, Irvin) Postal address is Route 2, Palatine. Tenant of 175 acres in Section 9 owned by George Meyers. Resident of the county since 1900.
Voigtmann, Ben (Wife Mamie Huehl) (Children Tillie) Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Tenant of 19 3/4 acres in Section 32 owned by Augustine Voigtmann. Resident of the county since 1906.
Volkening, Mrs. Charles (Children Amalia, Ben, Emma) “Woodside Stock Farm.” Postal address is Route 2, Palatine. Owned 160 acres in Section 8. Resident of the county since 1873.
Volkening, Fred (Children William F. at home; Henry F., Ida, Alma not at home) “Hillside Farm.” Postal address is Route 5, Elgin. Owned 160 acres in Section 17. Resident of the county since 1863.
Volkening, Henry Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Owned 160 acres in Section 20. Resident of the county since 1902.
Volkening, William “Hill Top Farm.” Postal address is Route 5, Elgin. Owned 160 acres in Section 17. Resident of the county since 1893.
Weise, Fred (Wife Anna Bisner) (Children Raymond, Agnes and Paul) Postal Address is Route 1, Roselle. Tenant of 100 acres in Section 29 owned by Leiseburg Estate. Resident of the county since 1880.
Wells, Frank (Wife Clara L. Barber) (Children Mildred) Postal address is Route 6, Elgin. Owned 73 acres in Section 7. Resident of the county since 1917.
Wiese, John H. (Wife Alwine Kretschmer) (Children Mark, Elroy, Elona, Wiendella, Esther, Vera) Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Tenant of 100 acres in Section 27 owned by H. Hitzeman. Resident of the county since 1902.
Wiese, William (Wife Margaret Dohl) (Children Eleanor, Edward) “Maple Leaf Farm.” Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Owned 120 acres in Section 28. Resident of the county since 1876.
Wilkening, Henry (Wife Bertha Kastning) (Children Millie, Ella, Henry) “Pleasant Valley Farm.” Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Owned 100 acres in Section 35. Resident of the county since 1864.
Wilkening, William D. (Wife Emma Greve) (Children Selma, Sarah, Cora, Walter) “Willow Spring Dairy Farm.” Postal address is Route 2, Palatine. Owned 115 acres in Section 10. Resident of the county since 1866.
Wille, Conrad (Wife Sophia Hartman) (Children Sophia, Tillie, Amanda, Herman, Edward, Fred, Emil) “Wille Home Farm.” Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Owned 13 acres in Section 33. Resident of the county since 1864.
Wille, Herman (Wife Mary Hartman) (Children Eleanora, Walter, Amanda at home; Lucy, Alfred, Martin not at home) “Fertile Acres Farm.” Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Owned 100 acres in Section 29. Resident of the county since 1872.
Wille, WilliamM. (Wife Minnie Kohne) (Children Frederick, Edwin, Alma, Elsie) Postal address is Route 2, Palatine. Owned 120 acres in Section 9. Resident of the county since 1869.
Winkelhake, Henry C. (Wife Lena Gieske) (Children Henry F., Fred, Renate, Frank, Marie, Mona) “Maple Center Dairy Farm.” Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Owned 100 acres in Section 14. Resident of the county since 1875.
Winkelhake, Herman H. (Wife Alvena Hattendorf) (Children Hermena, Herman, Louis) “Winkelhake Homestead.” Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Owned 140 acres in Section 14. Resident of the county since 1882.
Witheger, Charles (Wife Bertha Hinze) (Children William, Alma, Herman at home; Alvina and Ida not at home) Postal address is Route 2, Palatine. Owned 160 acres in Section 10. Resident of the county since 1852.
Zierk, John Jr. (Wife Laura Rohrssen) Postal address is Route 3, Palatine. Tenant of 171 acres in Section 8 owned by Fred Schuemann. Resident of the county since 1907.
Zoellick, Fred (Wife Marie Mahn) (Children Louisa, Marie, Edward, Hulda at home; George, Herman, Fred Jr. Martin, Rudolph, Richard not at home) “Lone Creek Farm.” Postal address is Route 3, Palatine. Owned 80 acres in Section 5. Resident of the county since 1885.
Jane Rozek Local History Librarian Schaumburg Township District Library firstname.lastname@example.org
Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian. This column originally appeared in the June 2021 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter. The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.
Proudly positioned along the curved driveway into the village hall are signs that many of you have never really read unless you slow down to almost a crawl as you head to the parking lot. If you do manage to read them, do you know what they represent? There are five of them. The oldest one dates back to 1989 with the others dated 1993, 2000, 2003 and 2012.
These signs represent Governor’s Home Town Awards. The award was established in 1983 to give formal recognition to those who contribute to projects that improve their community’s quality of life. A 40 member bipartisan board studies the projects submitted and makes their decision each spring.
Representatives of Illinois townships, villages, cities and counties are eligible to apply. That’s a lot of competition when you consider how many projects are submitted to the 40 member board. One of the sponsors is Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service. These are highly coveted awards that bring much pride to the winners and their community.
The first Governor’s Home Town Award came to Hoffman Estates in 1989 for the work done on planning and building the beautiful Veteran’s Memorial that originally was at the northwest corner of Golf and Gannon Rds. When the village hall was moved and demolished, the memorial was moved to the north side of the Police Headquarters building on Higgins Road and Spring Mill Drive.
Our second award came in 1993 for the rehab work done on our original village hall on Illinois Boulevard to provide a home for the Children’s Advocacy Center. Many local tradesman and trade unions came together to do the work.
In 2000 we won the award for the Arts Commission’s Summer Concert Series held in the Virginia Mary Hayter Park. It was free to all who came with a blanket or lawn chair to enjoy an evening of music.
Our fourth Governor’s Home Town Award was won in 2003 for the Arts Commission’s beautifully presented Quilt Show that brought together lovely quilts from many area quilters.
The fifth and our last award came about in 2012 for the Community Resource Center that was a partnership with School District 54 as well as with input from the Schaumburg Township District Library. It was located in one of the apartments along Salem Drive. Many of the community resources provided parenting classes, family health, and dental health provided by the Harper Community College dental students
Over the years, these signs lined up along the road like Burma Shave ads (are you old enough to remember them?) tell a story of what a wonderful community we live in. The tremendous efforts that went into winning the Governor’s Home Town Awards include hours, days, weeks and months of record keeping, planning, commitment and preparation of the documentation needed to apply for the award. Thank you to all who were a part of winning these awards for our Village of Hoffman Estates.