April 21, 2019

While going through some older newspaper clippings, I came across these two buildings that were pictured prominently in the Record. The first one did not have a year but, since all of the clippings appeared to be from the early to mid 1970s, I presume that is the time period. I am trying to determine their location in the township. If you can help out, please leave a comment or send me an email at the address below.

Unlike many farmhouses that sit on a rise, this one is clearly below grade and sits in a lower spot. It is surrounded by a circle of trees and a fence, and has a basement that is as large as the house itself. Other than that, it is difficult to garner any other clues in the background of the photo or in the building itself.

This photo is from the November 15, 1972 paper so we at least know the time frame. The clipping gives us a bit of a clue when it says that it was near the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads and there is “an adjoining piece of land where a Schaumburg hardware firm is expanding.”

My guess is this would had to have been near the Ace Hardware on the southwest corner of the intersection. If so, was this barn to the south or to the west of the Ace? But, maybe the blog posting I wrote about the hardware store answers the question. It says, “…they added on to the small building around 1974.  They bought the barn to the south and a brown, two-story house to the west, expanding the store in those directions.”

So, for those of you who remember that time period, is this the barn? If it is, I will definitely change the Ace Hardware posting to reflect the fact that the building was added onto in 1972. I’m just waiting for confirmation!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library



April 20, 2019

On Sunday, April 28, 2019 from 1-2 the Hoffman Estates Historical Sites Commission will conduct guided group tours of the Greve Cemetery on Abbey Wood Drive in Hoffman Estates.

Groups will be shown the interrelated Greve, Meyer, Ottman and Sunderlage pioneer families buried at the cemetery which is also known as Wildcat Grove Cemetery or Evangelical and Reformed Cemetery.

The event is free but reservations are required.  Tours will start at 1:00, weather permitting.  Call Sue at 847-781-2606  for reservations beginning Monday, April 15.

Tours are also available for small groups by appointment at other times.


April 14, 2019

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the March 2019 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

As Historian, I’m continually looking back.  The stories of how we’ve become the Village of Hoffman Estates are always in my thoughts as I prepare my Historian’s Notebook column each month. Now, as we celebrate 60 years as a village, the stories explain how we grew from a population of 8,000 in 1959 to a community of more than 50,000 in the year 2019.

Time seems to pass so quickly.  It seems as if we just celebrated our 50th anniversary and here we are celebrating our 60th.  I’ve lived in Hoffman Estates for 53 of the past 60 years.  This “looking back” always puts me in a position to see the whole story of our village but, then, there always seems to be something new to learn.

This past January 22 marked the 45th anniversary of the historic Illinois Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hoffman Estates’ annexation of about 1700 acres north of the tollway.  The ruling in favor of our village prompted the Chicago Tribune Jan. 26, 1964 headline to read “Court Ruling Tumbles ‘Wall’ to Annexation”.

Land north of the tollway had been annexed by Hoffman Estates between November of 1961 and September of 1962.  Three neighboring villages opposed the annexation and the lower courts ruled that Hoffman Estates’ annexed land was not legal and it was separated from our village by Circuit Court ruling on July 23, 1963.

In doing research for this column, I learned that one of the opposing villages, South Barrington, had just incorporated in December of 1959, a few months after our incorporation on September 23, 1959.  They needed land to continue to develop the same as we did.  Both Barrington Hills and Inverness also opposed our annexation. I learned that Barrington Hills incorporated in 1957 and Inverness would not incorporate until 1962.  All of the opposition came from the others who were planning on growing and developing the area to continue their way of life.

The land north of the tollway was very important to Hoffman Estates and the village decided to take their fight to the Illinois Supreme Court.

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled in our favor, stating that Barrington Road and the Barrington Road bridge that had been annexed into the village earlier, was contiguous with the land requested for annexation north of the toll way.

When Hoffman Estates Mayor Ed Pinger heard the Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling, he is quoted in the Jan. 26, 1964 Chicago Tribune’s story saying this will “put Hoffman Estates on the map for years to come.  We won’t suffer, as some of the older communities have by being completely surrounded by other municipalities with no room to expand.” And expand we did, spreading out to Inverness and Palatine to the north and Ela Rd to the east.

Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Village Historian


April 7, 2019

During Hoffman Estates’ 60th anniversary year of 2019, we will take a look back at the Hoffman Estates you’ve known for the last six decades. Every month there will be a posting on village happenings for each decade the village has been in existence. Maybe you remember some of the events and have something more to add to a few of the items? Send in your comments!

60 Years Ago in 1959

  • The Hoffman Estates Fire Department and their 38 volunteer firemen celebrated the district’s first anniversary and made plans for a July 4 fund raising carnival. The district had one fire truck, a 750-gallon pumper built by Ward-La France and had recently purchased a used ambulance to carry people to hospitals in Elgin.
  • Photos and a written description of the house at 314 Westview owned by the Carl Rauchenberger family, appeared in the April 18th issue of the Chicago Tribune as a way to introduce the public to some of the homes being built by F&S Construction. Their home featured 3 bedrooms, 1 full bathroom, a powder/laundry room, a family room and a living/dining room. Outside features were a patio and a carport. Mr. Rauchenberger, who was an architect, also planned to add a rec room onto the house.
  • The Hoffman Estates Theater Guild put on a very successful production of “Harvey!”, following en earlier production of “The Tender Trap.”

50 Years Ago in 1969

  • The village approved a recommendation to install a $700,000 sewer system that would run along Golf Road from Barrington to Higgins Road. From there it would run southeast along Higgins Road and connect with the metropolitan sanitary’s district Des Plaines intercepter two blocks west of Plum Grove Road. The sewer would be oversized to accomodate businesses that would be building in the community.
  • Hoffman Estates led the northwest suburbs in the month of February in both apartment and home building permits. There were 425 apartment unit permits issued and 80 home permits. The next closest in apartment units was Buffalo Grove with a mere 160!
  • Pete of Pete’s Barber Shop was back at the SW corner of Higgins and Roselle Road and advertising all European and American haircuts, hair styling, razor cuts and toupe sales and service.

40 Years Ago in 1979

  • Suburban Medical Center, soon to open, was looking for managers for the following departments: laboratory, pharmacy, cardio-pulmonary, dietary, housekeeping, physical therapy, medical records, social services, patient accounts, data processing and volunteers. They wanted applicants to have 2-5 years of supervisory experience. The interim office was located at 1701 E. Woodfield Road in Schaumburg.
  • Mobile classrooms at various District 54 schools, including Twinbrook in Hoffman Estates, were approved for sale by the school district. The minimum sale price was $2500.
  • Golf Paint Glass & Wallpaper in the Golf Rose Shopping Center was having a paint sale of $3 off of interior paint. They also offered picture framing, artist’s supplies and mirrors for sale.

30 Years Ago in 1989

  • Trustees voted for another 3 year contract with Browning-Ferris as their garbage hauler. This continued an association that had been ongoing since 1966.
  • “Chances Are”, “Disorganized Crime” and “1969” were all showing at the Barrington Square Theater in Hoffman Estates. (Does anyone remember seeing these movies?)
  • Three young women–two from Hoffman Estates and one from Elk Grove Village–will compete for the title of Miss Hoffman Estates 1989 at Eisenhower Junior High School. The new Miss Hoffman Estates will reign over the village’s Fourth of July festival.

20 Years Ago in 1999

  • The Hoffman Estates Park District Board approved contracts with Turner Construction Co. of Chicago, to build the Prairie Stone Community Recreation Center.
  • This month, village officials officially designated the retail center along Roselle Road, near Golf and Higgins, a business district, in a move that allows them to apply for state and federal loans for land improvements or to acquire buildings if necessary. At the time, the center included Hoffman Plaza that had a Jewel, Golf Center that had an empty Minnesota Fabrics store and the large brown, brick building behind Zippy’s (that now holds Valli’s and is shown in the photo above).
  • The Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce was planning their Fish Derby in June that attracted around 2000 participants annually.

10 Years Ago in 2009

  • The Jaycees were offering two $500 scholarships to high school seniors who lived in Hoffman Estates and were well-rounded individuals with merit who gave back to their school. They were looking for future leaders and service-minded people who would give back to their community.
  • In celebration of the village’s 50th anniversary, the village held Tartan Day, devoted to a Scottish theme. The day kicked off with a parade on Hassell Road followed by the “Celebration of Nations” at the Village Hall and ended at the Sears Centre Arena with the Heartland International Tattoo Music and Dance Festival.
  • Burning rubber mats at Plote Construction on Brandt Drive sent plumes of black smoke in the air. At its peak the fire could be seen clearly from the Jane Addams tollway and up to four miles west in Elgin.Jane Rozek
    Local History Librarian
    Schaumburg Township District Library


April 6, 2019

Saturday, May 11, 2019
2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Rasmussen Room
Schaumburg Township District Library
130 S. Roselle Road, Schaumburg

The Schaumburg Township District Library is delighted to welcome back Larry Nerge, a direct descendent of the area’s rural German families.

In this interactive workshop, he will guide you through his explorations, techniques, methods of sharing his finds, and observations of the family relationships of our German predecessors.

Larry has been researching his family history for 42 years and has compiled a database of over 141,000 individuals.  His ancestors came from Schaumburg, Germany and he has traced many of his direct and indirect German families going back 300 to 400 years.  Moving forward in America, he has tied together the German families in our area.

It is a wonderful opportunity to learn, ask questions, share your genealogy and, possibly, meet up with some of the branches of your family tree.  We hope to see you there!

To register, please go to the library’s event page.

For additional info, contact Jane Rozek, Local History Librarian at or 847-923-3331.


March 31, 2019

From the early days of Schaumburg Township, the building that is now Lou Malnati’s has been key to the development of the township. In the course of its history it has had many owners and gaps in ownership. The late 1920s was one of those gaps. When E. H. Diekman closed his general store in 1925, it appears to have taken a few years for it to reopen under another name.

The next time we see a mention of the building is in a February 21, 1930 issue of the Herald that mentions the annual meeting of the Pure Milk Association was to be held at “Schnute’s Hall.” Even more interesting is an ad for the same store that appeared in the same paper and said, “Full line of groceries: Fruits, vegetables & ice cream at new “Schaumburg Store.”

We can suppose that Mr. Schnute obtained the business somewhere between 1925 and 1930. They must have celebrated New Year’s Eve because we have this small noisemaker that must have been passed out as a giveaway at the party. It says “Passing of 1929” and “Smile of 1930.”


Later, in the 1930 Schaumburg Township census that was completed in April, it lists Herman Schnute as the proprietor of a restaurant. Sometime between February and April, Mr. Schnute began selling prepared food. Another ad from May 9 of the same year confirms that he introduced “Real Old Hickory Bar-B-Q in that tantalizing and inviting southern style” for the bargain price of .15 a sandwich. Ice cream, candy and pop were also available at the Schaumburg Store. Clearly he used “Schaumburg Store” and “Schnute’s” interchangeably.

At some point, we know from our oral historians that the name of the establishment changed to Schnute’s Old Kentucky Tavern and this is confirmed in the ad below–even though Mr. Schnute’s name is spelled incorrectly.

When he passed away in March of 1939 his wife Jennie continued the establishment and, in fact, is listed in the 1940 census as the operator of a tavern/restaurant.

From the same oral historians mentioned above, we know that the next owner was George Nieman. We have a fairly good guess that he opened Nieman’s Hall in 1944 from an article in the November 4, 1949 issue of the Herald that states, “Mr. and Mrs. George Nieman are celebrating five years stay in our fair community. The shindig takes place from Nieman’s hall Wednesday night. An evening of music and lunch has been planned for those invited. The Niemans hailed from Chicago before they landed here five years ago.” Mr. Nieman is shown below in this photo from 1961.

By 1957 the Niemans had renamed the tavern the “Schaumburg Inn.” This is noted in the 1957 Bartlett, Roselle and Bloomingdale phone book.

Then, in 1960, two Roselle brothers-in-law, Victor Binneboese and Wayne Nebel purchased the building and had their grand opening on July 17, 1960, advertising themselves as the Schaumrose Inn. It lasted as a local, popular institution for 25 years–by far and away the longest ownership of the building until that time.

During their tenure they installed a mid-roof, brown vertical siding and shutters along with east steps. But, the biggest issue they faced was the proposed widening of the intersection from two lanes to four lanes. Discussion of the project began as early as 1973 or 1974, and very nearly happened in 1975.

For the next few years a steady drumbeat was sounded by the Village of Schaumburg and the Cook County Highway Department to get the job done. With two historical buildings on the intersection (the Schaumburg Bank building was across Schaumburg Road on the northeast corner) steps were taken to ensure that both buildings were saved.

Monetary terms were finally reached and it was eventually agreed that the Schaumrose would be moved approximately 20 feet to the south and 20 feet to the east. This was accomplished in the fall of 1978 when the delicate task of picking up the nearly century-old building and placing it over a large hole. A new foundation was then constructed as well as a new parking lot, sidewalk and front steps. (You can see the results in the photo above.)

And Mr. Nebel’s response in the November 23, 1978 Daily Herald? “Shoot, I couldn’t have torn this place down. I guess it will prove worth the trouble in the long run.” It WAS worth the trouble because, for the next seven years, the Schaumrose Inn remained a mainstay until the Malnati’s Pizza chain recognized the value of the corner and came calling.

On October 22, 1985, Lou Malnati’s opened their 5th restaurant on the corner of the intersection that has been going strong since the nineteenth century. They soon added on a glassed, closed-in porch that circles the north and west sides of the building and, in 2010, after 25 years, they did a little trade with the village. Malnati’s gave the village ownership of the Turret House and, in exchange, the village deeded the small furniture store directly to the south on Roselle Road to Lou Malnati’s. It is the light blue building in the photo below.

The pizza restaurant tore down the furniture store and replaced it with a new kitchen. They also created a new waiting space, washrooms and ramp outside. In the intervening years, parking has also expanded, giving diners much greater ease in finding a spot.

Despite the fact that it appears a title search is about the only way we can determine the year this building was built, we do know that it has definitely withstood the test of time at the busy corner of Schaumburg and Roselle Road. Both the Schaumburg Bank on the northeast corner, and the Fenz store on the southwest corner that were its longtime cohorts during the rural period of Schaumburg Township, eventually burned down. The bank’s spot is now a small park and the Fenz Store’s spot is now the village’s Veterans’ Memorial.

Whether you know the building as Lou’s, the Schaumrose Inn, Nieman’s, Schnute’s Old Kentucky Tavern or any of the other names, we can indeed speak well of the endurance of this unique building. It is perfect confirmation that location is everything at the heart of Schaumburg Township.

Jane Rozek
Local History
Schaumburg Township District Library




March 24, 2019

If you look at the Yelp reviews for Lou Malnati’s in Schaumburg, one of the things you’ll notice is that many people believe the building is an old house that was, at some time, remodeled into a business. Given that the early history of this building is unknown, it’s possible that it did start its life as a house, but it’s doubtful. The location is just too good.

The intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle was the heart and soul of Schaumburg Township during the rural period. It’s where the farmers came to do business in the sparsely populated area. There was, at various times, within easy walking distance of the intersection, a general store, a hardware store, a blacksmith, a bank, a garage, a grain mill, a creamery and a hotel/tavern.

While we do not know the exact year that the building was erected, the best guess we have is from the Schaumburg Township portion of the 1875 Van Vechten and Snyder’s Real Estate Map of Cook & DuPage Counties. The map shows a building directly on the corner of the intersection. Given that other buildings around it are listed as a wagon shop, blacksmith and school, it was obviously a commercial corner. Taking a look at the same map for 1870, there is nothing on the corner. So, somewhere between 1870 and 1875, the building could have been built.

Interestingly, Wayne Nebel, the longtime owner of the building during the 1960s, 70s and 80s stated in a Daily Herald article from January 1, 1975, “As near as we’ve been able to tell, it’s about 90 years old.” This would mean it was built around 1885. Given the fact that Mr. Nebel came from the German farming contingent, he might have gotten his facts from some of the locals who knew of the building either personally or from their ancestors. So, maybe his judgement is correct.

That being stated, the next time we find any mention of the building is in a 1901 article from the Daily Herald. This article mentions that on June 25, H.C. Hattendorf or Herman C., would be turning over his hotel and saloon to Henry Quindel (pictured below.) I also discovered that Hattendorf is mentioned in the 1900 census as a “saloon keeper.” His age at the time was 26 so we know he hadn’t held the job and/or owned the building for long–and that someone definitely came before him.

Another mention in the November 3, 1905 Herald states that “H.E. Quindel quit biz at the old stand Nov. 1 and turned the keys of the hotel and saloon over to Jno. Fenz who will open a hardware and farm machinery story there next spring…in [the] charge of Herman Fenz with Herman Gieseke as tinner.”

An article from the Palatine Enterprise of January 26, 1906 says that “John Fenz & Son expect to open their new hardware store, about Feb 15. Louis Menke and his force of carpenters were transforming the old Quindel hotel and saloon into a model store. A new glass front will be put in the west side fronting the prospective Palatine, Roselle & Wheaton Electric R.R. A fine large cabinet that cost $300 with counter, numerous drawers, pigeon holes and glass front, will afford a model and convenient place to display cutlery, fine tools and fancy goods. A splendidly equipped tinshop will occupy the old ball room. The business at this new establishment will include a complete line of light and heavy hardware, stores, farm implements, etc. Herman Fenz will manage the new store, and Herman Gieseke, who has served 6 years with Reynolds & Zimmer at Palatine, will be able to give entire satisfaction, in charge of the tin shop.”

This wonderful description gives us a glimpse at the building’s interior and what it was used for at the turn of the century. If you look at the photo above from 1913, the glass front looks like it was actually part of the front door. Also, it is my understanding that the ball room was on the second floor, separated from the commercial end of things. Imagine carrying all of that tin to the second floor to work on. I suspect, too, that the framed portion on the north side of the building possibly slid aside or dropped down to allow access for merchandise to be brought into the building.

The railroad that is mentioned never materialized, though there were many discussions of it in the paper. It was obviously designed to connect the Union Pacific Railroad in Wheaton to the Union Pacific line in Roselle to the Chicago and North Western Railroad in Palatine. Other potential north/south lines were also proposed at one time or another but the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern was the only one built, even though it was much further west.

This ad appeared in 1909 and, clearly, the Fenz family had sold the store to their tinsmith, Herman Gieseke. In fact, in a 1911 article, the store is mentioned as H. J. Gieseke’s Hardware Store.

This ad from July 25, 1913 throws a bit of a wrinkle into the mix, letting us know that Mr. Gieseke relocated to a new building. Unfortunately, not only am I unsure which building it was but, a year later, in the September 18, 1914 paper, it was reported that “H.J. Gieseke’s hardware and grocery store” burned.

A few years passed with no mention of who was occupying the building on the corner. The next tidbit appears in the November 14, 1919 issue of the paper where it mentions that the “first social hop of the season will be given at Freise’s Hall, Schaumburg.” Yet another mention in the May 14, 1920 paper advertises another social hop at the same place. Both record Ed. Diekman as the manager. Curiously, Mr. Diekman’s profession in the 1920 census is listed as merchant of a cigar store.  We can only assume he was operating a cigar business in the old hardware store as we know, for sure, that the Fenz store on the southwest corner of the intersection and Lengl’s tavern were definitely occupied.

The next time we meet him is in the October 17, 1924 paper that mentions “E.H. Diekman is getting lined up to start a general store in the former hardware store.” So, we presume he was expanding his cigar business and, in fact, a later article in early 1925 says, “One of those good old time programs will be given Saturday evening Feb. 16th in the Diekman hall above the Schaumburg store…” It didn’t last long because, by November 20 of the same year, it is reported that he had discontinued his business.

We then have another gap in ownership until 1930. We’ll meet more owners next week as the history of building that is Lou Malnati’s continues…

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


March 17, 2019

The footage is amazing because some of it has never before been seen by the public.

The magnificent engines of the Saturn V rocket fired with latent, unleashed power necessary to propel the men into space.

Rows and rows of white-shirted men monitored their analog screens with manuals perched on the tables in front of them.

Thousands of people came to Cape Canaveral to see the lift off, camping out in their cars and tents or simply sleeping in a sleeping bag on the beach. There was the occasional glimpse of celebrities, people like Johnny Carson and Lyndon Johnson, who wanted to be a part of it too.

There are periodic mentions of the heart rates of the astronauts. During the launch, Armstrong’s rate was reported at 110, Collin’s around 95 and Aldrin’s, shockingly low, near 88.

The moments as the lunar module descended foot by foot to the moon are captured, and the tautness of the unknown is palpable.

The director’s dual screen uniquely captured the camera footage, on both the lunar module and the command module, as they slowly, carefully docked in their tense rendezvous after the moon landing.

The welcome home parade, set against the backdrop of beautiful, sunny Chicago, is featured prominently, with wildly cheering people and Secret Service agents running alongside the astronauts’ convertibles.

The colors are sometimes startling. The bright summer clothes worn by the people on the beaches. The oranges and reds of the rocket as it fired. The bright, kapton foil on the lunar module, in contrast to the dull color of the moon. The heat shield of the command module as it moved through the earth’s atmosphere. The beautiful parachutes lowering the space capsule into the ocean. And, of course, the swirling whites, greens and blues of planet earth as seen from space.

The sheer science of it all is breathtaking. And the geometry. Wow, the geometry. The math that was required to get the three astronauts to the moon and back is especially noteworthy, give the small margin for error–and the fact that all of it was done without calculators.

And, lastly, there is the utter calm and professionalism of the three astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins as they go about their duties, interjecting occasional humor when time allowed.

Apollo 11, the newly released documentary directed by Todd Douglas Miller, tracks the mission to the moon in 1969. The world watched in suspense as the rocket finally took off and began the many maneuvers required to get the astronauts to the moon and back. During the eight day voyage that began on July 16 we, on earth, ate, slept, went to work, and enjoyed our summer.

But we were attuned. To both the tenseness of the situation and to our radios and televisions that tracked the steady progress of the journey. When it was over, and the astronauts were back on planet earth, there was relief, there was sheer joy and there was overwhelming pride. The three astronauts had most assuredly reserved their place in history as the heroes we revere today.

The people of Schaumburg Township, though, paid their respects in a way that is evident nowhere else in the country. In 1971, as a result of the area’s furious growth, Schaumburg Community Consolidated School District 54 opened four elementary schools, naming three of them in honor of Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins.

All four schools built that year–including Dirksen–are identical, as you can tell in the photos below.

If you look closely enough at the sign for Aldrin School, you can see that the mascot is the eagle. This is a direct reference to the Lunar Module that landed on the moon and was named the “Eagle.” It was–uncoincidentally–piloted by Buzz Aldrin.

On Armstrong School is their mascot of an astronaut, which requires little explanation!

Below is Collins School, named for the command module pilot who orbited the moon while Armstrong and Aldrin took those giant leaps for mankind.


Scattered throughout the district, these schools are a steady, gentle reminder of a  stunning voyage that happened 50 years ago this summer. The astronauts gave the best parts of themselves on that trip.  Two years later, Schaumburg Township returned the favor and thanked them in the best way they knew how.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library



March 13, 2019

What: “Dairies to Prairies”  This free exhibit, presented by the Elgin History Museum, explores the history of the area’s remarkable dairy heritage. At one time, there were over 140 dairies, dairy farms and creameries in a 50-mile radius around Elgin. Now, there are only three dairies left.

Who: The Hoffman Estates Historical Sites Commission

When: Saturday, March 23, at 1 p.m.

Where: at the Sunderlage House, 1775 Vista Lane, Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

For more information, call Sue at 847-781-2606.

(The Wilkening Creamery listed below as the “Artesian Creamery” was along East Schaumburg Road, across from Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary. You can read about it here.)


March 10, 2019

We begin another year. How quickly time goes by. This is a special year for our village. We celebrate 60 years as the Village of Hoffman Estates.

As Historian, I’ve always marveled at the strength and determination of those who first moved here from the city for the opportunity to buy an affordable home for their family. The homes in the first development by F & S Construction, called Parcel A, are more than 60 years old as the first homes were built in 1955-56 and are now 64 years old. Many have changed. They’ve been upgraded and added on to. Some have been torn down and replaced with much larger homes that suit the ½ acre lots. The area still has that rural feel to it.

Life was so different then. 1959 was a year that introduced so many more “modern conveniences”. With new homes to furnish, I can imagine that many of the women wanted to upgrade the kitchen to include a dishwasher, a larger cook stove, and maybe one of the new larger screen TVs for the living room. Everyone loved to watch The Danny Thomas Show, Father Knows Best or for the western fans, Wagon Train or Gunsmoke. Back then TV was your evening entertainment along with a nice big bowl of popcorn.

I found a small book titled Back In The Day: 1959, Reflections of a Special Year. It had all the information about what was going on in 1959. Here’s some trivia that you can share. The overall average income was $5,417.00. Clerical work paid $3,782.00 but construction work paid $5,637.00. With all the surrounding suburbs developing along with us, construction workers would’ve been in demand.

Do you remember who was president? Dwight David (Ike) Eisenhower was our President and Richard Milhous Nixon was his Vice President. The President’s salary was $100,000.00 per year. The Vice President’s salary was $35,000.00.

With the promise of postage going up to .55 cents this year, back in 1959 it was nice to only pay 4 cents for a stamp. In 2019 we pay bills on line and communicate with e-mail or texting. No need for a stamp. Going to the movies in 1959 only cost you .51 cents for a ticket.

Do you remember what movie won the Oscar in 1959? It was Ben-Hur staring Charlton Heston who also won for Best Actor. The movie went on to win a total of 11 Academy Awards. We didn’t get our own movie theater for another 7 years. It was the Thunderbird Movie Theater at the south end of the Golf Rose Shopping Center that opened in October, 1966. (It’s the oval shaped building in the photo above.)

Groceries prices seem cheap compared to today’s prices, but we have to remember how small our salaries were back then. Bacon .67 cents a pound, milk was $1.01 a gallon, bread .20 cents a loaf, butter cost .75 cents a pound and coffee was .78 cents a pound. Many of us had a pot of coffee on the stove all day, either in a percolator or a drip pot. There was no Starbucks back then. No Keurig coffee makers. I would always waste so much coffee by making more than I’d drink in one day. This was the year that Maxwell House introduced the “Good to the last drop” advertising campaign.

Wishing you all a healthy and happy New Year!

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Historian