Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the July 2010 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

School is out and the kids are enjoying another summer of sports, swimming, camp or vacationing with their parents.  When Hoffman Estates was a farming community, the children were feeding the chickens, milking the cows, cleaning the barn or weeding the garden.  It was a busy time for them and many of them already missed their classmates and the time they spent in their one room schools. What ever happened to those old schools? 

First let me tell you where they were.  The Sunderlage School # 51 was located on Higgins Rd. on the Sunderlage Farm.  It was located about were the Park District offices and Ice Arena are at Higgins and Huntington Blvd.  It was built in 1872 and in the late 1930’s would be the smallest school in Cook County with an enrollment of only 8 students. 

Roger Meyer, who lived on the neighboring farm, went to school there for all 8 years.  He remembers his teacher Miss May Healy.  She took her students on field trips to the museums in Chicago, driving them in her 1935 Chevy to Palatine and taking the train to the city. These are fond memories of a boy of 84. 

The Sunderlage School is till around.  In the mid 1950s, after the one room school was no longer in use, it was moved to Lengl St. in Schaumburg Center.  Another school house at Rodenberg and Irving Park was dismantled and the lumber used to add a kitchen and dinning room.

Another of the schools was located on Old Church Rd. as a school for St. John’s Evangelical Church now Immanuel United Church of Christ in Streamwood.  It also was moved and became the Bierman family home at Higgins and Barrington Rds.  It since has been torn down as have others in the area.

The Schaumburg Center School was located on Schaumburg Rd. west of Roselle Rd.  It was also saved and moved to St. Peter’s Church Property.  It is owned by the Village of Schaumburg but is maintained by the Schaumburg Township Historical Society.

The Bergman family farm at Ela and Algonquin donated land for their local school house.  It was called the Highland School. When the one room schools were no longer used the land that a farm family had set aside for the school was returned to them.  The Highland School became a 4 H meeting place but eventually was destroyed by fire.

Out west in Hanover Township the old Lindbergh School on Shoe Factory Rd. and the New Era School located on the north side of Shoe Factory Rd. a short distant west of Barrington Rd. have also been torn down.  It’s nice to know that some are still around.  Those who attended one room schools still have wonderful stories to tell about their school days. 

Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Village Historian,


  1. LaVonne Presley Says:

    The school that was dismantled for the wood to be used in adding to the Sunderlage (Meyer) School was not located at Irving Park and Rodenburg. It was located at Wiese (Wise) Road and Rodenburg. It was in the northeast corner of that intersection on the Hartmann farm. The District 55 school suffered from low attendance and was closed. It was a wonderful place to play school on a summer afternoon.

    • jrozek Says:

      I found an interesting article from the May 17, 1940 issue of the Cook County Herald that is titled Only Two Public Schools Remain in Schaumburg. This is some of what it said: “…According to G.C. Butler, assistant county superintendent of schools, in charge of division one, school district 55, known as the Hartmann school, will not open next year. There is one family in the district which will have children of school age, who would attend the school. Other children of school age attend an adjoining Christian day school. District 52 has been closed several years. The two remaining schools in the township are district 51 with ten pupils and district 54 located in Schaumburg center…

  2. Kevin Franco Says:

    Just wanted to clarify the fate of the one room schoolhouse in Streamwood. It was actually moved to Parkside Circle in Streamwood in 1976, and reopened as the Hoosier Grove Museum in 1980. The building was moved a second time to its present location on Irving Park Road in 1991 where it continues to function as a museum to this day. See for further details.

  3. Cynthia Evans Says:

    I lived on Westchester Drive from 1965-1969! I think attended Highlands Elementary, based on how I remember walking!

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