Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the March 2013 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

1871In my December, 2012 article, I talked about the early pioneers that moved into parcel A in 1955-56.  I asked for stories from some other early pioneers that might still be in the area and I thank all of you for sending me your families’ stories.

Dave Olson’s parents moved into their home on Apricot St. in March of 1956.  He quotes from his mother’s (Adeline) autobiography “The house looked fine on the outside, but we immediately noticed that the house had settled on the north side and there was a definite slant to the floor.”  After F & S Construction made repairs, they finally moved into their home in June of 56.

David remembers being 6 yr. old and having the freedom to run in circles through the house because of the layout of the rooms.  The mailboxes were lined up out on Golf Rd. They went grocery shopping in Palatine and to the Pizza Cottage in Roselle for a real treat.  He fondling remembers the rock and mudslinging fights that took place on their street. Even after the paving trucks paved the streets, he remembers still having enough ammunition for a good afternoon fight.

David remembered other families such as the Daveys, Bartoshes, Hauperts, Yochers, Espersens, Mullendores and the Ewans who lived on their street.

David wasn’t the only one who remembered the rocks and mud, Elizabeth also remembered the huge pile of dirt that offered hours of fun playing army.  Her home was at the end of Alcoa Ln. and her dad would cut the grass for a baseball field in the summer, build tree houses in the old trees and in winter they’d skate on the small frozen lakes behind their house.  She rode past her old home last year and couldn’t believe how things had changed, including the house number.

Dan Farinosi shared his story of the springtime move in for his family on Bluebonnet in 1956.  He was in the first 6th grade class at Twinbrook School.  He remembers the large group of kids his own age and the fun they had playing baseball at the school and endless board games on rainy days.  High School was 7 miles away in Palatine and a good pizza was at the Pizza Cottage in Roselle.

He’s remained in Hoffman Estates for 56 years and spent his entire career in District 54 as a teacher and principal of Frost Middle School until he retired in 2001.

I mentioned the Gluck family in my December article and their son Jon sent a story about his parents and their move to Hoffman Estates in 1955.  His dad, was Police Commissioner, he believes it was a volunteer position, in 1970.  They moved away in 1978.

Naomi wasn’t an early pioneer but she remembers reading about how the early moms got together to form a babysitter club.  If you used someone as a sitter, you owed them one night in return.

With little to do in the early days our pioneer families relied on themselves and the kids had more friends to have fun with than they had in the city. With open fields for baseball, frozen ponds for skating, piles of dirt for afternoon wars, what could be better than that?  Probably a ride to Roselle for pizza.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian

Photo is of an early development in Hoffman Estates and is compliments of the Hoffman Estates Museum.


  1. Donna Isenberg Lichtfuss Says:

    I grew up in Hoffman Estates too. I was six weeks old when we moved into Parcel B (Berkley Lane) on January 19, 1957. Obviously, I don’t remember much as a baby, but my whole childhood was there until I was 20. My mom finally sold the house around 1995 or so after my dad passed away.

    We all played outside from morning till night. Nobody locked their doors. Everybody knew everybody. What a fabulous neighborhood.

    There is a ‘memories of Hoffman Estates” group on Facebook. There are tons of people in that group that also grew up in Hoffman. It’s fun to talk with them about our shared memories. Even 58 years later I find that you can take people out of Hoffman Estates, but you can’t take Hoffman Estates out of the people!

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