WHERE EXACTLY WAS THE HOME OF THE FIRST LIBRARY?

Last year, in 2012, the Schaumburg Township District Library celebrated its 50th birthday.  And a few weeks ago we got a belated birthday present.  This is the story…

The voters of Schaumburg Township participated in a special election on September 8, 1962 that would determine whether a public library should be established and maintained.  They also voted for six potential library trustees.  The measure passed and the library opened for business on January 3, 1963 as the Schaumburg Township Public Library.  The location?  A small, white frame ranch house just north of Schaumburg Road on Roselle Road.

For years we’ve known what the house looked like on the outside thanks to this somewhat grainy photo with unknown origins.Ranch house library

How close it was to the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Road remained a mystery.  We’ve had long-time staff members who worked there once upon a time who couldn’t quite nail down the exact location.  We were also unsure because of  somewhat obscure descriptions from The Record.  It was mentioned in the November 29, 1962 edition that “The trustees approved the rental of a house on Roselle Road–and the first house north of the Marathon service station.”  In the December 27 issue, the story states, “The library is located 2 doors north of Schaumburg Road…on the west side of Roselle Road next to the Marathon Gas Station.”

Then, one day, in walks local resident Bud Napier with a handful of pictures.  In the midst of showing me an interesting photo of the intersection, buried in the blizzard of 1967, I started looking at the background of the photo.  And there it was.  I looked past the Marathon Station and then past the strip mall that had just been built (and was very recently torn down) and noticed a small ranch house that looked very familiar.  It was the library.  You can see it here in the shadows.  Not exactly next door to the Marathon Station is it?Library

By this time the library had moved into its newly built, permanent home on Library Lane.  But the ranch remained.

Now, if we could just figure out how the ranch got there in the first place.  Mr. Napier says that the house was moved down Roselle Road from Nerge Road by Paul Rosenwinkel, a local farmer.  One of our longtime staff members says she remembers that the house once sat on the Golden Acres Country Club aka the Schaumburg Golf Club.  According to her the house served as the caretaker’s home and sat behind one of the homes on Batavia Lane in Parcel B of Hoffman Estates.  Maybe one of these days, we’ll solve that mystery too.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian

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7 Responses to “WHERE EXACTLY WAS THE HOME OF THE FIRST LIBRARY?”

  1. David Olson Says:

    Is the photo taken looking north on Roselle Road, just north of Schaumburg Road which is in the foreground? I had always mentally placed the original library house as being on the east side of Roselle Road, but that is apparently wrong.

    • jrozek Says:

      You are correct. The photo is taken looking north down Roselle Road from the intersection with Schaumburg Road. The library was on the west side of Roselle Road. That was pretty certain. I sort of place it where the Pleasant Square trailer currently sits.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian

  2. BJT Says:

    I remember my mom and dad taking me there to get books. I do remember this house being moved. It sat on the North side of Nerge Road just east of Roselle. Funny about the photo from’67. I remember stopping at the “convenient” for ice cream on the way home to Sunset Hills after grocery shopping at the Jewel on Roselle at 72. I vaguely remember though an old farm house that would have been between the convenient store and the library house. This old farm house did have books in it before the house was moved. That would have been from 1959-1962 when the temporary article was written. The house in the photo was funny each bedroom housed different genre.

    • jrozek Says:

      Hello BJT,

      I find your confirmation of the original location of the library “house” very interesting. I have talked to others who have no recollection of the house being on Nerge Road so this is very intriguing. The fact that it was a ranch almost means it had to have been built sometime in the 1950s. Were you, by chance, there on the day of the move? Or, do you remember it being a big deal?

      As far as the old farmhouse goes, could it possibly have been on the east side of Roselle Road–north of the bank? If you go to our Local History Digital Archive and Browse the Postcards, take a look at number 104 and see if it rings a bell. http://archives.stdl.org/digitalarchive/digitalarchive.asp

      Thank you for your comments. It’s nice to have the history of the area enhanced by those who lived it!

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

  3. BJT Says:

    oh by the way, I believe that the person named Lorraine Klein lived on Roselle Road,l east side south of Wise Road. I remember my mom bringing her books which were probably brought over to the library. If so she had a son who was struck by a car and killed on Roselle Road. His name was Tom Klein. This was probably 1966 -1968???

  4. kkhale Says:

    I worked at the former STPL back in the day, as did my mother. I’m enjoying reading the Local History info that is posted on FB from this blog. This is obviously an older post, but I came to it by reading another bit about the Jane Addams Styx concert and the Nightclubs of Schaumburg. Thank you Ms. Rozek for your information. I’m sure anyone that worked with Kris or Pat Stack at the Schaumburg Township Public Library have long retired, and we’re no longer in the area, but it’s fun to get a piece of nostalgia by reading your information.

    • jrozek Says:

      Hello Kris,

      Thank you for your nice comments. It’s always good to have readers who have information to share.

      There are definitely people who are still here at the library who would remember you and your mother! I, for one, remember your mother’s name. What departments did the two of you work in?

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

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