Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian. This column originally appeared in the June 2013 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter. The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.
When F & S Construction began building the village back in 1955, the first school was named Twinbrook and the first telephone exchange was Twinbrook 4. The name came from the fact that Hoffman Estates was situated between two brooks or creeks. Salt Creek was to the east and Poplar Creek was to the north and west. Poplar Creek’s watershed is largely in Hoffman Estates. The creek’s west branch begins its meandering up north of Palatine Rd in Barrington. The east branch of the creek snakes through north Hoffman and down the west side of Roselle Rd., under the tollway and winds its way through back yards north of Hassell Rd. It eventually joins with the west branch and continues its journeys through the forest preserves under the 106 year old lion bridge and empties into the Fox River in South Elgin.
Poplar Creek was the favorite place for fishing for Jon Bierman and his boyhood friend Ralph Heine. They caught Bullheads, Blue gills, Northern Pike and Carp. The two boys lived on either side of Barrington Rd. at old Higgins Rd. It was known as Buttermilk Corners. The creek went through Jon’s grandfather’s farm at Higgins and the tollway, under the bridge near Jon’s home, through his parent’s property and across and through Ralph’s farm. They hid under the bridge on hot days and also did a little frog hunting as well.
The name Poplar Creek can be found in many areas of the village. One of the newest areas is the large shopping center, Poplar Creek Crossing, located at Route 59 and Higgins Rd. One of the oldest is gone. That was the Poplar Creek Music Theater that so many fondly remember for its great outdoor concerts. The beautiful Bridges of Poplar Creek Country Club is another area namesake. This 18 hole championship golf course is owned by the Hoffman Estates Park District. Poplar Creek Village, Poplar Creek Bowl and so many other businesses have identified with Poplar Creek.
When the first settlers purchased their homesteads, the Poplar Creek was as important as the rich soil and the large groves of oak trees. The farms are gone but Poplar Creek’s watershed, that occupies forty-four square miles , continues to provide drainage for our village and fisherman can still be found on its west end at Golf Rd.
Hoffman Estates Village Historian