What was it like growing up in your neighborhood?  As kids, spending time outdoors and playing with our friends was a lot of fun.  In today’s world, kids don’t always do the same things we did as we grew up.  Of course it depends on your age.  Through the years, how kids play has changed. 0441

During the 50’s and 60’s and 70’s, as the village was being built, playing outside was great fun.  If you lived in a neighborhood where the houses were being built, unending adventures awaited you when you got home from school.  You’d hurry home to change your clothes because your mom would kill you if your school cloths got ripped or dirty.  Not that you cared, but Mom sure did.

There were always strict orders to stay out of trouble and be home in time for dinner.  Many moms didn’t work and you would tell her were you were going and the fun began the minute you ran out the door.

The first place you’d go to were the homes being built in your neighborhood.  You had to check out the work the men had done during the day.  Was the house almost finished?  Climbing around the piles of wood and inspecting everything was your job.  Sometimes you’d find some nails that had been dropped on the ground.  If there were a few scraps of wood that the men had left on the ground, they’d be great to use to build something. Each day you always seemed to find small treasures.

The houses weren’t the only fun places to play.  You had the pile of dirt to climb on and slide down.  If you were daring enough, you’d jump down. You sure looked a mess when you got home. Good thing you changed your cloths.0442

If you lived near a farm you had fun running through the rows of corn.  It was scary because sometimes you got lost.  Did you ever pick a few ears of corn?  Mom said not to, but did you? It never tasted good. The farmer feed it to the pigs.

Before you knew it, it was time for dinner.  What would you do after dinner, maybe a little jump rope fun with your friends, or a game of baseball with the kids in the neighborhood? School work always came before any TV.  You’d hurry to get it done so you could watch your favorite programs.

Growing up for many of us didn’t include computers, smart phones or DVD’s.  As the years go by we see many changes in how kids have fun.  Don’t you enjoy telling those stories of what you did growing up?

Would you like to share your stories of growing up in Hoffman Estates?  I’m looking for anyone who grew up in Hoffman Estates during the past 55 years to come share those stories on Saturday, Sept. 27th at village hall from 1 till 2:30 pm. 

We’ll have a group of volunteer “kids” who will be our Hoffman Estates Museum’s living history panel.  The museum wants to celebrate our 55th birthday by bringing back those who grew up here.  Come join us for “Growing up in Hoffman Estates or What I Never told Mom”.  Call or e-mail me at 847-755-9630 (evenings) or

Pat Barch Hoffman Estates Historian






  1. Brett Sauerland Says:

    Hoffman Estates has changed so much, it’s not even fun to visit anymore. My childhood house has been uglified by the current owners, and everyone seems crabby. Growing up on Hillcrest Blvd was great, we always went fishing or played Ghost in the Graveyard at night, or built HUGE snow forts for the epic snowball fights in the winter.

  2. Dave N Says:

    I may consider doing this. I grew up in Hoffman Estates. First in Winston Knolls, then we moved to the brand new Westbury subdivision. Our house was from what we were told the first house built and moved in to in in that subdivision. It was on Freeman road just about a block from the farmhouse Mayor O’Malley eventually moved in to. I will never forget the week we first moved in. Corn as far as the eye could see and an unconfirmed but suspected tornado moved through one evening. A big tree had just been planted by public works in our parkway. To this day it is still on a slight angle from the winds that moved it in it’s new hole they just planted it in. The winds were so strong that our front door, although locked, blew open and had to be repaired the next day. Could of been worse.. imagine a new house destroyed by a storm. You are so spot on about coming home to play on the dirt hills of new home construction, or I admit.. we went in some being built and played around. There was forest type area nearby we also played (now where Whitley school is) and the lakes the created were brand new. Back then fishing was fun in those lakes. Big bass, blue gill, and some northern. Above all.. the lakes were clean. As a kid I didnt have much idea of time and one fo the lakes was just a big empty piut then it seemed like overnight it was filled with water…lol. Some of my best memories were growing up over there in the early and mid 70’s.

    • jrozek Says:

      Hello Dave,

      You sound like just the type of person Pat is looking for at her program. It’s always amazing what stays with us from childhood. This is a great opportunity to share your memories with others who have good feelings about their young lives in a young Hoffman Estates. It was a special time.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian

  3. Daniel B. Sedory Says:

    Read this a few years ago, but want to say the baby corn I ate from a field way up on old Bode Road when taking a bike trip all the way to Elgin tasted fine to me; or perhaps it’s just me wanting to remember everything about that day as being just plain fun!

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