Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the April 2015 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

Long before F & S Construction made its decision to develop the surrounding farmland into the present Hoffman Estates, the farming community was busy with day to day operations on the farm.


The main industry was dairy farming.  Most of the local farms had dairy herds averaging 30 head.  Caring for the milk cows was a family affair.  Everyone was up before sunrise to feed, water and prepare the barn for the morning milking.  A hardy breakfast was being prepared in the kitchen, as the milking chores were carried out. The milk was transported to several local creameries.

There were several locations, in what is now Hoffman Estates, situated at major intersections that accepted the cans and cans of milk collected each morning for pick up by local dairies.  One of these was located at the intersection of Higgins and Roselle road, called Nebel’s Corners.  Mr. Nebel  purchased the property around 1898.  He built a store along with the creamery and would barter with the farmers, keeping close accounts of milk brought in for each and settling accounts monthly.  Each farmer had his farm name on his milk cans.  At the peak of operations, 10,000 pounds of milk were received each morning. Mr. Nebel died in an auto accident in 1931.  The farmland was sold and the creamery closed.  The country store remained in business until 1938.  Walgreens Drug Store is now on that corner.

A second location was at the intersection of Barrington Rd. and Higgins Rd. known as Buttermilk Corners.  At that time Higgins Rd. was south of its present location.  Along with the creamery was a blacksmith shop, country store and gas pumps run by Herman Hartz.  His home and several others a short distance south on Barrington Rd. formed the small crossroad community.  Hedlins Dairy picked up the milk each morning.  The creamery was torn down in 1906 but Mr. Hartz remained an important part of Buttermilk Corners.  His blacksmith shop was a vital part of the farming community.  Repairs were needed to keep the farm equipment operating throughout the growing season.

In the 1930’s Harvey Bierman purchased the blacksmith shop and started his own business in a large Quonset hut at the same location as the creamery & blacksmith shop.

Bierman Implement 3

Another crossroads location that collected the cans and cans of milk was at Higgins and Golf Rd. known as the Sunderlage Gas Station.  Mr. Sunderlage also had a small country store in his gas station.   This gas station remained open until the late 1960s when it became the Busy Bee Car Wash.

All of these locations were meeting places for the local farmers who stayed to visit and find out the latest news once the milk was unloaded and their business completed.  The pot bellied stove was always surrounded by chairs to warm the farmers on those cold winter days.  Summertime found them gathered about the pop cooler sharing the same gossip and news of the day.

It all disappeared with the construction of a new community called Hoffman Estates.

Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Village Historian

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