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

It’s always fun to look back at what was happening in earlier years and what food and household items cost then. I went through the old Record newspapers to find some interesting stories. Some you may remember, if you’ve lived here a while.

Some of the shops and restaurants in the area were the Lual Shop, a ladies dress shop, in the Higgins Golf Shopping Center. Irene’s Dining Room on the SW corner of Higgins & Roselle Rd. This would have been where the Rainbow Inn was located. Maybe it took over that location, I don’t know, do you? They had a Sunday special “All the Chicken You Can Eat, $1.25”.

Walgreen’s, in the Higgins Golf Shopping Center, had these items on sale:  Anacin 100 tablets for .86 cents, Wyler’s Lemonade Mix 2 /.19 cents, Diet-Rite Cola 6 pak .49 cents and Nice ‘N Easy Hair Color $1.27.

National Food Stores had center cut rib pork chops for .79 cents a lb., cans of sweet peas or beans 8/$1. Avocadoes, cucumbers, green peppers or artichokes were .10 cents each. If you shopped at National you got S & H Green Stamps. I think everyone saved those stamps.

Used cars weren’t available locally like they are now. The auto dealers were in Elgin, Oak Park and Palatine. In 1966, a 1965 “Olds 88” was selling for $1995. A 1964 Pontiac Convertible “fully equipped” was selling for $1795.

Of course we were making a lot less money then but it’s fun to see what things were selling for in the mid 60’s.

Some of the interesting stories from 1966 were; “H.E. Is Expected to Call Off Township Library Annexation” Cook County had been encouraging local municipalities to annex small parcels of unincorporated land to better serve their need for police and fire protection. Hoffman Estates’ efforts were dropped after the residents along Pleasant Acres subdivision petitioned to remain unincorporated.

With construction booming in Schaumburg Township in 1966, a crippling strike began on April 11th that halted all construction for Hoffman-Rosner Corp. in Hoffman Estates and Campanelli Bros. in Schaumburg. The strike affected the building of the Thunderbird Movie Theater in the Golf Rose Shopping Center and work that was being done on Motorola.

Plans for William Rainey Harper junior college were discussed at the Hoffman Estates village board meeting in anticipation of the planned June 4, 1966 referendum. The college name was chosen to honor William Rainey Harper, first president of the University of Chicago and founder of the first junior college in Illinois.

A news essay in The Record dated May 11, 1966 gave high praise for Hoffman Estates Mayor Roy Jenkins. “Roy Jenkins is sincerely and unswayingly determined to go down in local history as a good mayor and a leader who got things done.” The article went on to say “He has, at the very least, learned the significance of the words of Thomas Payne: ‘For heaven’s sake, satisfy SOMEBODY!’”.

Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Village Historian,


  1. Gregory Tazelaar Says:

    This September, the first graduating class of Conant will be having our 50th Reunion gathering. We are planning a Conant tour, and dinner at the Schaumburg Marriott. I hope some classmates will read this and contact the school about attending the function. I just thought I’d share this because I was reading your 1966 comments and it struck a chord. Just a bit of trivia here, Conant had no Seniors the first year it opened, because the District split the graduating Frend Sophomores, some to the Palatine (Wood St) Junior/Senior school, and the rest of us Sophomores to Conant.

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