Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

The winter is over and many of us are looking forward to the grilling season but I can’t help thinking about how different life was in the winters of the 1960s.  With only one car to rely on, walking to the nearest grocery store was almost a daily routine.  A & P was a few block away on Higgins Rd. or a longer walk would take you to the National at Golf & Roselle.  Either way you had to plan for the walk home with the bags of groceries.  With three kids in tow, especially with snow on the ground, it wasn’t easy getting home.   But that was how many of us did it.

CleveportOur homes seemed so big, compared to the apartment living we left behind.  Storage wasn’t a problem; many of us put the things in the garage and for some, it is still there.  Shifting stuff in the garage was how you got the snow blower out, if you were lucky enough to have one.  Those in Parcel A didn’t even have a garage, only a covered carport.  Many homeowners closed it in shortly after they moved in.

Over the years, our homes got smaller as the family grew and new technology helped us get more stuff. The kitchen especially comes to mind.  F & S Construction thought they were building homes with a nice size kitchen.  But new gadgets were taking up room in all the cabinets.  Do you remember how a cutting board and a sharp knife did the work of chopping the veggies for dinner?  Now I have a food processor that doses all that and more.  Gone is the large cast iron frying pan for the oversized electric fry pan.  Steamers, rice cookers, pressure cookers and the k-cup coffee machine have filled my kitchen that once seemed just fine.  Cooking dinner means I have to search in the closet, crawl under the bed or hunt in the pantry for all those special appliances and gadgets that I thought I couldn’t live without.

My home was built in 1960 and F & S could’ve put in more electric outlets if they had only known what we would have to plug in in 2016.  Cell phones (all those little antennas on the old water tower keep us connected) Nocks, iPads, computers, printers, monitors not to mention the battery chargers that help us with what we don’t have to plug in.   The cords that go with the equipment can never be found when you really need them either.

Life was sure different back in the 60s.  Life was not so hectic or so connected.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian


  1. Fred Luft Says:

    It was interesting to see the sales add picture. The picture was not in the Hoffman Estates Citizen article that Pat Barch wrote.

  2. Dave Olson Says:

    I was amused by the ad’s claim of “paved streets”. In Parcel A, the streets didn’t get paved for a couple of years after we moved in in 1956. Maybe the ad was for homes in lucky Parcel B.

  3. Kris Says:

    Love the ad. Hoffman CITY. I would love to see a sales brochure for The Highlands, where we lived.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: