THE FIRST WATER RESERVOIR IN WEATHERSFIELD’S “W” SECTION

This is an aerial photo of the “W” Section of the Weathersfield development in 1959.  It is at the corner of Schaumburg and Springinsguth roads.  Some things stand out.  The grading of Weathersfield Commons has already begun–or maybe that’s where equipment and trailers were kept during the construction process? There is a farm to the west–or left–of the development.  And, then, there’s a small, white, circular disk in the lower portion that appears to be almost as big as a couple of the nearby houses combined.

That disk is one of the first two community water reservoirs that were built in the newly incorporated town of Schaumburg.  This reservoir is on property that is adjacent to Campanelli School.

When Campanelli Brothers began construction of Weathersfield, the first order of business had to be a water supply for the multitude of houses they had planned.  Weathersfield Utilities, which was owned by Campanelli, built the concrete reservoir.  After a battle for control between Weathersfield Utilities and Citizens Utilities that handled water for nearby Hoffman Estates, the Village of Schaumburg opted for a municipally-owned utility such as they have today. [Hoffman Herald, August 13, 1959]

In this 1972 aerial photo contributed by John Kunzer who instigated this blog posting, you can see the round reservoir as well as the small building that housed the pump station directly below it.

This is what is left today of that reservoir.

 

When the village moved from a system of wells, storage tanks and pump stations in the 1980s to Lake Michigan water, the old water supply system was largely let go.  This reservoir was filled in and torn down somewhere between 1997 and 2000.

As John Kunzer said, “I grew-up in the W section about a block west of Campanelli. As a child in the 70s I never thought much about the big cement dome, but knew it had something to do with water. It was many years later that I realized it had been our fresh water source. I recall the well water was pretty hard, and we had a water softener under the counter in our kitchen.”

This Google image from Mr. Kunzer shows what remains today from an aerial view.

Do you have memories of any of the other obsolete water tanks in Schaumburg?  Where were they located?  Of course some tanks are still standing that are there in case of emergency.  How about the big tanks off of Wise that say “HOT” and “COLD?”  Can’t beat the village’s sense of humor on that one!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

9 Responses to “THE FIRST WATER RESERVOIR IN WEATHERSFIELD’S “W” SECTION”

  1. Diana Dobrovolny Says:

    I remember the 1959 picture well as that is the year we moved in to the W section of Weathersfield. All of that area was dirt. Grass and sidewalks were put in in spring of 1960. I lived at 22 Webster, the 4th house down on left from Schaumburg (now destroyed for a McMansion). The area on the right of the 1959 picture was prep for the shopping center – we used it for the “Chuck Wagon Jamboree”. Lions Club, Boys Scouts and others brought it together for people who bought in 1959 and it became a tradition thereafter. My dad sat with the spit and cooked sides of beef. All of the women on Webster and nearby (first street sold) made macaroni salad, potato salad, etc. 20lbs+ each and brought them. There was a band. Mayor Atcher came on his horse…… The farm on the left side of the 1959 was open. I drove my bike there to “think”. Black angus cows roamed behind the fences. The Volkenings were very friendly farmer neighbors. They would deliver eggs – I think milk, too. When we visited the house it was tough to get out of the car because their geese acted like guard dogs and would squawk and peck if they didn’t want you there.
    The water tank by Campenelli school was just part of the environment. Most of us knew it was critical and looked very modern. Like undergrown power lines, this type of water tank seemed to be the future way to go. My dad had been in a type of special forces when he was in the army. 1959 and early 1960s when we went to Campanelli school was unusual. We had tornado and nuclear bomb practice. If it was a tornado we went in the halls, if a bomb we went under our desks!??? My dad told me if it was a real bomb threat to run home. It was his belief that if they would bomb a suburban neighborhood they would aim at critical points like water supply. Since the water tank was right next to our school, he did not want me there in a real bomb scare. The Nike Missile bases were in northern Illinois and the Cuban Misile crisis was in early 1960s, we had quite a few of these practices.

    • jrozek Says:

      Thank you for the excellent details and perspective Diana. I have not heard of the “Chuck Wagon Jamboree.” The “Shindig”, yes. But not the Chuck Wagon Jamboree. That bears some looking into.

      I’m happy to have a few more details on the Volkening family too. They were one of the last farming families in that area so it sounds like they took advantage of the people moving in and sold their produce to them.

      I have heard a number of recollections about bomb drills in local schools in the late 1950s and into the 1960s. It’s all relative to the times, isn’t it?

      Thank you very much for commenting.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library
      jrozek@stdl.org

      • Diana Dobrovolny Says:

        The Chuck Wagon Jamboree and Shindig were probably the same thing but maybe different years or different sponsors if held on that site. As some of your writings have mentioned 1959 was a time of transition from farmland to suburbs. That year and the next few I remembered my dad worked to start a Boy Scout Troop, a Lions Club, an investment club. He was on the Parks and Recreation board or committee and worked hard to have the Jennings House saved for a place for kids to go and stay out of trouble. I remember playing ping pong there. There was also a bicycle court held there. If one did not obey the town rules of riding a bike safely, you would be in court on Saturday morning. The fine was generally an essay about the subject or community work. There was so much growth. I lived in the same house from 1st through 12th grade but went to different schools and split shifts or some accommodation each year. We had 3 4th grade classes running in the gymnasium of Campanelli school when Kennedy was shot because the expansion wasn’t finished on time.

      • Dan Says:

        Diana, I went to Campanelli as well and even as a child, it appeared to me that the building was a hodge podge of additions that didn’t quite line up. Jane- I think a blog post about Campanelli School would be fascinating.

        I do also believe that the homes along Schaumburg Road between Springinsguth and Webster were all the model homes, correct? My school bus went down Webster on its way to Campanelli, and I thought that the one open space after the first house on the north side of the street was odd. Is there a story behind the large space since it is at the hill?

        PS – It must be sad knowing your childhood home was demolished for one of those monstrosities. I feel the entire W section’s character was changed for the worse beginning around 2000 when the teardowns started happening.

      • jrozek Says:

        Hello Dan,

        Actually I have begun writing blog postings on all of the schools of District 54. I figured I’d start from the beginning with the one-room schools so I’m still tackling a few of those.

        Once I’m finished with those, my plans are to start at the beginning with the modern day schools in the order they were constructed. Over the years I’ve done a few other postings on some of those: Schaumburg School, Hanover Highlands and Blackhawk. You can find those by doing a search on the blog.

        If anyone out there has school photos, I’d love to add them to our collection. We have very few of the schools–whether it’s the building, the classes, the teachers, or the activities. If you have any to contribute, I’d be happy to use them in the future blog postings.

        Jane Rozek
        Local History Librarian
        Schaumburg Township District Library
        jrozek@stdl.org

  2. Diana Dobrovolny Says:

    I would be happy to comment on Campanelli if that becomes of interest. I was bussed in first grade, went to the opening of Campanelli for second. I cant remember if 3rd was an addition but it was not down the main hall. The addition for 4th grade wasnt complete in Sept so 4th graders were all in the gym and i believe 5th graders were bussed to other schools until about December. I was in the new wing for 5th grade, then we ran out of room and were bussed for 6th grade. 7th grade was at Robert Frost but by 8th we outgrew it and had to go to split shifts. Half of our class met in the am and the other half in the pm. They promised us we would be together in high school. That didn’t work. 2 years at Conant and 2 years at the new Schaumburg High School. No homecoming because there were no previous seniors to come home. Just as our parents started Schaumburg clubs and organizations for the farm town turning suburb, we had to do the same for a brand new high school. New team colors, mascot , school song, newspaper, yearbook, etc

    • jrozek Says:

      Wow, I had no idea Campanelli was added onto! Those of you who were here in the beginning certainly saw your fair share of the schools, didn’t you? And, I hadn’t even considered the Homecoming aspect of starting a new school. Did you have some type of special dance anyway?

      You make a very good point that, not only were the adults pioneers in these brand new villages, but the young people were too. I hadn’t thought of it that way before.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library
      jrozek@stdl.org

  3. jkunzer Says:

    Yes, Jane, Francis Campanelli School has seen several additions over the years. Of note, in the aerial photo above, you can see the two mobile classrooms (commonly referred to as “mobiles”) on the south side of the building where the two-story addition now exists. -John

  4. Fred Luft Says:

    Jane, thanks for posting this info. I love reading about items from the early days when Schaumburg Township was transferring from farm land to suburbia.

Leave a Reply to Fred Luft Cancel reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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: