Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

This is our anniversary month. On September 23 it will be our 59th year as the Village of Hoffman Estates. We’ll set off on our 60 anniversary year with fun activities beginning in January.

Last month I asked those who have lived here since the beginning of Hoffman Estates, 1955-1965 to contact us so we can honor you and save the wonderful stories you have to tell about the good old days. Any photos you may want to share would be wonderful to save as part of our history.

One of our early residents, Alice Selke, just celebrated her 100th birthday in July. She’s someone very special because she was married to our first fire chief, Carl Selke. As wonderful as Carl was as our fire chief, she had her own wonderful qualities. Alice’s job was to man the fire alarm calls. Early on, we had a volunteer fire department. Alice would send out the alarm to all the men and they’d jump into action immediately. She’s told the story about how her cat accidently set off the alarm by walking across the alarm button. She quickly had to send out a call saying that everything was OK , it was just the cat.

Because she was always home with her job of monitoring the alarm system, neighbors would frequently ask her if she could baby sit for them while they went grocery shopping. The moms knew she was always there. Some of the kids were very well behaved but she told of how some were wild children who never seemed to behave.

This is an example of the kind of stories we’re looking for. When I hear these stories I realize how different life was for those who first moved into their homes in Parcel A, B & C.

Please consider sharing some of those old photos that are in shoe boxes, envelopes and photo albums. It’s easy to scan them and return the originals to you. What people have shared with us has become the heart of those early years. It’s hard to believe that we’ll be celebrating our 60th anniversary in 2019.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian


  1. Richard (Dick) Clark Says:

    Our family moved into parcel A in March of 1956. Have several stories including being an altar boy at the “Buggy Whip” saloon on Sunday mornings. How or where are stories submitted?

    • jrozek Says:

      Hello Dick,

      If you have stories that you would like to share, please submit them to Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Historian at eagle2064@comcast.net. I think she would very much appreciate your submissions.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

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