During Hoffman Estates’ 60th anniversary year of 2019, we will take a look back at the Hoffman Estates you’ve known for the last six decades. Every month there will be a posting on village happenings for each decade the village has been in existence. Maybe you remember some of the events and have something more to add to a few of the items? Send in your comments!

60 Years Ago In 1959

  • Mel Bellairs, who had a weekend radio show on WBBM, advertised the new developments in Hoffman Estates. He talked about The Imperial, a four-bedroom ranch, the new Blackhawk School, the split-level Lincoln model and the new Hoffman Plaza with its Jewel, Walgreens, medical center and 350 parking spaces. Model homes were open for viewing at Higgins and Roselle Road Monday through Friday 9-8, Saturday 9-6 and Sunday 9-3. (Can someone tell us where the model homes were/are?)
  • Jewel announced that in its new 15,000 square foot store at Higgins and Roselle Road, they would feature an old-fashioned sausage shop with foods from 7 nations. (Does anyone remember this shop?)
  • A story in the Chicago Tribune on the development of outlying Cook County states that “Schaumburg Township to the northwest, was the last of the 38 townships to be completely rural. The line of the Northwest tollway changed that, attracting the builder of Hoffman Estates, and then bringing about the incorporation of Schaumburg Center.”

50 Years Ago In 1969

  • Martin Plate announced his retirement from Conant High School (pictured above) after serving as principal for the first five years of Conant’s existence. He announced he was returning to school to work on a doctorate in school administration. A painting of Plate was presented to the school by the Conant Student Council to hang in the foyer.
  • In a Chicago Tribune listing, Hoffman Estates’ median family income was $11,935 and the median home value was $26,400.
  • The True Value in Hoffman Estates was advertising an Arvin “Swing Along” 45 rpm phonograph for $24.88 with 10 45 rpm bonus records with your buy. “Insert a record and hear instant smooth sound (thanks to both solid state design and velvet voice speaker.”

40 Years Ago In 1979

  • Moon Lake Village at 1410 Volid Drive was advertising their closeout sale on garden homes. 5% down. No closing costs. No assessments until 1980. Mortgage money available. The garden homes were two-story and featured one, two and three bedroom units, ranging in price from $38,500 to $52,500. (They can be seen in the background of the photo below.)
  • The Stebbing Royal European Circus brought clowns, trained elephants, chimpanzees and poodles to Barrington Square Mall for a series of shows sponsored by the Hoffman-Schaumburg V.F.W. Post 8080. Admission was $4.50 for adults and $3.50 for children 11 and younger.
  • When seven firefighters from the Hoffman Estates Fire Department responded to the May 25th crash of Flight 191 of an American Airlines DC-10 at O’Hare Airport, it left the village with 11 firefighters to man three stations. This was five less than a normal crew and one below the department’s minimum. Mayor Virginia Hayter was concerned about the reduced staffing and expressed her concerns.

30 Years Ago In 1989

  • It was announced on Sunday, June 25, that Sears Roebuck & Co. had officially decided to leave Sears Tower in Chicago and had chosen Hoffman Estates as their location for the new home.
  • Dangerous Liaisons, the winner of three Academy Awards, was showing at the Barrington Square 6 theater.
  • Mass was said at St. Hubert Catholic Church on June 24 for Air Force Lt. Col. Robert J. Panek, Sr. who was declared missing in action 20 years ago in North Vietnam and whose remains were returned last year.

20 Years Ago In 1999

  • The Hoffman Estates Park District Board approved construction bids for Willow Skate Park. They also approved a design by Wright Architects for the Prairie Stone Community Center that  included three gymnasiums, indoor tennis courts, a 40-foot climbing wall, a 2,300-square-foot activity pool with zero- depth entrance, a lap pool and a whirlpool.
  • The Hoffman Estates Fire Department will sponsor their first Citizens Fire Academy to teach participating residents about firefighting and fire prevention.
  • Julie Hollister became the village’s first woman police detective after spending three years as a patrol officer. She was one of seven women on the force.

10 Years Ago In 2009

  • Plunkett Furniture announced that they were closing their four stores in the Chicago area and bringing their 78-year run to an end. Their location was at the northeast corner of Golf and Barrington Roads.
  • Fire Station No. 24 on Beacon Pointe Drive at Shoe Factory Road opened its doors and replaced the 17-year-old Pratnum Avenue station.
  • The Village sponsored its 10th Unity Day with a bigger entertainment lineup than ever before. The village’s Cultural Awareness Commission upped this year’s event as 2009 marked the village’s 50th anniversary.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

The factual items for this blog posting were taken from stories that appeared in the Daily Herald and the Chicago Tribune.

Credit for the photo of the Arvin Record Player is given to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01r6trIKv44
Credit for the photo of Willow Skate Park is given to skateboard.com.au





  1. Dean Boznos Says:

    Another great accounting by Jane. Thanks!

  2. Fred Luft Says:

    Thank You Jane for this great Info. Even thou I have lived in Hoffman Estates since 1957, I always learn something new.
    I also would like know where those model homes were located at Higgins and Roselle Rd in 1959. Granted I was just a little kid at the time.
    I bought my home which was a condominium in 1979. The interest Rate was 11.75%.

    • jrozek Says:

      I remember those high interest rates. They went even higher from 1980 to 1982. You probably didn’t even refinance until the late 80s!

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

  3. acljohnm@aol.com Says:

    Hi-My father’s company, The Four Seasons (Schaumburg), did all the landscaping for Jack Hoffman’s model homes. I’ll see what I can unearth.Also, my father was president of the school board and the board made studies of the proposed Hoffman Estates community to determine the impact its’ families would have on the school system. Again, I’ll see what I can find. john mathews

    • jrozek Says:

      Thank you, John, on both counts. I look forward to seeing what you can come up with.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

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