Archive for the ‘Hoffman Estates’ Category


January 5, 2020

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

Four years ago we sadly learned of the closing of the Hoffman Lanes Bowling Alley.  It was built by F & S Construction, the developer who was building Hoffman Estates, to fill a need for entertainment in the new community.

Hoffman Lanes has some history that many may not know of.  I didn’t know about the interesting happenings at the bowling alley until I received a newspaper article from a friend who loves to investigate the past.

In just a year after Hoffman Lanes opened in 1961, a series of 22 “Top Star Bowling” network television programs were taped during an eight day recording session, beginning August 28. They were scheduled to be aired for Saturday night broadcasting throughout the country, starting that fall.  The previous year’s TV programs were called “Championship Bowling.”

Many of the “big name bowling champions, such as Don Carter, Carmen Salvino, Harry Smith, Ed Loubanski, Dick Hoover, Tom Hennessey, Ray Bluth and many others will be in Hoffman Estates for the filming” the Hoffman Herald’s August, 16, 1962 newspaper reported.

Hall of Fame bowler Joe Norris (shown above) represented the program sponsor, the Brunswick Corporation bowling division.  Lanes 29 and 30 were chosen to be the lanes that would be used in the filming.  They were kept in peak condition and used only for the competition. Local residents could receive complimentary tickets for the event until they were gone.

Another very special bowling tournament that came along years later was the Petersen Classic.

It was known as bowling’s grand event.  It began in Chicago in 1921 at the Archer & 35th Recreation building.  The top bowler would receive $1,000 compared to golf’s US Open that paid $500 for its first place prize.  Quite a bit of money in those days and entry fees were $28, a week’s wages back then.

Over the years it grew to include tournaments in other major cities.

It survived the Great Depression and in 1981 the tournament still drew more than 36,000 bowlers but finally, in 1993, the Petersen Classic died.  After 90 years in Chicago at Archer & 35th it finally died of old age.

It wasn’t long before private investors purchased the tournament and it moved to Hoffman Lanes in Hoffman Estates where it debuted in its new home at Higgins and Roselle Roads.  Hoffman Lanes proudly displayed “Home of the Petersen Classic” on its outdoor marquee (as seen on the sign above.)

I never knew what this was until I did research for my article.  They held the famous bowling tournament there for 20 years, from 1994 till 2014 when the tournament was moved to AMF Bolingbrook for just one year. It moved to Brunswick Zone in River Grove, IL in 2015 and is still drawing bowlers to its classic tournament.

Hoffman Lanes sits empty and quiet.  It had a wonderful run from 1961 until it’s closing in 2015. As I learned, it was a wonderful bowling alley, not just for our families but for the top bowlers in the U.S. and the historic Petersen Classic.

Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Village Historian

Credit for the photo of Joe Norris is given to Dr. Jake’s Bowling History Blog.


December 1, 2019

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

  • 200 students were evacuated at Twinbrook School when a bomb threat was called into the school on December 18 as the students were getting ready for their holiday party. Once the volunteer fire department and county and state police checked out the school, teachers retrieved the Christmas grab bag gifts, distributed them to the students and sent them home.
  • Five men were assigned to the village’s new Zoning Commission. They were: Chairman Al Harkins, Henry Biedrzycki, Robert Quigley, Del Allison and Carl Hundrieser.
  • A special census of Hoffman Estates residents that was completed for the purpose of obtaining motor fuel tax funds came in at 7554.

50 Years Ago In 1969

  • It was announced that bids for the construction of the future Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins schools would be opened on January 6. Land for Armstrong School was donated by the Hoffman-Rosner Corporation. Aldrin School land was donated by Campanelli Brothers and Collins School land was donated by the Lancer Corporation.
  • Rite-Way was advertising their specials at Plaza Value Land in Hoffman Plaza. Great deals such as Alberto VO-5 for .59, Rayovac 9 volt batteries for .29, and Jiffy Plastic Food Wrap 2 for .29 were part of the advertisement.
  • Totes “Feather Light Stretch Books” that could be folded up and carried in your pocket were being sold at Cherry’s Shoes in Hoffman Estates for $5.95. You could even buy them in a handsome plaid waterproof travel kit for $6.95.

40 Years Ago In 1979

  • Santa was appearing at Barrington Square Mall every Saturday until Christmas. He would be moving through all of the stores in the mall: Associated Wallcoverings, Barrington Square Barber Shop, Burger King, Cherry Shoes, Citadel Realtors, Dairy Queen, Dominick’s Finer Foods, Edie Adams Cut & Curl, Eye Openers, Flipside Records, Garibaldi’s, Golden Bear Restaurant, JoAnn Fabrics, K-Mart, Magic Years Children Wear, Maloney’s Hallmark Shop, Peter Pan Cleaners, Tub N Towel, Walgreen’s Drugs.
  • Rick’s Kosher Style Deli in Hoffman Plaza was featuring Vienna pure beef products and Rosen’s rye bread that was available on their holiday trays. Marlene’s Gift Showplace offered “Hundreds of unique gifts for everyone on your shopping list.” (This is the first time I’ve seen those businesses mentioned.)

  • Hoffman trustees were asking the Zoning Board of Appeals to change the zoning of a 2.5 acre site at Volid Drive and Vista Lane into a historic district. This was meant to accomodate the Sunderlage house whose smokehouse had recently been nominated for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

30 Years Ago In 1989

  • Funeral services for Paul Hassell, a Loop lawyer and gentleman farmer who once owned multiple parcels in what would, one day, be Hoffman Estates were held on December 7. He was 98 years old and a retired partner in the law firm of Eckhart, McSwain, Silliman & Sears. He sold his land in 1960 to F& S Construction.
  •  The Barrington Square 6 theater was showing The Little Mermaid and Paul Newman in Blaze.
  • The Madrigal Singers of Hoffman High School were set to perform at The Benchmark with 15th and 16th century vocal and instrumental music.

20 Years Ago In 1999

  • The Hoffman Estates Park District was scheduled to spend around $40,000 to update the High Point Park playground and gear it towards 2 to 7 year olds.  The playground, one of three in the 43-acre park, is located off Oakdale Road, east of Huntington Boulevard and north of Higgins Road. The park is located east of the Hilldale Golf Club.
  • After operating his furniture store in Elgin for three years, Sergio Tovar opened a new store at 1147 N. Roselle Road in Hoffman Plaza and named it Fashion Furniture. He was a one-man show, working as the store’s manager, salesman and stock boy.
  • A proposal to add on to the Blockbuster and Caribou Coffee on the SE corner of the intersection of Roselle and Golf Roads was tabled until a formal traffic and parking analysis could be completed.

10 Years Ago In 2009

  • At Village Hall a circular brick memorial, centered by five statues of children in action, included bricks that could be purchased for $75 each to commemorate the children of Hoffman Estates residents whose lived had been cut short.
  • At their Hoffman Estates, Arlington Heights and Villa Park stores only, Garibaldi’s was offering Select Subs for $4.99 and 14″ cheese pizzas and all new Wraps for $4.99 as well. In addition, a 20% off coupon for $50 worth of catering was available.
  • Even though a number of towns in the area had already addressed the issue of video gambling in licensed bars and restaurants, Hoffman Estates, like Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village and Streamwood, had not yet decided whether they would participate in the new venture or not.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

Photo credit of the Children’s Memorial at the Village of Hoffman Estates is given to the Daily Herald.


September 15, 2019

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the August 2019 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

As we approach our 60th anniversary of incorporation, I thought it would be interesting to look back at some of the important dates from those early years.

1955  F & S Construction buys the 194 acre Hammerstein Farm.

1956  Our first school, Twinbrook, is opened in Parcel A.

1958  The Hoffman Estates Fire Protection District sets up its first fire station in one of the Hammerstein barns to house its first fire truck.

1959  Hoffman Plaza opens as the first shopping center.  Jewel is the first grocery store.

1959  Hoffman Estates incorporates on Sept. 23 with a vote of 759 to 569.  The population is 8,000.

1959  Hoffman Estates’ zip code is 60172.

1959  On November 7th, the first village election takes place.  Those elected are: Ed Pinger, President; Marilyn Broding, Clerk; James Gannon, Bruce Barger, Ed Deerfield, Ed Cunningham, John Pickering and Roy Jenkins, Trustees.

1959  November 12th is the first village board meeting.

1960  Thomas Engineering is the first commercial business to open in Hoffman Estates.

1964  Golf Rose Shopping Center opens with W. T. Grant’s Department Store as its anchor.

1965  Our village flag is designed by Lawrence C. Spiegel and our motto, “Growing to Greatness” comes from Leslie Goetz.

1968  Ida Vogelei sells her farmhouse and barn to the Park District for $150,000.  Located at Higgins and Golf Rds, the house was built in 1916 at a cost of $5,000.

1971  Hill Dale Golf Course is built on the Marshall Field Hunting and Skeet Shooting Club.

1972  Hoffman Estates moves out of its first village hall at the Hammerstein Farm Building into its newly constructed village hall (the Bruce Lind complex) on Gannon Drive.

1973  Hoffman Estates High School opens as a freshman-sophomore school.

1978  The Uniform Safety Code goes into effect with the renumbering of all commercial and residential addresses as well as some street name changes.

1980  Poplar Creek Music Theater opens its outdoor 22,000 seat music venue.

1992  The third village hall opens in the Safeco Building located at Hassell and Huntington Blvd.

Corporate growth would take pages and pages.  We truly have grown to greatness.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Historian


August 4, 2019

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

  • Turpin’s Fabrics of Fashion at Hoffman Plaza was advertising their “Back To School Fabrics” of easy care cottons, synthetics, corduroys and woolens. All To Dress Your Children BETTER FOR LESS!
  • The Hoffman Estates Women’s Club was selling tickets to their Hawaiian Dance at the Hoffman Plaza. The $3 a couple donation would cover dancing to Skip Youman’s band, leis, favors, door prizes and a floor show. Refreshments were available at a moderate cost. Proceeds were going towards the building of a community center.
  • Snyder Drug Store in Hoffman Plaza was advertising sale items ranging from a brazier revolving grill for $13.77 to assorted flavors of jello for $.05 to an aluminum chaise lounge for $7.77.

50 Years Ago In 1969

  • The Hoffman Estates Park District announced that they were in the stages of purchasing a two-story barn and large stone house located on the north side of the intersection of Higgins and Golf Road. The plans included renovating the barn into a Community Center and the house into administrative offices. (This eventually became known as the Vogelei house and barn, named for Ida Vogelei, who owned it for a number of years in the early to mid 1900s.)
  • Officials in Hoffman Estates were interviewing candidates for the Village Manager position that had been vacant for three years. The winning candidate would be the second manager in village history.
  • The new administration office for District 54 was set to open around September 15. In the meantime, the various departments were scattered throughout the district, with the main office located in a model home at 105 Audubon Place in Hoffman Estates which is located between Fairview and Conant Schools.

40 Years Ago In 1979

  • The Poplar Commons apartment complex on the south side of the intersection of Higgins and Golf Roads was being converted into condominiums. Plans also called for it being renamed Steeple Hill.
  • Designer skirt suits for $69, velour tops for $15 and corduroy pants for $13 were some of the deals for women at Off The Rax next to Service Merchandise in the Golf Rose Shopping Center.
  • Census takers were going out the week of August 5 to conduct a special census of Hoffman Estates residents. A special census that had been conducted in 1977 found 33,587 people in the village. It was hoped that the 1979 census would find an additional 3025 people.

30 Years Ago In 1989

  • Hank Williams Jr. and k.d. Lang were scheduled to appear at Poplar Creek on August 5, 1989. Tickets were $15-$20.
  • The Hoffman Estates Park District agreed to spend $4500 to build a concession stand for youth football games at Sycamore Park near Hillcrest Boulevard.
  • St. Hubert School was accepting registrations for school year 1989-90 for kindergarten and grades 1-8. They were offering bus service within the District 54 boundaries.

20 Years Ago In 1999

  • Hoffman Estates police officers served as crossing guards at the corner of Gannon and Higgins Road on Wednesday, August 25, the first day of school. It was the first time they had been asked to serve in that capacity.
  • Hoffman Estates High School opened on the 25th, having introduced the new block scheduling system.
  • Susan McCann, the first female principal of District 54 and at Fairview School, passed away August 22.

10 Years Ago In 2009

  • It was announced that a recycling event would be held for village residents on Saturday, August 15 from 9-3 at the Public Works Center. Items accepted were old electronics, latex paint, compact fluorescent lamps and lightbulbs, and prescription medication.
  • The Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce was celebrating the Fabulous Fifties at their Business Under The Big Top on Saturday, August 29 from 10-3 at Poplar Creek Crossing at Higgins and Route 59. Activities included a hula hoop contest, limbo contest, car hop races and a classic car show to name a few.
  • The second to last, free summer concert in the village’s Summer Sounds on the Green concert series was scheduled for August 13 at the Virginia Hayter Village Green. The Banjo Buddies, a Dixie-style band would perform jazz, swing and blues music.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


July 28, 2019

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the July 2019 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

More than 60 years ago when the new residents of Hoffman Estates began settling into their daily lives in a new rural home, many of them didn’t want to feel alone. The close neighbors and friends had been left behind. Many of the women had had city buses to take them shopping or to visit family. Here their new life left them without much of anything. Once their husbands left for work each morning, their day was filled with daily household chores and looking after the kids.

They wanted to do more so they formed the Hoffman Estates Women’s Club. It was just one of many that sprang up in the new village.

The earliest news I found about the Women’s Club was in the Palatine Enterprise Aug. 29, 1957. The Hoffman Estates Women’s Club would start their new season in Sept at their meeting at Twinbrook School.

There were many interest groups that formed from the membership. If you had a special talent, you could join the Garden group. Those that enjoyed Bridge formed their group. There seemed to be something for everyone.

One of the first outings that the Garden Club held was a visit to the Gilbert Klem Nursery. Klem’s was noted for their beautiful and varied peonies. Whether or not this is the same Hoffman Estates Garden club that exists today is unknown.

The goals of the Women’s Club were to benefit the other groups in the community. They had an annual dance that was held in the Homeowner’s Community Center which was in the large barn on what had been the Hammerstein Farm. In 1957 they raised enough money to purchase and donate patio furniture for the Kindergarten that was taught in the barn.

1957 was also the year that Sleep Time Gals formed one of the first babysitting groups. They met on Tuesday evenings. In a few years another group was started up in Parcel C. These ladies were kept very busy with all the requests for help with the kids while the moms would head off to Roselle, Palatine or Elgin to shop for food and other necessities. If you remember, and I’m sure many of you are too young to know about this, back then you couldn’t buy meat after 6 pm. Shopping was done in the morning or afternoon.

The Hoffman Estates Women’s Club also had a Child Development group which offered summer craft classes as well as craft classes during the school year. What didn’t they do? It seems as if they enjoyed themselves while helping the community with many opportunities for the women who needed more than just staying home with the kids.

So little history has been saved from the Hoffman Estates Women’s Club over the years. When they dissolved the organization is unknown. If you can help with the Club’s history, please contact me.

Pat Barch


June 30, 2019

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

Forty-one years ago ordinance #1017-1978 dated June 19, 1978 was signed by then-Mayor Virginia Hayter. It would alter the lives of every resident and business in the Village.

As early as 1955 and through June 1978, we all knew were we lived in the village of Hoffman Estates. I was at 209 on my street but for all of us, our address would change–not just the number, but some  street names as well.

This ordinance was called the “Uniform Safety Code Plan (Grid System).” It would update all addresses in town to new addresses to follow a new grid for Hoffman Estates.

The community was rapidly growing. As each developer built new neighborhoods to add to the Village, they named and numbered their own streets. Confusion was the order of the day as delivery trucks, and especially fire and police departments, coped with the situation.

There were 99 streets that either had their name changed completely or had changes such as circles, coves and courts, altered. Others had a direction added. “Circles” completely disappeared, but kept their original names with “Road” added. “Coves” became “Drives.” Most “Courts” were removed, but seven were not only added, but they also had a name change. An example would be Chippendale Drive–it became Cobble Hill Court. A few other examples: Bonita Drive became East Berkley Lane, Auburn Street became Ash Road, Willow Drive became Washington Boulevard and Freeman Boulevard became Westbury Drive.

You can see how inconvenient this would be for our residents. After receiving my Christmas cards that year, I remember relatives asking if I had moved. Many others must have had the same questions.

The changes weren’t a surprise to the community. I talked with retired Mayor Hayter about why and how the changes came about. Of course it was about safety, she said. Fire stations were being built four-and-a-half minute circles, a plan that would allow emergency services to arrive in that amount of time before severe brain damage could occur. Locating your home quickly would be much easier than with the old numbering system. Throughout the spring of 1978, there were committee meetings each month for the residents to discuss and learn about the changes to come, she told me.

It was only six weeks between the signing of the new ordinance on June 19, 1978 and the August 1, 1978 enforcement date. We should have been prepared to put up that new number and get used to our new street name, but there was so much more to do. Hardware stores and stationery stores, printers and bankers were very busy with people purchasing new numbers, ordering new return labels, business stationery and asking questions about changes to check books.

The village notified all the utility companies about the changes and the banks would let us use up our old checks. It wasn’t the easiest transition but it needed to be done for our everyone’s safety.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian


June 23, 2019

On the cover of this homemade scrapbook, created in 1965, a young Diane Levy is standing in front of a sign alerting drivers that they have just driven into the city limits of Hoffman Estates.

Diane’s father, Charles Levy, was proud of the young town where they lived. He wanted her to realize that it was being built from the ground up and was something special. So, in the summer of 1965, he and his daughter drove around the area, taking photos of various Hoffman Estates landmarks.

If we take a closer look at the photo above, we can see that Diane is standing near the two-lane Higgins Road, looking east towards the Hoffman Lanes bowling alley that opened in 1961. The first Jewel of the area is in the middle background and the Pure Oil gas station is on the far right in the small, white building.

Hoffman Estates began in 1954 when Sam and Jack Hoffman bought their first farm and started development in “Parcel A” just east of Roselle Road. Three years later, in 1957, Diane’s parents, Charles and Ruth, moved into Parcel C on Westview Street. The caption in the scrapbook says, “This is my house.” If you look closely, you can see Diane’s bicycle sitting on the sidewalk. Notice how few trees there are!

We aren’t often treated to a photo that depicts the back yard of a house but, clearly, Diane and her father thought it was an important angle to capture. This is where the neighbors and relatives gathered to socialize. The caption says, “A visit from the neighbors.”

The patio allowed for a collection of lawn furniture and was shaded by the house to some degree. Notice that none of the windows are double hung–and that they are all open. Central air had not yet been installed in these early Hoffman homes!

Unlike a number of young families of Hoffman Estates, the Levy family was a two-car family. Mr. Levy drove his car to the Roselle train station and, from there, jumped on the train that took him into Chicago where he worked. The Volkswagen in the carport was the first of a few models that her father owned. As Diane said, “It was his car.”

Her mother drove the Rambler station wagon that made transporting friends and groceries much easier. (Maybe some of you readers can identify the exact year of these models?)

Diane’s parents were part of the congregation that formed Beth Tikvah Congregation on Hillcrest Boulevard. Diane noted that services were first begun in Twinbrook School. (Virtually all of the religious denominations who established presences in Schaumburg Township used the various schools to hold services in their early days.)

Services later moved to the Arlington Park Jockey Club Chapel for a time and, finally, into the Beth Tikvah temple when it opened in 1963. Her caption reads, “I go to Sunday School at our temple—Beth Tikvah.”

Because Diane lived in Parcel C, she attended Lakeview School in the same subdivision. Lakeview opened in 1959–the year Hoffman Estates was incorporated. The caption states, “This is my school, Lakeview” and the photo indicates that it is clearly before the school was added onto.

Diane noted in our conversation that her mother, Ruth Levy, served as librarian at the school from 1965 to 1978.

In addition to the school in her neighborhood, we also find the Community Pool that was on Grand Canyon Boulevard.

As the caption states, this is “Our Village Hall and Police Station.” This building on Illinois Boulevard was originally the Gieseke farmhouse and later, the residence of Arthur and Dorothy (Dalton) Hammerstein. It served as the Hoffman Estates Village Hall from 1959 to 1972. Today it is used by the Children’s Advocacy Center.

The entrance of Village Hall is to the left and the entrance to the Police Station is to the right. Note the telephone booth outside of the police department. And, you have to love the round Illinois Bell sign.

The caption of this photo reads, “Again!” It is a more encompassing, distant shot of the Village Hall.

Also in the neighborhood was the “Fire Station.” This was Hoffman Estates Fire Station #1 on Flagstaff Lane. It is still in use today. Note the electric poles off to the right.

Diane and her father even took a few shots of some of the crucial businesses in young Hoffman Estates. This photo looks east across Roselle Road. The tall water tower is in the center with the shorter, squatter water tank sitting below it. Robert Hall Clothes is the building to the left. The caption below the photo says, “The water tower, first thing I see when returning home.”

And, lastly, we see Hoffman Plaza and the all important grocery store that served the area. The caption says, “This is part of our Shopping Center.” The photo was clearly taken after Osco joined Jewel in the Hoffman Plaza space in 1964. You can tell because the fonts of the store signs are different.

We can thank Diane’s father, Charles Levy, for this 1965 tour of Hoffman Estates. He had the foresight to realize these images of the young village would some day be of importance in tracking our history.

The apple, though, did not fall far from the tree. We can also thank Diane for understanding what she had in her possession and allowing her history to be shared  with all of us. Much gratitude to Diane!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


June 9, 2019

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the April 2019 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

The back and forth of court fights to annex land for the development of Hoffman Estates seemed to occupy the first five years of the village’s history.

Last month I wrote about the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision to allow us to annex the land north of the tollway. The back and forth court decisions over this annexation made development of the area unusual.

Between 1962 and 1964 a story was unfolding that I would title “The Topsey Turvey Howie in the Hills development”. The development was located on the south side of Palatine Road, about where the Jewel is now presently located.

Believing that the land planned for the Howie in the Hills development was annexed to Hoffman Estates in September, 1962, their project went forward with all the appropriate approvals needed from the village board. Foundations were poured, a well was put in and plans were going forward for the sewer system. But then the results of the lawsuits against Hoffman Estates by three of our neighboring villages, South Barrington, Barrington Hills and Inverness , who believed that land could not be annexed across a tollway, was settled in their favor. It took the land away from Hoffman Estates and placed Howie in the Hills’ development under Cook County’s building requirements. Under the new Cook County rules only 8 of the 10 foundations that had already been poured met with the county’s requirements.

Sewerage plans weren’t going very well either. Howie in the Hills planned on building a sewage treatment plant for its proposed homes but Inverness and Palatine objected to water from the plant spilling into Salt Creek.  The Metropolitan Sanitary District did not have plans to expand and accept the Howie in the Hills development. Howie in the Hills’ request for connections to the sanitary district were voted down.

With on again, off again changes to how they would continue their development, Howie in the Hills’ costs for sewer lines, lawyers, lawsuits and other unexpected expenses eventually took its toll. The final blow came when City Savings and Loan, who was handling the financing for the development, collapsed. The entire Howie in the Hills development was abandoned. Homes that had been built sat empty for years and some said it looked like a ghost town.

It took close to 10 years to finally resolve the Howie in the Hills failure. The land reverted back to Hoffman Estates and Allister Construction purchased the land and built the Westsbury subdivision.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Historian


June 2, 2019

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
Credit for the photo of Willow Skate Park is given to





May 5, 2019

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

  • The Hoffman Estates Women’s Club voted to enter their proposal for a Community Center in the national Community Achievement contest sponsored by the federated women’s clubs and the Sears Roebuck Foundation.
  • Scout Troops #94 and #100 decided to host a paper drive that would help recycle newspapers in the homes of Parcel A and B on the first and third Saturdays of the month. Their goal was to collect enough for funds to replenish their camping supplies that burned in the barn fire on the Hammerstein property.
  • Jupiter Cleaners opened May 16 in Hoffman Plaza and offered a special of 1/3 off of all cleaning as an introductory offer.

50 Years Ago In 1969

  • Model apartments opened at Hermitage Trace, a new 416-unit apartment complex on Heritage Drive. (These are currently the Steeple Hill Condominiums on Higgins Road between Golf & Roselle.)
  • The Schaumburg Township Memorial Day parade was scheduled to step off at 2:00 p.m. on Thacker Street. It would then move south on Roselle Road and east on Schaumburg Road to St. Peter Lutheran Cemetery where the service was to be held. (Sixty years later and the service is still being offered at the cemetery.)
  • It was reported that very few families were taking advantage of the reduced fares for family pool passes at the Community Pool. Family memberships were sold at a lower rate of $35 until May 31 when they went back up to $50.

40 Years Ago In 1979

  • The Village Board voted to approve creation of a new liquor license class in order to accomodate the sale of beer and wine in disposable containers at the Poplar Creek Music Theater.
  • The K-Mart hair salon at Barrington Square was offering a “Brush and Run ph Heat Activated Perm” for $19.95. “Brush it! Rough it! Twirl it! Fluff it! It falls into place!”
  • The “All New” Sante restaurant had clearly been updated and was advertising breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m., and all weekend starting at 6 a.m. on Friday and ending at 1 a.m. on Sunday. The restaurant was owned by three brothers, Nick, George and Denny and was the “home of excellent food, super service and family prices.”

30 Years Ago In 1989

  • State officials began pitching a site in Hoffman Estates as an alternative to a location near O’Hare Airport for the relocations of Sears, Roebuck & Co. The site was 1300 acres, just west of the Poplar Creek Music Theater.
  • Minnesota Fabrics was holding a big Mother’s Day sale featuring multiple fabrics, threads and ribbons. They were located in the Golf Rose Shopping Center
  • The Highland Superstore, on Roselle between Higgins and Golf, was selling various models of camcorders–including Roger Ebert’s Four Star Movie Guide, free, with any purchase!

20 Years Ago In 1999

  • The Hoffman Estates Park District was soliciting resident input on the park elements and amenities at Field Park at the Blackhawk Community Center on Higgins Road.
  • The results of a transportation survey elicited few surprises. (1) More than 92% said they drive alone to work and 14.4% use a Metra train to get to their job. (2) The top destinations for a regular PACE route would be Woodfield Mall, Metra and CTA stations, Golf Center, Hoffman Plaza and St. Alexius Medical Center. (3) Those 65 and older would most likely go to Woodfield and younger residents would be inclined to go to Harper College. (4) Respondents would prefer fixed routes, subsidized cab rides and Dial-A-Ride as the elements they would most like to see in services.
  • The Beth Tikvah congregation was holding a “Big Top” rummage sale as its last fund raiser of the year. Shopping would be held inside in case of rain. 

10 Years Ago in 2009 

  • Hoffman Estates was sponsoring a Memorial Day event at the Veterans Memorial outside the Hoffman Estates Police Department on Gannon Drive. It was hosted by the Hoffman Estates Veterans Memorial Commission at 11:00 on Monday, May 25.
  • The Village Board approved a future off-track betting parlor inside the Prairie Stone Business Park. It was to be part of the Saddle Room restaurant and bar.
  • The Village was offering residents the opportunity to purchase special license plates to celebrate Hoffman Estates’ 50th anniversary. The temporary plates cost $20 and featured the special 50th anniversary logo.

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.