In a conversation with Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian, she brought up a local business I had not heard of. Her question was about Slattery’s Nursery that was just east of the intersection of Higgins and Golf Roads. According to her they also had property across Golf Road, behind Ahlgrim & Sons Funeral Home. She wondered what was that piece of property and what did they use it for?
This business was new to me so I agreed to do some investigating. After diving into back issues of The Herald, I found that Slate Slattery opened his nursery on Friday, April 21, 1961. The business offered “complete lawn and garden supplies and equipment” from shrubs and trees to fertilizer and seeds to seedling flats. They even had a gift department and pet department.
As part of the grand opening celebration they offered a Toro Rotary Mower as 1st prize, a Weber Bar-B-Q kettle as 2nd prize and a Brush-on Agrico Spreader as 3rd prize. Just for stopping in, each family received a choice of a free geranium, ivy and philodendron.
Given the amount of growth happening in the area in the 1960’s, it seemed like a logical idea to bring a business to town that would provide trees, shrubs and plants to all of the new homeowners. Since the housing developments did not include exterior plantings as part of the purchase price of a house, it was left to the homeowner to plant his/her own. As a result, it appears Mr. Slattery saw an obvious need and jumped quickly into the local business fray.
But, what was behind Ahlgrim’s (shown above) and why was that, too, known as Slattery’s? After placing a call to Ahlgrim’s, I was told that the Ahlgrim family took residence in 1970 in a ranch house on Golf Road in their current location. They did not begin operating as a funeral home until 1972. Pat remembered, though, that the open space behind the funeral home was often used by her children as a place to play in the 1970’s.
Digging a bit deeper, I uncovered an article from the February 18, 1974 issue of The Herald about actions taken by the Schaumburg Park District. Interestingly enough, it mentioned that “the district now is soliciting bids for the digging up of trees on the Village in the Park site that have been donated to the district. New portions of the site are slated for development. The entire development parcel was formerly Slate Slattery’s Nursery, and the matured trees are left from the nursery.”
Below is a portion of an aerial photo we have in our collection. It shows what appears to be the nursery plantings on the north side of Golf Road. In addition, one of the commenters below mentioned that the nursery plantings extended north to Frederick Lane and west to Jefferson Road in Hoffman Estates. He also mentioned that there was a fishing pond on the property which, I assume, is the pond that can be found on the Village in the Park property today?
There was the answer! It was used as a functioning nursery and, when they sold their portion of the property in early 1970 to Zaremba Construction Co., they obviously left assets scattered throughout the parcel. This begs the question–is that how Village in the Park got its name?
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
The photo of Ahlgrim’s was used courtesy of Yelp.com